Most African countries and cultures are known for their amazing stews. I might also be very biased because I am African, Malawian to be precise. You know what’s funny my favorite stew to make is not even Malawian: it is a South African Stew called Potjie. The beautiful thing about stew is you mix different kinds of solid foods: carrots, potatoes, meat, tomatoes, and different spices to make this amazing mouth-watering dish. Now I am missing home just writing about this.
A stew is a perfect example of what diversity and inclusion should be. Now Diversity or Inclusion on its own is not enough. Diversity is like buying all the ingredients of the stew and putting them in the pot, that doesn’t make them stew it just means you brought the ingredients together but you haven’t stirred the pot or turned the stove on to make sure the pot cooks, which also means you don’t have the stew still. Diversity, on the other hand, is realizing each of those ingredients you bought has its own unique taste and being okay with the taste the ingredient brings to the stew because that is what makes the stew better. Knowing that once you crank the heat up each of the ingredients will be allowed to be it’s the best self and enjoy contributing to the stew pot.
Verna Myres said: Diversity is being invited to the party: Inclusion is being asked to dance. That stuck with me because we are all so different from the color of our skin, to our beliefs. Atlas invited us to this dance party that we all accepted now it is our duty to ask each other to dance. To realize that our dances will be different but even so we will dance until our feet hurt, we will learn about other peoples dances and respect the difference. We have to be able to embrace the differences. We have to create an environment of safety where we are able to share our ideas, beliefs, and orientations without being afraid to be judged. We have to let others love who they want to love, share and practice their faith and be who they are without being afraid of being looked at differently. We have to create a safe place where our differences thrive and we all have the ability to be our best selves. That is inclusion and diversity.
I guess we need to ask ourselves if we have made it safe for others to be their true selves. We want others to accept us for who we are are we ready to do the same. Do words that come out of our mouths help others feel free to express themselves or not. are going to be a safe place for them when the world is cruel because they believe in something different. Andrés Tapia said “Diversity is the mix. Inclusion making the mix work,” So let’s make this mix work, let potatoes be potatoes, carrots be carrots to make the best stew ever.
Sunga. (probably the beef in the stew.)