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The Value of Equity

CEO, Janet M. Harvey, MCC, and Best Selling Author, shares her thoughts on the importance of equity and inviting change to create equity. Join Janet every Wednesday at 11 am PT on LinkedIn and be guided through a 42-week series, exploring chapters of her book Invite Change Lessons from 2020 - The Year of No Return.

The value of equity. Those words are essential to fully understand and appreciate if we want to influence social progress toward a more just and inclusive society. Focusing on social progress is a way of life, not a discretionary act, nor something reserved for a special occasion. Beyond fairness, equity involves trying to understand and give people what they need to enjoy full, healthy lives. To experience equity, and therefore know its value, requires being conscious in how we design, create, support, and sustain a socially just society. Structural racism has extracted value that must be restored.

In the US, President Biden proactively demanded equity with the introduction of several new Executive Orders. Declaring a broader view for how to serve communities underrepresented and marginalized in policy and budget, the orders revoke previous, systemically racist orders and put in place both leadership and policy that requires continuous measurement of equity and examination of best practices. As quoted by Andre Perry from the Brookings Institute, the Biden administration is focusing on “the plumbing and the infrastructure of policymaking.” President Biden’s Executive Order 13985 instructs the federal government to “pursue a comprehensive approach to advance equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.”

You might be thinking, what’s this got to do with inviteCHANGE, coaching, and leading change. Everything in my mind. The unbearable human costs of systemic racism are further amplified as we witness and experience converging crises – health, climate, and economic. You might be thinking, this is not something I can influence, it’s too big, too hard, too complex and change is so darn hard to affect.

While the government’s actions get those of us in the US started, it’s our daily actions that will sustain momentum, here in the US and as we interact around the world. Here are three questions I am being with and invite you to join me:

These are not easy questions. Fear often stops us because we label change as the enemy, imprisoned by a belief that we are not sufficiently whole enough to make a shift or influence others to shift. Connection and belonging are in our DNA as humans as a social imperative. We can’t NOT move toward equity.

In the US, we acknowledge February as Black History Month. Historian Edmund Burke said, “Those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it.” We are at a moment in our history that is fueling major change. It is critical to place the ideas for change in the context of our history if we are to heal and restore equity in our daily way of being together. I hope you will join us for the learning series, Cracking the Shell on Racism (Creator, Reverend Esther Jones-Alley – Register). If not, please do choose some way to awaken to your history of racism and oppression, and contribute to the healing journey. In the wise words of Eldra Jackson III, from Inside Circle, “hurt people hurt people and healed people heal people.” Find your voice and use it, to dream, empower and speak truth to power. Let’s get focused on healing at our roots and bring a new sense of wholeness and love to our world.

Bonus: Is fear of personal growth holding you back from tackling inequity? Watch this youtube video from author Janet M. Harvey:

Janet M. Harvey, MCC

Experienced with individuals at the Board of Directors, “C” Chair, Executive and Senior Management levels, Janet assists executives in adopting effective habits of perception and behavior to lead and accelerate corporate strategies. Typical engagements address executive development in the following areas: articulate and inspire through clarity of vision, enable respectful challenge, debate and catalyze synergy for strategic business choices, risk/reward critical thinking about investments and shareholder value, plan leader succession and architect sustainable cultural/strategic change.
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