By Horatio Morgan
Morgan is a certified management analyst and Human Resource Professional in Roanoke.
With the onset of globalization, the world has awakened to a shifting paradigm. This paradigm shift is called diversity and inclusion. How we manage this consciousness or culture shift will dictate our success or failure. Furthermore, how we infuse its tenets in to our routine will dictate business growth and development within over environs. It was Julia Middleton who argued that right now, vast amounts of time and money are being invested all round the world in building global brands and organizations. But where are the leaders who will lead them? Leaders who can cross race, cultural, gender, social status, generations? Who will lead us?
In the Roanoke Times of Feb. 22 Virginia Tech economics Professor Niloy Bose articulated that, “hourly wages across almost every job category tracked by the BLS lag in the Roanoke and Blacksburg areas compared to national averages. Both localities average less than $21 per hour, compared to $24.34 nationally”. Roanoke has lagged behind national development and true increase in standard of living. In 2017 United Way estimated that over 15,000 families in the Valley rely on the Government for subsidy and another 37% are working poor; which means that they still need assistant. How are we going to garner ideas and boldly go where no one has gone before, to move our people forward?
It is argued that inclusion and barrier breaking is one such methodology that has the characteristics to break the back of poverty to foster cooperation and understanding. Cross fertilization of knowledge and the avoidance of group think are other off-shot benefits of inclusion. How then are we going to address the pertinent issues if we have never lived the realities of the affected socio-economic deprived classes? Simply put if you want to increase innovation and development in your culture/community practice social inclusion. Employing the concept of probability, the larger the population, the larger the possibility of obtaining the required out-put. Thus, creativity is at its highest when all is included in society. It was Albert Einstein a Jew who crossed over from Germany and brought with him the “Theory of Relativity”, which change the direction of World War II and the world beyond the war. It was Bob Marley who espoused on the concept of “One Love” that ignited the world. Where would we be without them? I dare say, those are marvelous achievements by any stretch of the imagination. However, what would have happened, had those individuals been excluded and not given the platform to produce and be heard?
Based on observations, it is alarming how blacks and migrants are forced into pigeon holes of society. It is with horror that we see these individuals being forced into low paying, unsecure temporary jobs. The conditions of service are alarming and the environments of service are even worst. It is noted that from this sector we can find great numbers of educated individuals, placed in a vulnerable situation by society. There exist in society damaged bridges obstructing acclimatization, creativity and diversity that can only be repaired through targeted endeavors focused on development. It was Haile Selassie who warned the League of Nations in 1936, that “until the philosophy that holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited, then everywhere is war.”
I am arguing that until the philosophy which holds that one group is greater than the other is permanently discredited then poverty, indifference and lack of development shall always persist; especially in Roanoke. Roanoke must reach deep down into its bowels, to formulate policies and implement action plans that will influence and encourage with greater understanding, minorities and out casts participants into activities that will yield a larger pool of ideas. It is those ideas that will future proof your society and businesses to spur growth and development among organizations.
As with human nature, it is hard to influence an individual, when all you see representing you is very different from your reality; that you are unable to identify and associate yourself with it. Make the interactions and relationships more real, break the divide. Join all the splintered communities through the formulation of shared goals. You have lots of immigrants and under privileged individuals here, tap into their potential, minds and existence. See something different in them and garner those ideas that will resonate across Roanoke, Virginia, the United States and the World. Formulate plans to develop those ideas. But first you must start with consultations and understanding.