Copyright © 2019 Respond to Racism in LO

Latest LO Review Column Sheds Light on Tokenism

July 1, 2019

 

Since Lake Oswego, in most respects, is operating from a major deficit when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion, there is a tendency for us to celebrate every instance of progress as if we just won the championship. For example, when a talented, ambitious person of color assumes a position of influence in LO, there is no shortage of people patting themselves on the back. However, if we're not taking the next step to explore how we can better support these individuals and more specifically, create an environment where they are not alone, then we are just feeding into the concept of tokenism, which is the symbolic display of elevating one or a few underrepresented people to make it appear as if an institution is effectively addressing its systemic equity issues. In the latest column as part of our partnership with the Lake Oswego Review, I dive deeper into this issue of tokenism and how LO can address it using the readily available models all around us.

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