Word Game

Organizations are getting on the band wagon implementing DEI concepts in policy work with folks who have no shared vision of what that means. Trying to launch something they personally have not connected to as a way of practice. I bet if you ask every employee of an organization the same question,” what is racial equity?”, no one would have the same response. Folks are splitting hairs over wording; social justice, racial justice, economic justice, environmental justice and racial equity. So many subdivisions that distract from the issue: there is no justice.

You can argue the point if you like. There is no shared understanding of what or how to embody justice. If your heart ain’t in it, its only lip service.

Organizations are pushing DEI trainings with the expectation that staff is responsible for implementing DEI principles. Boots on the ground staff are struggling being asked to operate inside DEI principles, without leadership following suit. Staff is expected to be okay with being mistreated in-house and staying quiet about it because of their organizations image in the community.

It is very frustrating to be inside an organization that has no intention of living DEI principles. Funds are flowing and white-led organizations are taking advantage of the windfall. Not just them alone, to be fair, many folk are cashing in. No one is going to check to see how effective your trainings are. All funders what to know is the story you tell them and how many bodies were present. It’s essentially free money to redirect once the DEI directory quits. Believe me they will quit.

If the CEO of your organization is delegating the DEI work to a particular department and that department is the sole arbiter of all things social/racial justice, that’s a red flag. There is no possible way a newly created department or an existing one failing miserably, is going to transform the culture of an organization single-handedly. That is the expectation; no commitment, so it will fail. But at least we tried. Did you really try. Seriously?

Good leadership commits' to a goal, are intentional about recruiting the best players to support that goal. Without support or buy in from leadership, it won’t take long for the DEI director or coordinator to burn out.

Why, because leadership is not invested in equity. Don’t be fooled by the hype.

If your organization were serious, you cannot side step intentionally recruiting, which means you bring folks on board who are committed and have proven their commitment to DEI work. Be bold and innovative with training staff. Fear keeps us locked into the same tired workshops and nothing different ever happens. We get fired up for a hot minute and when things cool down, we are back to status quo.

There is no collective movement for justice. No universal understanding of justice that is not tainted with personal biases, prejudices and deep hatred and fears that divide and separate. Some folks are comfortable with the amount of justice they have. They are able to prosper and manage their lives and live to a ripe old age. So many of us can’t plan that far ahead. Not because we don’t want to, we are too busy trying to survive today. So of course we are not all going to be on the same page. We are not even reading from the same book.

Let’s think for a second outside of organizational culture, because what is an organization but a collective of “diverse” people who bring their culture and beliefs with them to work? Just like neighborhoods, towns, cities and states are a collection of people. A collection of folks with different understandings and beliefs about justice.

The way we discuss social justice , is inherently about separateness. It is separate from the constitution of justice when we have to create movements, and workshops to speak to the inhumane treatment of other humans. We talk about it like it is separate from the justice afforded humanity. Oh I get it, we are still talking about social justice this way because of the historical concept of Black bodies not being human. We are still in that same conversation because we have not addressed how other races see Black bodies. We wont have this conversation with honesty and that is where we need to go to the core of our beliefs.

Black people are human.

It’s not a question. Some folks are still questioning and rationalizing their deep seeded beliefs about Black bodies.

Ohh….There is no intention of being treated humanely from someone who doesn’t see humanity outside of their reflection. That makes sense. I don’t have to keep beating that dead horse asking myself “Why are we still having the same conversations?”

When we are inside our humanity, living, breathing and caring about humans, it’s just JUSTICE!!

Not racial, not economic, not environmental or political just Justice.

We need to stop playing these word game people. Stop entertaining the BS.

So stop playing like we serious about D.E.I!!!

My mother used to say, don’t pee on my shoes and tell me its raining”.

Racism was always a mind game, coupled with unspeakable violence. In addition racism is also a word game. I’m tired of playing.



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Edna Sadberry

Edna Sadberry


Committed to addressing multi-generational trauma. I post about the foundation of trauma patterns that impact beliefs and behavior.