June Sarpong introduces her powerful new guide to inclusivity, Diversify: Six Degrees of Integration.
The Earth is vast. But we have opportunities to connect with any other member of our human family. Indeed, it is said that there are only six degrees of separation between any two individuals on the planet – from a newborn child in the most remote tribe of the Amazon to Barack Obama.
But while we may be linked, are we really connected?
While misunderstanding and strife dominate our world and its politics, there is an urgent need for understanding and connection. The world is separate enough. In the aftermath of Brexit, the birth of ‘Trumpism’, and the rise of populism around the world, now is the time to draw together – but how? That is the focus of DIVERSIFY: Six Degrees of Integration.
Diversify explores the value we place on social packaging, and asks whether it is truly possible to live without prejudice.
Stories, analysis and case studies interweave with six simple steps that can help us better understand each other – while I consider how we form impressions, and how stereotypes impact our social interactions both overtly and covertly.
The continued existence of division has to be tackled at an individual level, with all of us taking responsibility for our own beliefs and attitudes. By introducing the ‘ism Calculator’, formulated by Oxford University Sociologist Dr Anthony Heath, I’ll invite the reader to calculate their own levels of discriminative views. Meanwhile, with the ‘Six Degrees’ principle, I’ll offer clear, practical steps on how we can challenge limiting beliefs.
Diversify: Six Degrees of Integration is not just a book, but a set of proactive steps, which will be supported by a social network/online community and offline meet-up groups, to help everybody make a positive change. There will be no ‘holier-than-thou’ or guilt tripping; just clear tools to help us tear down our manmade walls of separation.
There is something greater than ourselves that can unite us: the world we share, and our common humanity.
The need for understanding, connection and solidarity as one human family is more urgent than ever. The greatest challenges of our time demand our co-operation.
It’s time to DIVERSIFY. Because the world is separate enough.
In troubling times, it’s tempting to retreat to our comfort zones. To people just like us.
But what if actively seeking the unfamiliar was proven to be the key to a brighter future – both personally and for society
In this fierce, empowering call to arms, June Sarpong MBE puts the spotlight on groups who are often marginalised in our society, including women, those living with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community. Diversify uncovers how a new approach to how we work, learn and live can help us reach our maximum potential, lessen the pressure on the state, and solve some of the most stubborn challenges we face.
Drawing on new case studies – from shared parental leave, to flexible teaching methods, to communal living for pensioners and students – and with never-before published research from Oxford University, Diversify is an fierce and empowering guide to navigating a new way. And, alongside stellar research and inspiring stories are six simple and revolutionary exercises: the first steps on a journey to overcoming personal prejudice and reaping the huge rewards.
The old way isn’t working.
This is a case for change.
Diversify is out now.