Everyone Included training by Sara Salmani available for Aalto community
How can inclusion build safety and belonginess in communities? What is the difference between equality and equity? What are privileges and biases and how can we recognize them? Among others, these are topics that EDI (equity, diversity and inclusion) expert Sara Salmani tackled in her online training Everyone included – Advancing diversity and fostering inclusion 1.12.2021.
In diverse communities like Aalto University, it is necessary to contribute with daily action towards a welcoming environment that creates belonginess and wellbeing for all. Diversity is known to feed innovation, and in a safe environment we are more likely to take risks, bring up difficult conversations and learn from the conflicts through a dialogue. A key word to make this happen is inclusion – and not only as a state of mind but as an active practice.
Cishet, intersectional, poc… Many are confused when new words related to inclusion keep popping up and may be afraid to use a wrong or an outdated word. However, the idea of inclusive language is not to complicate issues just for the sake of it, but to describe the reality around us and identify issues to be able to fix inequalities. Words and images reflect power structures and uphold social norms and concepts, but language can also be used as a powerful tool to make everyone feel welcome, respected and included. It should be remembered that nobody expects perfection, but what people want to see is effort. When we make mistakes, what matters is how we handle the situation and move forward.
What can we as individuals do to contribute to a more inclusive community? We can train ourselves to recognize our biases and acknowledge our privileges. We can educate ourselves to understand better others’ perspectives by reading, discussing and participating trainings. We can actively aim to avoid words, phrases and tones that may stereotype a person based on their attributes like ethnicity, gender, sexuality or age. And finally, we can hold ourselves accountable and take action; if you make a mistake, acknowledge it and try to improve.
The training materials are available for the Aalto community until March, 2022 (updated, was December, 2021) at:
Read more about Sara Salmani here:
We aim to be a diverse and inclusive community where all students, faculty, staff and stakeholders feel a sense of belonging and can fulfill their professional, educational and social aspirations fully.