On May 25, we watched with shock and disbelief the video of the killing of George Floyd at the hands of the police. It was a video that impacted – and continues to impact – the global community, because as humans we abhor the killing of one of our fellows by the very institution that, as a democratic society, has the monopoly of force to protect all citizens regardless of color.
By Celia de Anca, Director of the Centre for Diversity in Global Management at IE University.
Unfortunately, the case of George Floyd is not an isolated one, but more the result of the deep-rooted racism and injustice that exist in society – in all societies. We must ask ourselves whether racism is an American problem or whether there are varied forms of discrimination all around us. For example, as COVID-19 broke around the world, there were scenes of racism against Chinese people – in general, as a whole entity – in many of our cities. Another example, we all have Muslim friends, individuals who have had to struggle daily to be perceived as good citizens rather than stereotyped as potential terrorists, just for wearing a veil or simply declaring that they adhere to the Muslim faith. Sadly, these are only some of the examples of discrimination persistent in our communities.
This unfortunate recent event should help us to awaken and revisit how our societies deal with discriminated groups. We must take this opportunity to take action and fight both individually and collectively, not only to get rid of discriminatory practices and institutions but also to truly provide equal opportunities to all members of society, regardless of our differences.
Diversity is in IE University’s DNA, and as an academic community we all must work to preserve this diversity and eliminate all forms of discrimination.
Humanism is at the heart of our values, and it is only if we embrace diversity and create an inclusive place to learn and grow that we will be able to thrive, to survive. Diversity, in terms of gender, culture, skills, experiences, and cognition, is what makes IE University strong and unique, by incorporating different kinds of talent into our everyday activities.
Diversity leads us to innovation and to create new structures in this constantly evolving world. However, managing diversity is no simple task. Great intellectuals including Leo Tolstoy and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin have suggested that everything that unites leads to creation, and everything that divides leads to dispute and chaos. It is from this dialectic that we must understand the value of diversity as a double-edged sword, and understand the world that awaits us.
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