Last weekend, we were discussing what meals to have this week. Lori is at school in the evenings, so we need to coordinate and plan a bit more than usual at present. “Oh, we should have Mexican for Cinco de Mayo,” says she.
“Oh yeah. When is Cinco de Mayo?” I ask innocently.
She looks at me incredulously. Mouth agape. “I’m joking!” I reply, unconvincingly.
In our diversity and inclusion initiative at work, celebrating differences is an important mechanism to inform, include and welcome. We are all different, most of us have some lesser-known lived experience or cultural anchor point. If others know us in a fuller context, we have more to share, more opportunities to connect. It is a low-noise, high-signal driver of inclusion and belonging.
It is so easy for things slightly outside our purview to wash over us without impact. I sense something different, but I don’t turn my gaze to it in order to understand or unpack it. I don’t ask questions of discovery. I don’t know more.
As an immigrant to North America, I had never heard of Cinco de Mayo before. Secondarily, it seems some kind of Americanized pastiche of another’s culture. But what do I know. I didn’t care to know. I let it wash over me.
I may be a bit slow, but I am still learning. Studying inclusion and belonging work is making me appreciate the smaller things, just as we try to work on the bigger things. I spent the last 10 years working in social technology and networks, trying to show how communities can develop and support one another outside of the traditional power dynamics. It seems that I am now opening up a new way to approach the same topic, through people and their experience, directly.
This Much We Know.