The struggle for equality and freedom has driven immense change over recent decades. The anti-racism, LGBTI+ and Women’s Rights movements, amongst others, have created many landmark victories producing great advances in civil liberties.
Whilst as liberals, we must celebrate progress achieved, we must also ask… How can we continue the fight for individual freedom as an intrinsic and undisputed right?
Diversity! But from a different perspective!
To date, diversity has been articulated as a measure of differences between collectives, with individuals being grouped together by a singular, defined trait or belief. We are both the victims and perpetrators of this, imposing limits on our own identity and the identity of those around us.
However, we are complex and constantly evolving. To create a free society we must create the conditions for our own freedom first. The era of ‘personal diversity’ has arrived.
Personal diversity encompasses all the dimensions that make each person unique……. ethnicity, age, sexual identity or orientation, gender, nationality, but also style, emotional state, family structure, education, professional status, type of organization you work for; personality, religious and political beliefs, life experiences… that when mixed together, make you, well, you.
The key to diversity is that we are not understood by just one aspect of our identity, but by the sum of all our parts. As we cut away the labels and understand that all individuals are diverse in themselves, we can embrace a truly inclusive and free future. Wouldn’t that be something?