Over the weekend, I was presented with information regarding a planned meeting of organization leaders and the Delta Foundation. I chose to write nothing until I had a chance to do some research, confirm any details, and dispel any assumptions/false information.

After numerous phone calls I only want to report at this time that a meeting has been organized which is intended to be the very start of a longer and more engaged process. I promise to publish more as facts and actual details are available. I am not a part of this meeting. I am only a blogger trying to do my part in the bigger scheme of things.

If you have been following my posts, I have articulated that there are two or more conflated issues. Here are a few easily articulated ones, but there may be more.

  • Delta bringing a headliner for the Pride in the Street event who is seen as controversial and especially offensive to trans and queer persons of color.
  • Feelings in the community that Delta isn’t acting in the community’s best interest in this and other ways.
  • Long held frustration at the Delta Foundation.

Resulting from the controversy this year was the growth of a grassroots event called Roots Pride Pittsburgh as well as ongoing, sometimes heated dialogues about representation, visibility, inclusion, voice, and purpose. In my opinion, this is all good, but at moments appears as groups or individuals talking at each other as opposed to with each other. This makes sense. There are significant feelings and emotions involved. But talking at or past each other won’t create beneficial change.

Diversity is hard work. We live within a larger culture that is often very non-diverse to the point that it seems many gravitate towards others like themselves. All groups must struggle to do the hard work to be diverse instead of simply stating that they believe in it. That hard work isn’t a one-shot deal. It is an ongoing continuous process and thoughtful practice.

In my opinion, after speaking with many persons, I believe a planned facilitated meeting is potentially very good first step and I will publish more about it when available. But it is just one step, and much more will be needed in time. Every journey has begin some way however. The decision to bring Iggy Azalea ended up causing a reaction and that reaction is the start of a journey that may create greater inclusion, greater diversity and real respect.



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