The readings never fail to trigger retrospective on my experience at a nonprofit with a mission against sexual violence and working for healing for survivors. They remind me first that we have a long road ahead of us. But also that when we seek to serve others unselfishly, we set ourselves squarely in the path of oncoming gifts of unexpected value in unexpected ways.
Such became the case as I was recruited to be one of the first men on a board of directors that had been all female for almost thirty years. Given the choice between the board of a local emerging arts organization and an organization with a history of positive impact upon violence against women, the decision wasn’t difficult. My life’s experience and my heart led me to join WIAR, Women’s Initiative Against Rape.
I went in armed with no preconceived notions, so I thought, and an open-armed eagerness to gain far more knowledge about the venue than I knew I possessed. Though initially unaware of the feminist roots of the organization, and a bit surprised at the feminist majority on the Board of Directors, my relative ignorance about feminism shielded me from any trepidation over the journey on which I had embarked, or what was about to happen to me over the next few years.
It is with sincere gratitude and appreciation that I state with confidence, I learned more about “diversity” in the following five years than in all my varied work, studies and teaching in the twenty years prior. I consider that a gift of inestimable value, and a well-earned dividend for my brief service to the organization and its clients. This offering is a small slice of the experience at the outset of it, one of many that permanently altered my view of the world in which we live, and changed my perception of my role in it.
Copyright 2013 Robert D. Jones – All Rights Reserved
For booking InclusiveWorks® training, speeches, coaching, or just learning more about how the CultureNeutral® Framework can be applied in your organization or your career, please drop us a note via this website’s CONTACT US page.
To purchase a subscription to the InclusiveWorks® newsletter, visit this website’s CONTACT US page and make the request directly.
CONTACT US at InclusiveWorks® today to learn more.