Dance with Nasiya {Bad Behavior}

Diversity is being invited to the party and Inclusion is being asked to dance. 

Our in-house Diversity and Inclusion expert, Nasiya Acklen shares with us ways to build inclusive homes and communities.

Note: This post is not directly targeting any political affiliationPlease bear with me

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I decided to take a quick break from writing, and I scrolled on social media to read that President Trump allegedly made a comment referencing Haiti and several countries with people of color using explicit and offensive language. As a matter of fact, by the time this is posted these comments will be a distant memory left in the dust of the country's latest shenanigans. 

- Pause the anecdote here for a second. -

Imagine one night that you are standing in the kitchen, an earshot away from your dining room table, where your two children are having yet another loud verbal spat in which your older son has just said something extremely abrasive and hurtful to his younger sister. They are at 'THAT' age: You know, the years where the younger sibling is no longer viewed as a 'cute little tag along'; things shifted, and now everything they do or say is annoying. You watch crocodile tears welling up in your daughter’s eyes as she stands dumbfounded and struggling to conjure up her response.  In that moment, what would you do? If we took a poll right now, I would venture to guess a vast majority would respond by saying that they would intervene in some form or fashion to let your son know that his comments were unacceptable. But would you have stopped to think what is it that made YOU take that course of action? Would it be because you felt the need to protect your daughter and you want her to know that you care about her? Or is it that you wanted your son to know that his behavior will not be tolerated? Perhaps you reconcile the two, in hopes that it will not occur again in the future?


- Hold that thought; let’s return to our beginning story. -

In our most recent years, there has been a national outcry across the country asking non-minorities to publicly condemn the comments or behaviors of politicians, celebrities, and police authorities that exhibit racial over- or undertones. To put this conversation in context, we're implicitly referring to people that are clear about their actions being intolerable or offensive. At times this has spun into a contentious debate, leaving one side of the population asking why it is important to go as far as speaking out on private matters…publicly. I would posit that it is for those exact same reasons listed above in the example between your son and daughter. The offended party (your 'daughter' or in this case minorities) are looking at your actions (publicly condemning the other sibling or offender) as an illustration for how you feel about them (i.e. I want to protect you. I want you to know that I care about you. I want the offender to know that the behavior will not be tolerated). Just like the scenario with your children, addressing it won’t take the words or action back to lessen the pain; but it is necessary to immediately calm the conflict and influence positive change in the future. 

We have to start by thinking of the example that we set for our children. The old cliché about how children are like little porous sponges, soaking up the actions of parents and adults they encounter, is tried and true. Implementing this early and often would expose them to the importance of standing up for what you believe in. Your children (or your world leader) would see that not only do you not tolerate inappropriate behavior from them in the home, but you also do not support bad behavior in your community or your country. 

Continue dancing with love,  

~ Nasiya 

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” –Maya Angelou

#BlackBoyJoy Discussion Starters: 

  • Have you had any open discussions with your children about community or country events happening? What caused you to remain silent in the past?

  • How have you brought in the perspective of others outside of your household?

  • What type of advocate do you want your child(ren) to be?

If there are particular diversity and/or inclusion topics of interest that you would like to see a blog posting, please let us know.     

Nasiya Acklen is a native of Nashville, TN. She matriculated at Hampton University for her undergraduate degree and received her MBA from Cornell University. Nasiya is currently a Human Resources professional at a Fortune 500 company and has a burning passion for being a change agent, particularly in the realm of Diversity & Inclusion. Nasiya has adopted Maya Angelou's quote as a personal mantra: My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. 

Charlitta Hatch