Diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) are terms that have come to the forefront of 2020.
Recently, I worked on a project with Hovland Consulting on diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in transportation, with a focus on the U.S. and Europe. We conducted interviews and research to advise funders and non-profits on best practices in DEIJ issues.
Three key lessons I took away from the project were the following:
1) The terms are not interchangeable. There can be confusion among the terms. It's important to remember that justice is the outcome, while diversity, equity, and inclusion are pathways to achieve justice. There is also confusion between diversity and inclusion; inclusion is an approach to ensure that those new to the table or not traditionally involved feel welcome and are accommodated in terms of their time and culture. In turn, diversity should not turn into tokenism.
2) Create metrics for BIPOC involvement. We did a lot of research into how to measure the success of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice measures. There are a myriad of ways to measure and track progress, and it's important to choose metrics that allow you to measure your project's success.
3) Equity should be focused on communities with less power. In determining whether BIPOC or low-income communities should be prioritized in transportation (or any policy realm), coalitions and organizations should carefully consider who has the least power and voice while balancing who would be most impacted by a prospective policy or program.