When thinking about issues around diversity, equity, and inclusion, one area I am very mindful of is who I am following (whose voices do I hear first?) and who I am learning from (who do I trust? What information am I processing, and where does it originate?). Social media is a channel for learning and sharing that I return to time and time again.
While I am active on several different platforms, I find that Twitter has been a wonderful space in which to connect with others and further my own learning journey on a daily basis. I want to make sure that I don’t surround myself only with others who share my same viewpoint or life experiences, and Twitter has helped me diversify my network in a very real and impactful way. Unlike reading a book, watching a documentary, or listening to a podcast (all of which are additional ways in which I consume and absorb information), Twitter has the added bonus of being interactive and functioning like an ongoing conversation. This means that you can see, participate in, and learn from real-time discussions around race, ability, equity, and other topics that we are finding so prevalent in today’s culture.
Back in 2017, I shared a few diversity and inclusion experts to follow on Twitter. Since then, we’ve grown by leaps and bounds both as an organization and as individuals. First, we’ve expanded our understanding of this field as well as the language we use. We are currently using ‘diversity, equity, and inclusion’ as the framing language to describe the work we are engaged with (this language is constantly shifting, and will very well continue to evolve as we do). Second, we recognize that people can bring immense knowledge and experience to this broader conversation from a variety of backgrounds, industries, and perspectives– and so you’ll see that the list below includes quite a few people who are doing work in fields not necessarily ‘directly related’ to DEI work– the reality is that this work is so intrinsically bound up in our society overall, no matter where you work or what your job function is. I’ve personally found it incredibly enriching to hear about challenges and opportunities from people who have varied educational backgrounds from me, who work in completely different fields, and who have a wide range of takes on what is currently happening in the world around us.
Go ahead and take a look through this list as well as our original roundup– is there anyone you’re not already familiar with? Consider adding them to your network of voices to listen from. There are far too many people whom I learn from to pull together in one short list, so these voices represent a fraction of who I am listening to on a daily basis (stay tuned for part three, perhaps?). And, one final tip if you’re considering how to diversify your networks in the future: as you’re scrolling through Twitter, if you ‘like’ or ‘retweet’ a post that shows up in your feed, consider taking a few extra seconds to click through to the original poster’s profile and follow them. This has been the easiest and most rewarding way for me to really expand my circle.