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Principles for inclusive programming

A group of people work together around piece of paper. They are outdoor. Colorful graffitis and trees are visible on the background.

The eagle, before diving, assesses where the fish are swimming, the current and direction of the water, and the strength and direction of the wind. Similarly, we need to assess and establish certain benchmarks to inform inclusive programming.

Much like ethics, which we discussed last week, benchmarks provide a rough guide for the ‘how to’ of planning and, in particular, decision making. Changing a culture for greater inclusion requires both consistency and innovation. Do those seem like contradictory notions? In carefully holding the tension between these, benchmarks can serve as an excellent guide.

Before diving in, benchmarks are understood here to mean the aspirations for a system of belief or behaviour which engenders inclusion. They serve as a guide to what would be right or wrong, within the context of a larger objective or vision for inclusion and diversity. Each element of a program, be it a singular or multiple activities, resources to be allocated, the venue where it will take place, the people who will facilitate and be invited to participate, the languages to be used, and so on, all contribute to creating a sense of belonging and inclusion. And they therefore require careful thought and planning.

In the following steps, we will explore the different kinds of pathways to inclusive design and programming.

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