A Message from Our President: Think Inclusive | NAWBO

If January wasn’t the “Fresh Start” to 2021 you were expecting, that’s okay! The beauty of fresh starts is that we get to make them whenever we want, even if it’s a month after January. Any time is the right time, so find your “Fresh Start” and get started!

And here’s some more good news: it’s February, so we’re one step closer to Spring and warmer weather!

Our theme this month is “Think Inclusive.” 

With everything going on in the world, especially in terms of diversity and inclusion, we challenge you to evaluate how you think about diversity. If you are committed to bringing higher value to diversity in your business but not quite sure where to start, you are not alone! Many businesses are in the process of reevaluating their companies and inclusion initiatives to recalibrate the impact they’re making in certain communities.

When I think of being inclusive, it’s not about making things somehow equal; rather, it’s about gathering and relying on a diverse combination of people who are alike but also dissimilar, each with their own unique experiences, talents and viewpoints. It is a way for all of us to meet in the middle to share insights through conversation and not debate.  

I was blessed to spend my childhood in neighborhoods like Englewood and Little Village experiencing the richness of those communities. Diversity is a blessing, and I saw firsthand that we have more in common than we think. Today, as the owner of an interpreting and translations company, I am privileged to meet others from as far as Thailand and as close as the Caribbean. Spending time and learning about what weaves their beliefs, customs and foods allows me to grow as a person and business owner. I no longer take for granted the value of community and the richness of learning from each other, so I embrace every moment and take every opportunity to celebrate diversity.

As Maya Angelou once beautifully and aptly stated, “We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.” 

February is also Black History Month and it is a great opportunity to get out and volunteer in a community, share coffee and conversation with a colleague, or simply grab a book about black history to appreciate life’s rich tapestry. There is no better time than now to embrace the moment to learn, implement and execute on your company initiatives to make the change today!

Stronger together.

Elizabeth Colón

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