Publisher’s Note: Winter 2021/2022
Why hasn’t someone created a standard moniker for referring to D&I, DEIJ, DEIB, DEI, DEIJB, Diversity & Inclusion? Is the ‘E’ for Equity or Equality now? Inclusivity, Diversity and Belonging? I am taking a stand, I have work to do and rearranging the diversity word salad is overrated. For the work I love so much, I’ve settled on JEDI and luckily my team agrees. Besides, Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion doesn’t roll so easily off the tongue, but ahhh JEDI does. And, just like that, ‘JEDI Masters’, ‘JEDI Practitioners’ and ‘JEDI Principles’ seem to be popping up everywhere.
According to Star Wars Fandom, a Jedi was a devotee to the ways of the Jedi Order, an ancient order of protectors united by their ability to harness the power of the Force – full stop… I like the way this sounds. I am all about harnessing power and flowing with the mysterious energy field created by life that binds our Diversity galaxy together. I call it like I see it. When you intend to make a difference, commit to what must be done and commence to keep things moving forward, you are a #JEDI #badass in my book. And that brings me to two wonderful things that are on the horizon for 2022. First, we will be taking our special brand of JEDI badassness to several live stream platforms and we are expanding the number and variety of voices we amplify.
Strengthening the JEDI ecosystem by further diversifying the voices and the sources of our contributors, sponsors, partners and colleagues constitutes a pivot and a new growth trajectory for the BEQ team. In the spirit of true JEDI badassness, we are starting off 2022 with Dr. Ellonda L. Williams of B Lab, whose title is literally Director of JEDI. She is widely recognized as a #JEDIBadAss who shares the JEDI way in an organization built around the idea of business as a force for good in the world.
We have a number of amazing people and ideas in this issue, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t say I am extremely proud of my daughter, Marie Dillard, who is the first BEQ Gen Z contributor. She is a #JEDIBadAss in her one right. She’s reporting on her recent conversation with a Millennial, quasi-celebrity politician from Delaware where Marie is a part-time resident and a full-time high school student. We will also be releasing video excerpts from Marie’s interview with Sarah McBride, a state senator representing Delaware’s first district, over the coming weeks.
Finally, the Winter issue is my absolute fav because of the annual BEQ Pride LGBTQ Leaders Under 40. We are once again privileged to get to know our fifth cohort of young LGBTQ+/SGL leaders. Stay tuned for a social media campaign, additional interviews and you can thank me later for having led the compilation of a list of amazing leaders and influencers like no other. They are collectively a massive force for good in our world. I am grateful for each one and thankful for the BEQ team.
Until next time, enjoy and Happy New Year.