The work towards equality begins with the acknowledgement of every person’s equal value

During this year, many organizations must have been pondering on ways to highlight minorities but remaining in the background themselves. But it is important for organizations and communities to highlight diversity for the benefit of the individual and indeed the entire community.

Minorities have fought hard throughout history for their rights. People who have been less affected by discriminatory elements are welcome and have the right to take part in the debate. Social structures cannot be repaired by only those who are suffering and being discriminated against.

A safe discussion environment is one of the cornerstones of making things better. In a safe environment, anyone has the right to say that they don’t know or understand something. Often it is simply enough to have a genuine desire to create a better work or study community, organization or world. The ability to express your experiences creates a safe environment in which everyone has a chance of correcting their view, admit errors and address issues that should be resolved.

A safe discussion environment allows for questions and information sharing and also an opportunity to hear the viewpoints of those representing minorities. Listening and trying to understand human experiences is particularly important in the creation of a common, safe environment.

So it is clear that people should be encouraged to ask questions and to learn, instead of being quiet, making assumptions and criticizing. You can also take the initiative in increasing your own understanding of the position and history of minorities and why Pride is important. Consider, for example, whether you could watch a documentary on the history of ballroom dancing, or the effects of the drag culture on society. If a friend or some person close to you who belongs to some minority tells about their experiences, remember to pay attention to their own experiences and limits instead of considering them a databank on minority issues.

People feeling safer and more equal will never infringe upon the rights of anyone else. And people having equal opportunities can only be a positive thing. It’s an equally positive thing if people have equal opportunities to cope, be successful and to avoid exclusion, mental challenges and discrimination. By now everyone should understand that this is something we should tackle together.

Politics is closely linked to a debate on equality. If is healthy to question policies, decisions and social structures. But remember that you should never question humanity and other people’s experiences.

Have a good Pride week, everyone, and remember that next week will also be a week when we can and should promote equality in our community.

 

Teemu Virtanen

Board Member

Teemu Virtanen
Member of the board, social policy, municipal elections, strategy

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