The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) recently made a very “woke” move by adding popular idioms such as “woke” and “post-truth” to its latest update this month.
Both words are all the rage in the political scope, describing one’s ability to be “aware” or “well informed” in a political or cultural sense, per the OED. While the words are certainly associated with socio-political movements such as Black Lives Matter, they’re even shaping pop culture with Beyonce and now even Katy Perry daring to create enlightened pop music. For meeting planners looking to follow in their footsteps, here are three diversity tips to create a more “woke” message at your next event.
Don’t Be Afraid to Talk Diversity
The first step in becoming woke is talking about diversity and social injustice. While there’s certainly a time and place to have these conversations, the first one can be during the initial planning of your meeting. Take a look at your attendee roster and make sure you’re being as inclusive as possible. If not, strategize on how to create a more diverse group of attendees. Once you have that, you can move onto the next point…
Hire Diverse Speakers
Having speakers from all career stages lead sessions at your meeting increases gender and ethnic diversity. Being flexible with content is another way to bring in more diverse speakers who can speak to, say, the history of astronomy in a way that applies to your medical conference. Just because a conference is focused on a certain topic doesn’t mean you can’t provide big-picture discussions that can resonate with your audience.
Have a Diverse Staff
Nothing can provide more comfort to minority attendees than having event staff members who are the embodiment of the woke message you’d like to convey. At the very least, providing staff with diversity training to educate them about LGBT and race issues in an effort to diffuse any possible problems at future events is a step in the woke direction.