Inclusion and Equality
The continuous pursuit of ideals is an imperative
In recent years, concern for inclusion and equality has been a focal point for discussion often fueled by a tremendous amount of emotional energy. Rightfully so.
From a societal perspective and consistent with the founding principles and ideals of our country, we can agree that all people are equal and should be treated in a similar manner, no matter what their race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender and physical abilities may be.
What a wonderful world it would be if it were dominated by tolerance, acceptance and understanding.
Always, there are differences between the real and the ideal. Throughout recorded history, collectives ranging from tribes to alliances of nations have engaged in conflict. Wars are being waged today.
Daily, we see scenes from the war in Ukraine in what has become a prolonged battle. Millions of people have been wounded, killed or displaced. Cities lie in ruins. Refugees flee to destinations unknown. We sympathize with the war’s victims, and wonder, “Isn’t the human race better than this?”
It is easy to become discouraged by or even numbed by the news. Still, we must avoid thinking that war is unavoidable, and we must continuously embrace peace as a goal.
Within our own country, deep divisions exist. People have a tendency to gather information only from sources with whom they are philosophically and politically aligned, and differences harden. Cooperation, even conversation, becomes difficult.
Absolutely, it is not easy for someone to turn to another and say, “I find some of your actions and opinions to be hurtful. Can we talk?”
The audience for our magazines at Rowland Publishing is diverse, and we make a conscious effort to write stories about people with diverse backgrounds and frames of reference. That is, we are intentionally inclusive. But in being so, it is important that we always consider how any story we publish may affect readers with beliefs and points of view that may depart from those of the subject of a story.
Within the past few months, Rowland Publishing made an error in judgment in allowing a story to run without incorporating an opposing outlook. We should have done better. Because we did not, we appeared to be endorsing one opinion to the exclusion of others.
When I heard from people who were disturbed by the story, I extended them a heartfelt apology and immediately removed the story from our websites.
As an employer, Rowland Publishing strives in every aspect to be inclusive and treat every member of our team in an equal manner. That is the law, and it is the right thing to do. It is also the smart thing to do. Workplaces are enriched by diversity.
As a publisher, I deliver magazines to more people than I will ever know. But one day, you may be inclined to reach out to me and ask, “Can we talk?” When you do, please know that my answer will be yes.