Like most of us who end up in the continuing education and training profession, I grew up loving school — the atmosphere, the information, the books! But as I grew older and began to take notice of what I didn’t see, I (and so many more like me) felt a disconnect. If school systems and elementary texts are the definition of how we grow, then why didn’t I see myself reflected in the materials?
At the end of last year, Nigerian medical student Chidiebere Ibe made waves when he published an illustration of a fetus in the womb. There was nothing remarkable to the sketch — no mutation, no new-age understanding, and no anatomical challenge — and yet this one image sparked a long-needed discussion in the medical community, predominantly around the caricature’s darker skin tone. For many, this was the first time that a non-white illustration had been used to annotate pregnancy in the greater medical community, and the adjustment was a much needed — and much welcome — addition to the growing body of literature and pictography.
As we as a species continue to deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, these conversations and many more like them have come to the surface. After all, if the corona virus can infect peoples of all races, backgrounds, and demographics, then is there something to be said for mankind’s universal nature? While the same could be true of the additional growing needs of the CE/T professional, we here at IACET believe that diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts represent the cornerstone of community growth.
As new Standards, Guidelines, Recommendations, and future programs continue to come to fruition, we hope that the greater IACET community will join our accrediting body in championing inclusive workforce development and educational programs, reflecting not just the world we see around us but the world we hope to manifest through high-quality trainings. After all, the representation of the modern workforce is a responsibility we share in our community, and while the journey may be long, the destination is one worth fighting for.
Bradley A. Davis is an intentional project manager and cross-functional collaborator, he has worked over the last decade in the non-profit association space, bringing innovation and intentional data and content strategy to shape organizations supporting Military History, Government Service, Education, and Cross-Enterprise Healthcare spaces. His leadership philosophy — emphasizing meeting SMEs, contractors, staff, clients, members, and prospective personas where they are, wherever they are — has ensured strong connections across his various work environments, promoting life-long value throughout constituent’s tenure with his various employers. In his down time, Bradley enjoys reading, cooking, and wine tasting in Northern Virginia alongside his partner, in addition to supporting a variety of non-profit organizations as a recurring volunteer.