Social Equity, Equality, and Inclusion
Echo the words of Karl Marx, the kind of society we live in determines our awareness; how we act and think. Karl Marx lived in a society where he observed the behaviour of those in power exploited men, women, and children who were not as privileged.
In Canada we live in a society that is committed to multiculturalism—diversity. Diversity is one of the stated perceived narratives conveyed by our government leaders when they travelled globally and talked with leaders of other countries. The talk of diversity, the richness of how people of all cultures coexist to build better fulfilling communities can appear controversial or even conflicting. At the same time, the prevalence of institutional, systematic racism, and discriminatory upheld practices that consistently pitted people of African and African descent, indigenous, new immigrant families and youths the concept of diversity is not their reality.
The account of equality conforms to the way we think the makeup of our world should be, but it is not. Specifically, when it comes to our school system and when accessing mental healthcare resources. Acknowledging the disparities and imbalances coexist in the schools and healthcare institutions are dreadful but should not appear to be a new discovery due to open account of racism and discriminations exist and reinforced itself in our lives for decades.
Families, youths, and caregivers will understand the importance of involvement in their children’s education, and wellbeing, and how to be openly communicative and supportive during times of crisis. No matter how uncomfortable it is, we need to know the relevant gaps that restrict and interrupt children’s school experience, and their social and informative years.
Overt racism and discrimination that our youth, immigrants and families, and minorities face are unsettling. Two candid examples are the ways in which our public-school system is set up to fail our children, and when reaching out for mental health support.
The onset of elementary school, many of our youths are vulnerable. Factors are, they are faced with inert discriminations, they are undervalued, they are keenly watched with high degree of concentrations, they became invisible inside of the classroom, when interacting with school administrations they are met with forced or passive aggressions, they are overly represented, and they are pegged as troublemakers when they exercise their voice. Black, Indigenous, and marginalized children are the first to be suspended, and or expelled numerous times before reaching high school.
Adults who struggle with mental health issues are not taken seriously when they reach out for mental health support. For those who are given minimal social and mental health support they are either over diagnosed, underdiagnosed, or given medications they do not need. In these types of situations, the person’s mental health becomes irrelevant and is hijacked for the purpose of recognition, quotient, and monetary gain, and as repercussions, the patients suffer serious mental and emotional health.
Often adults and youths are placed in facilities where the focus is on addiction and not their mental health. Yet, they are given medications for addictions that they do not have, which eventually makes them become dependent on drugs they should not have been prescribed.
The mattering of inclusion is a collective approach, for the sole purpose, we are stronger together than apart. Ubuntu West African Proverb “I am because we are” referred to communities where shared ideas, collaborations, and accountability are the active involvement of residents. A community is strongest by the foundation and resources of its members and having a diverse mix of people with same understandings of mattering, especially, when communicating on the well-being of all, are critical steps to our development. Thus, the way we think and act are aspects of our society, which enable us to listen.