August 26, 2019 Feature

A Journey to Diversity: Reminiscences by Wynn A. Gunderson

Introduction by James M. Durant III

Diversity is the “what,” and inclusivity is the “how.” A civilization built on a phenomenal human enterprise is often highly successful when all members of the society are engaged at all levels of the endeavor. In essence, a successful society is derived from the full use of the entire society, drawing the very best human resources together at the appropriate time and at the appropriate place. The result is usually excellence. We often see this with, for example, Team USA in the Olympics, the U.S. Armed Services, and nonprofit entities such as the American Bar Association (ABA). Sadly, with regard to our Diversity and Inclusivity Journey, we are simply not “there” and will probably not reach “there” during our lifetime. But we are on the path, and it is our path that truly matters; moreover, this path defines our “what” and our “how.” It is fueled by hope, trust, and belief and is backed by the promises of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and although it is a wonderful trip marked by indelible milestones, much travel and learning await us, and we must engage in careful dialogue. In recent times we have indeed taken a few steps back on our incredible journey, some steps too large and too ineffable to mention, but so long as we continue toward a bright horizon, marked with equal opportunity in employment, justice, education, voting, immigration, etc., our journey will be enhanced, and our society will be made the better. “Diversity is not an imposition, it is an advantage; additionally, inclusion is not a problem, it is a solution” (Jamie Claudio, 2019, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science EEO/Diversity and Inclusion Manager).

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