Diversity in Web3

Let’s diversify the way we think about diversity.

Any system intended to revolutionize the way we distribute power and rewards is only as strong as it is diverse. As we look to decentralize traditionally oppressive structures in Web3, it becomes increasingly necessary for us to confront the discomfort, avoidance, and sometimes outright resistance we have towards working with others who are different from ourselves. Not just different in skin color, but different in thought process, in values and beliefs, in ability, in gender and sexual identity, in origin, and in life experience.

Diversity is about breaking free from conformity and allowing for the empowerment of difference. However, social discourse around diversity has narrowed and flattened into a box to be checked. The way we approach diversity should be needs-based, inclusive, intersectional, and diverse. If we concern ourselves too heavily with only one oppressed identity, then we are only reconstructing the hierarchy we are working so hard to dismantle.

If we aren’t intentional about our inclusion of diversity, the technological convergence that occurs through the broader adoption of blockchain will be designed to serve a small, homogeneous population reflective of those who created it. Embracing a multitude of perspectives is what strengthens on-chain initiatives to facilitate true revolutionary change.

Take a moment to explore our diverse perspectives on diversity and comment below on what diversity means to you.

RACHEL

I come from a colorful multi-racial family where everyone looks different from each other. My family has always honored different perspectives and has enjoyed the debate of those ideas. When I was a child I remember other children pointing out to me that I was different from my mother, that I was different from my brother. I was frequently asked if I was adopted or if my brother was my boyfriend. I never thought of myself as being different from my family until people, those who had a specific idea of what a family should look like, taught me separation. I believe diversity naturally happens when spaces are created where everyone feels welcome, accepted, valued, and safe physiologically. In this way, we can all just simply be who we are.

MORGAN

Diversity itself can be a tricky word, in that it can automatically produce a question of “diverse from what?”.

It can be commonly used to describe anything that falls “outside” of White Body Supremacy culture (cite Resmaa Menakem) and other forms of hegemonic culture, thus the term itself can create an action of othering and separation.

Inversely, diversity, in contexts like bio-diversity, can shift our mentality to an inclusive perspective of multiplicity, where the balanced and absolutely vital differences that co-support the eco-system thrive. by valuing the powerful and necessary uniqueness of wisdom and capacity inherently present in that multiplicity.

It’s worth our time and attention to be mindful of the power of the etymology of the word diversity. It’s worthwhile to take the time to examine the multiple ways the history of the use of the term diversity lands in different minds/hearts/communities, and what is the relational function and purpose of the term is. i.e. because of the shadow history of the word in the context of White Body Supremacy power structures, diversity alone might not functionally be a useful term, yet it can be incredibly generative and connective when integrated into an ecosystem of inclusion.

ALOYSIOUS

Perception is a power that can be abused and often goes unseen…

Diversity is something that occurs in nature simply when more than one living organism is introduced to an ecosystem. Diversity increases with the volume of organisms present and considerations ought to be made as each new organism enters the sphere. To me it’s about seeing what changes need to occur with the new addition and what accommodations should be made to ensure this person has access to autonomy and a felt sense of safety. Because diversity exists we must design for inclusion, a few thoughts on the matter:

ACCESSIBILITY // organizational charts help people navigate // processes give people direction // workflows demonstrate a process from start to finish // templates and guides allow for consistency and continuity, also sets expectations // front end web needs to be monitored for ADA compliance.

TRANSPARENCY // gated, private, secret, secure, token gated, hidden, competitive [physiological considerations in the social architecture]

CONTINUITY // mentorship creates continuity // redistribution of power // file storage [can the org discover and navigate through file sharing?] // Learnability / portability of information [shared wisdom]

Redistribution of “Power” — redistribute “power” as new people enter working groups — create processes for trust transferring // develop loose metrics for onboarding and timeframes (stay nimble with timelines) Reach for folx!

Redistribution of “Power” could look like: learn something new : teach 2 people
[consider : technology/social capital as power to redistributed]

JOVIAN

Diversity is a range of experience lenses perceiving the same phenomena. It’s a multiplicity of perspectives, complex, and varied. It is contradictory and precise. Diversity is the state of nature that is. We do not create it, nor should we destroy it. We are it. (Heavily influenced by Aloysious). We can neglect to express our individuality and then we deny our natural variedness. This is unsustainable over time because repression creates tension and limits learning and eventually it must be released or ended. Diversity is also within us (heavily influenced by Rachel) as we have various aspects and lenses that are available to us to see within ourselves and each other. We choose how to see the world through the expression of our various lenses at various times. Diversity is wealth/power/abundance. With diversity, you have resilience and resources.

LAYLA

We are all inherently diverse in our experiences and our identities; this is why some people struggle to understand why we need to be “more diverse.” ‘Designing for diversity’ is really about ‘designing for the inclusion of difference.’ Representation is power. Our systems must be designed to not only intentionally include those who bring diversity to the ecosystem, but to also provide culturally appropriate settings where those voices can thrive and lead. If we fail to create inclusive spaces in Web3, we will continue to uphold structures that are inherently oppressive, discriminatory, and harmful, not just for a few, but for all.

Written by Layla Said, Jovian Browne, Morgan Vanderpool, Aloysious X, Rachel Holmes, and Maria Dominguez

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