“While misunderstanding and strife dominate our world and its politics, there is an urgent need for understanding and connection.”
The Earth is vast. But we have opportunities to connect with any other member of our human family. Indeed, it is said that there are only six degrees of separation between any two individuals on the planet – from a newborn child in the most remote tribe of the Amazon to Barack Obama.
But while we may be linked, are we really connected?
While misunderstanding and strife dominate our world and its politics, there is an urgent need for understanding and connection. The world is separate enough. In the aftermath of Brexit, the birth of ‘Trumpism’, and the rise of populism around the world, now is the time to draw together – but how? That is the focus of DIVERSIFY: Six Degrees of Integration.
Diversify explores the value we place on social packaging, and asks whether it is truly possible to live without prejudice. Stories, analysis and case studies interweave with six simple steps that can help us better understand each other – while I consider how we form impressions, and how stereotypes impact our social interactions both overtly and covertly.
The continued existence of division has to be tackled at an individual level, with all of us taking responsibility for our own beliefs and attitudes. By introducing the ‘ism Calculator’, formulated by Oxford University Sociologist Dr Anthony Heath, I’ll invite the reader to calculate their own levels of discriminative views. Meanwhile, with the ‘Six Degrees’ principle, I’ll offer clear, practical steps on how we can challenge limiting beliefs.
Diversify: Six Degrees of Integration is not just a book, but a set of proactive steps, which will be supported by a social network/online community and offline meet-up groups, to help everybody make a positive change. There will be no ‘holier-than-thou’ or guilt tripping; just clear tools to help us tear down our manmade walls of separation.
There is something greater than ourselves that can unite us: the world we share, and our common humanity. The need for understanding, connection and solidarity as one human family is more urgent than ever. The greatest challenges of our time demand our co-operation.
It’s time to DIVERSIFY. Because the world is separate enough.
June Sarpong MBE (born 31 May 1977) is one of the most recognisable British television presenters and broadcasters. She’s also the co-founder of the WIE Network (Women:Inspiration and Enterprise).
19th October 2017