Unfortunately, inclusivity is one of those words that for some has become a tool for claiming action, but avoiding the real work of justice.

Language is a tool for maintaining racism and oppression and white supremacy. The language that permeates all of our systems shapes the outcomes we see in our communities. Unfortunately inclusivity is one of those words that for some has become a tool for claiming action, but avoiding the real work of justice. To me, inclusivity involves building true relationships. It’s not just about including someone at the table, but involves taking the time to really know who has been invited and being willing to share power, share the space, and genuinely feel equal. An environment may have different colors, different ages, different shapes and sizes, yet it becomes inclusive when we unlayer ourselves in front of each other and arrive at a place where we deeply feel that, “I do belong.” Inclusivity is when you walk into a room and feel the energy and love that clearly communicates, “This is where I have to be.”

About the speaker

Marta is a Latina woman who has lived, worked, and invested in the Asheville community for the last 30 years. Marta raised her multiracial children in Asheville, experiencing Asheville City Schools (even though they live in the North Buncombe District) because it is important to her family to be inclusive and in a multiracial environment.

Through Marta’s many formal and informal roles, she contributes to the work of racial justice and wellbeing in our community. Marta is currently Asheville City School district’s Parent/Family and Community Engagement Leader, she is on the leadership team for Racial Equity Collaborative Asheville, contributes to a number of boards, and has been a member of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Collaborative and leads the Collaboratives Speakers’ Bureau in sharing the message of adversity and resilience.

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