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Lauren Gordon – Active Advocate for Diversity and Inclusion

Lauren Gordon, business systems analyst II – system improvement, has been with USAble Life for two years. As a member of the inaugural Inclusion Council, she feels that being part of the council means “using your voice to positively impact the company’s future.” Lauren takes inspiration to promote positive change from Ida B. Wells, a prominent African American civil rights advocate, journalist, and feminist. Lauren says, “Courage in others inspires me, and when I envision the Inclusion Council, I imagine a collaborative team of courageous members of our company working together to eliminate barriers that stifle individual and collective growth.”

Lauren said, “Growing up in Little Rock means the Little Rock Nine are often a central focus during Black History Month, and this influenced me to appreciate overcoming unpopular opinions in the present for the greater good. Through all the abuse these students experienced, they nonetheless courageously paved the way for diverse students to follow them more than 60 years later.”

And that inspirational courage is something she sees for her daughter. She hopes that all children can better learn about diversity and inclusion and understand the importance of being an advocate well before adulthood. Lauren believes, “Children should be instilled with knowledge and examples of diversity and inclusion at an early age. Differences should be celebrated and supported.”

Lauren would like to teach others, “Commonalities are closer than you might think. It’s through conversations that we realize we are actually all human beings, with similar feelings, similar reactions to events, despite our cultural and expressive differences.” Diversity and inclusion may mean different things to different people. For Lauren, “Diversity is a strategy, while inclusion involves executing that strategy in a meaningful way. Inclusion is a way of building on diversity and creating a feeling of belonging for everyone within an organization. When diversity and inclusion work together, they improve the overall experience.”