If You Want To Improve Diversity, Stop Asking Me To “Meet You Where You Are”

October 8, 2019

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Imagine this: A friend calls you in the middle of the night and asks you to pick them up. Your first question is likely to be, “Where are you?” If your friend is in Istanbul—and you are in New York—your answer will probably be a no.

It seems like a strange request, right? Yet this is a request that marginalized people get all the time. There is an expectation that they have to “meet” the other person depending on their understanding of that person’s experiences. They’re asked to discuss their experiences or struggles, but the other person has no intention of supporting them or changing their behavior. In my personal experience, the invitee (because a coffee invite is almost always a precursor here) usually wants to reduce my experiences to sound bytes and quotes so they can appear “woke” at their party (where you can be confident that there won’t be a single black woman present.)

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