Cultural Intelligence in design and the built environment

29 min read

Marsha Ramroop is a Former BBC journalist, RIBA's Director of Inclusion & Diversity, and now founder of a new company called Unheard Voice Consultancy Ltd.

I am one of the few independently certified practitioners and facilitators of Cultural Intelligence (CQ) in the UK; and one of the first 300 in the world. I have been working in Community Engagement for 15 years within the media. I have actively sought out our marginalised communities to work with them and been successful at opening wider the doors of my organisations. I have developed Inclusive training programmes and mentored people to help enter institutions they felt were closed off to them.

I have been driven to work in consultancy as the need for social change is so great, I feel I should share my understanding with a wider group, so we can all be more inclusive.

Unheard Voice Consultancy Ltd

Jeanette: Today's guest is Marsha Ramroop.

She's a former BBC journalist and Ribas director of Inclusion and diversity, and now the founder of a new company called Unheard Voice Consultancy Limited.

I will not go into much detail about this, but because I'm going to allow Marsha to introduce herself the way she'd like to be introduced, but today's call is about cultural intelligence in design and the built environment. So Marsha, take it away.

Marsha: Well, I'm just delighted to be with you. Thanks very much indeed for inviting me to join you.

Indeed, yes, I am currently the director of inclusion at the Royal Institute of British Architects RIBA and I'll probably start by telling you about why I applied for that role. In the UK, there's currently a lot of work going on at the houses of Parliament and several years ago when they were planning this work, I remember listening to a radio show, in which they were talking about what might happen to Parliament whilst his work was going on, and they talked about how, you know, the people who run Parliament, who support it might travel around the country and the duration of the years that this work was going to be taking out. That was one of the options and they talked about it going to a different city, like Birmingham and you know, maybe people sitting in a circle and all those kinds of things.

And I remember listening to this discussion and hearing someone actually scoff at the idea that people might move out of London and actually sit in a circle to have discussions and debates about the policies and politics of the UK. And I remember thinking, I'm sure this is part of the reason why our politics can be so divisive in the UK and this two-party system where they're literally facing off each other in this space where, you know, they have to make decisions about our lives.

And at the time I was a journalist working at the BBC, I wasn't really interested in architecture per se, and certainly have always worked in inclusivity and worked in inclusive way as a journalist. But I remember that thinking just imagine if British politics was centered around the idea of being in a circle and actually that more collaborative way of making decisions and thinking, actually I wonder if this isn't part of the problem and that thought really sort of lodged itself in the back of my mind.

So, when I decided to leave broadcasting as a career and really concentrate on a career in diversity and inclusion. I had been running my consultancy sort of on the side as it were around inclusivity, but this full-time role came up, I thought, this I've got to go for this because it's a real opportunity. I really felt that if I could influence the creation of inclusive spaces, I could influence the creation of an inclusive society and ultimately an inclusive world. So very big picture thinking about why I wanted to do that role and I knew that I had this idea, and I was skilled in cultural intelligence, and I could share that, and it was proven that if you had your high in cultural intelligence you will act in inclusive way. I felt if I could just really bring this idea into architecture and the built environment how powerful that would be.

So that was my thinking behind why I wanted the role at the RIBA, and I said, a little bit about being a broadcaster before and I have. I spent 30 years. I started my first time I broadcast I was 15 years old. I was working on a charity radio station and doing my own Sunday morning breakfast show and I just knew that's what I wanted to.

So, as I grew in my career was very much about how do I give the unheard voice a place to speak as a journalist? As someone who had a deal, you know, some amount of privilege to be able to use my education and my position in an organization like the BBC to help others and elevate their voice. And so that's how I developed my careers, working in inclusion is going out into communities and asking them what is their story, what do they want to say? How do they want to say? How could I skill them and give them those skills? So, in the end it was just about realizing that whilst radio was what I wanted to do inclusion was what I needed to do, and so that's why I stepped out that career to then concentrate more fully on inclusion and the unheard voice consultancy. Business was a way to do that, and then ultimately coming into architecture, so there's a little bit of a background. Of course, everyone favorite subject is themselves, and so I could keep going, but I think we probably want to talk about some other things as well.

Jeanette: What a fantastic journey uhm yeah amazing. I mean and it really drives in the point that architecture or the built environment in general has such an effect on us? The way that we think the way that that we behave with ourselves with our family and with other people. And yes, you're right. I mean seeing it from a macro point of view, really then it helps to assess the micro points of view a little bit better, but we've mentioned some really interesting terms and perhaps it would be opportune now to really define what EDI is equity, diversity and inclusion and you have some really interesting definitions of them. So, would you like to describe these three?

Marsha: Yes, of course.

Jeanette: And perhaps if we could tag along the end what CQ intelligence is?

Marsha: Yeah, of course.

So, EDI (equity, diversity, and inclusion). So, diversity is simply the mix of visible and invisible differences. So, the list is not exhaustive, so we talk in the UK, there is a bit of legislation called the Equality Act. 2010 and it lists nine what are called protected characteristics. So, it talks about race and religion, age, maternity, gender assignment and sex, disability, those kinds of things. And that is a really sort of useful starting point when thinking about well what is visible and invisible differences. Unfortunately, that legislation is somewhat limited because the way that people are discriminated against is not limited to that list of nine things and so the way people might be educated, the way that they were brought up, the language that they speak or not speak because you know they have a neurodivergent condition and so the list is endless, the way someone might choose to dress because they are feel comfortable within the goth community, for example, they're likely to be discriminated against.

And so, there are lots of reasons why people might be discriminated against, and so understanding diversity is simply about understanding that mix of visible and invisible difference.

And certainly, when we're thinking about diversity, what I find is what we're really talking about is discrimination and what we're really talking about is under-representation. So, who actually has a particular set of characteristics that hold power and authority, and privilege in our society? and who doesn't. And so really, when we're thinking about diversity, what we really, really need to be looking at is what do we really mean when we're talking about it. Do we actually mean, do we want to address under-representation?

Inclusion is the culture where people feel that their values, they're being their characteristics and their identifiers are valued and respected and accepted and at least acknowledged if you can't accept because we don't all have to agree, I always say you just have to understand and so if inclusion is that culture that you need to create, how do you create the culture? is sort of the next most obvious question.

Equity is about it's different from equality, and it's important to make the distinction because equality is about everybody getting the same, which is fine if you're all at the same start point, but we all know that as a result of those elements of our identities and characters that we're not all at the same start point. There are people who have more authority and privilege and sort of. Authority in our in our lives and so those of us who don't are at a different start point. So, equity is about making up for that of historic imbalance and for individual needs as based on the circumstances so that we can address discrimination and under-representation.

Cultural intelligence is the methodology in order to help create that culture of inclusion. So CQQ stands for quotient cause it's a measure as well as the skill. So cultural intelligence as the cultural Intelligence Quotient CQ and it's the capability to work and relate effectively with people who are different from you and the Cultural Intelligence Center have allowed me to adapt the definition to be that. Their official definition is the capability to work and relate effectively in culturally diverse situations. But what I find is when you use that definition that people automatically think of national differences, so they're more likely to think about Oh well, I'm British and you're Maltese, and therefore we might have some differences there, rather than necessarily thinking, well, I work with Riba and you work with Google and therefore we might need to think about culturally, how are you know work lives are different and we need to build a bridge there. So CQ the capability to work and relate effectively with those who are different and the research question behind this academically robust idea is what's the difference between those that succeed in today's multicultural globalized world and those that fail. The difference between success and failure when wanting to work and relate effectively with others and this question has now been asked of a quarter of a million people across 170 countries around the world and the answer keeps coming back that you need 4 capabilities in order to be effective at working and relating with others, and the first is CQ drive. You need to be motivated to work and relate effectively with others. CQ Knowledge is the 2nd capability, and that's what you know what you need to know about other people, lived experiences, values and work lives, leadership styles, languages. The third capability is CQ strategy. So that's thinking about what you're thinking about so that metacognition piece to really analyze and slow down and think about your knowledge piece so that you're not making assumptions. And then the 4th capability CQ Action and that's the behavioral piece. Ultimately people judge us on our behaviors and it's about having an adaptable set of behaviors so you can be effective at working relating with others.

So, the way I pull all of those four definitions together is I tend to say If diversity is the richness of the landscape and inclusion is the road through it to our destination of equitable outcomes, then CQ is the best, most robust vehicle to get us there.

Jeanette: Wow, wow, that's a lot to think about. Yeah lot to think about and it really drove me to think about when we talk about the word sustainability and when we talk about sustainable development and the goals that the UN has put together those 17 goals the built environment really touches upon most of them, if not all of them, directly or indirectly and it is amazing how, you know, sustainability is such more, a very Important word, much more than we usually use it. Like this greenwashing? Let's make it sustainable. So, this is one of the ways in which we can make our work sustainable. There is some skepticism with CQ, and sometimes it's called, oh, you know, this is just being PC politically correct. How would you tackle these sorts of conversations when people don't believe in the system? Don't believe that this really exists.

Marsha: So, uhm, if I can just take one step back and talk about sustainability just for a moment only because I think it's really important to talk about sustainability and inclusivity together because I talk about the value and the way that we perceive value in our lives and if we can somewhat ironically take the idea of a coin as the way that we perceive value because ultimately, the way that we tend to measure value in our world is in terms of pounds and pence and I say if we can perceive value in the way that we value each other as inclusivity and the other side of the coin is how we value our planet, and that sustainability ultimately, if we bring these two things together, we have a more useful way of perceiving value in our lives in our spaces as humanity who don't have to live on this on this globe. And when people question, well, you know what's the validity of us perceiving value in this way? And I have to ask the question, well, look at the damage that perceiving value in a different way has wrought upon us. The way that we've lost our humanity. When we have valued humans in terms of pounds and pence, look at where that has got us. When we have valued our forests that are the lungs of our globe in terms of pounds and pence, look what's happening to it. We can't even breathe the air that we have to in order to survive, and so what are the consequences of perceiving our world in a way that we currently do, which is through this lens of profit and output and growth for the sake of growth rather than for the benefit of our, you know, self-actualization.

And so, when I confronted with this idea of political correctness, I say, well, yes, it is, because if I'm not trying to manage our policies and our thought process around how to do this correctly, then I know that, you know, you're not because look at where it's getting us and that's just a set of words that's being used to contradict what are really useful and helpful ways forward for a society and, uh, political correctness is has been a term that's bandied around. It's like the term woke well, yes, I am woke, I'm awake, I'm alive to the ideas that we need to do things differently. I like to quote Einstein, he said that “we cannot solve problems with the same level of consciousness that created them in the first place”. And so political correctness and being woke is about a different level of consciousness. And if you want to accuse me of that, then accused me of it but I'm going to cling onto my different level of consciousness because I'm about solving the issues of our society, not about perpetuating the current crises that we are heading towards.

Jeanette: Yes, the notion that we need to understand the societal conditions in its entirety and then complement the planetary conditions so that we can get a better future for ourselves and for our families, it's, yes, very important and CQ is the tool with which we will be able to do this. So, bringing this back into our profession and in design and in the built environment there are many ways in which we can apply CQ.

We can apply CQ in our companies, in our practices and how we behave with our employees and with our employers, how we behave with each other within the practice but there's also another side of how designers are going to be engaging with their own and with the communities if they're going to be designing for cities or larger projects and let's take the latter example designers get briefed about the project at target audience, and they're told that this group is millennial, they're able bodied and this and that and the other, and they're from whatever background. So, we're assuming that this knowledge is going to automatically translate into performance and success. This ties in with CQ Drive I believe, but what really is at the heart of this interaction?

Marsha: Right, gosh is so much there and I think I probably, I hope you don't mind again, I might just take you back a little bit to the behavioral, uh, a framework that is CQ and sort of delve into that a little bit more, and how it applies across the whole process, really, around design, whether it's, you know, design and wayfinding as you describe it, or whether it's the actual physical spaces and the buildings and so on.

So, CQ the four capabilities drive, knowledge, strategy and action, so drive is your new motivation. Do you actually want to work and relate effectively with others? And this very much is the cornerstone of any kind of inclusive change. Do you actually want to? And if you don't want to, how do you motivate yourself and CQ drive really helps you pinpoint your intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. But really, really importantly, when it comes to talking about inclusivity and diversity, is the idea of self-efficacy and confidence. When working and relating effectively with others, and this is the area that needs the most work. Because when it comes to talk about inclusivity and talking about diversity and being all encompassing and embracing of all different kinds of different. This is where we, as individuals as humans, can become unstuck because our biases really are around feeling comfortable with the people who are like us that we can relate to in some way. And when we feel that difference, that's when we get anxious, and we don't really want to go into that space. And so self-efficacy having confidence is about recognizing the defensiveness that can occur within us when faced with difference. Recognizing that discomfort and you might hear a lot of people saying you need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, well, I don't tend to say that I don't think that is always very helpful. What I think is more helpful is to say we need to lean into our discomfort and recognize it and acknowledge and really be with that. And when we lean into our discomfort and recognize it, we can also recognize that we have a choice and that choice is we can feel defensive and step back and walk away and then we'll be no better off than when we started or we can lean in and learn and grow from, you know, pushing through that discomfort. So really Q pass key part of CQ Drive is that managing and learning to recognize that discomfort, and so when it comes to progressing through, you know, working the built environment in inclusive way wanting to and being able to work through that discomfort really key part.

The second capability knowledge, what you need to know, talk about these different lived experiences you talked about, you know, disability and so on. That's just part of it, you know, the accessibility of people being having different abilities, and I think the really, really key thing about disability in particular is that it can happen to any one of us at any time, unlike any other characteristic that is either naturally occurring or is a choice. Say for example having children. Some people, that's a choice for them and you know your sexuality or your gender or your race naturally occurring so disability. However, it could be situational. So, for example, I might be holding a child and I could therefore only have use of 1 arm, or it could be temporary cause I've broken my arm and therefore only have use of 1 arm or either due to birth or amputation I've only got one arm and so therefore only have use of 1 arm and any of those things can happen to any of us at any time. And so, when we think about design, we really need to think very holistically about everyone and the fact that disability or the fact that we are our environment disables us as a result of situational, temporary or permanent circumstances. And so knowledge is very much about understanding that but it's also about understanding different values and norms. It's about understanding different belief systems. It's about understanding different language. Is so you yourselves are talked about, you know, being Maltese and Panamanian and you know just the same word meaning something different in different contexts and so sociolinguistics is about that but it's like the language of architecture versus the language of graphic design, you know, just those being very different as well. How you might lead? So, I always say knowledge you can never know everything about everyone and everything about everything, and so that's why it's so important to surround yourself with that diversity of lived experiences and listen to those voices very different from your own so that they can inform your design. They can inform the way that you are successfully bringing in a community. You have to use a space. You have to understand their way around it. They have to deal with the colors and the shapes that are around them. Listen to those voices rather than believing that you've got all the answers yourself.

But the strategy piece is very much about stopping to think about what you're thinking about. So, if you have, if you're motivated and you have some knowledge and you go straight into action without stopping to check your assumptions just because you've gone away and you've learned a bit about being one armed or that you've had it temporarily doesn't mean that you have the experience. Therefore, of that forever, and so, stopping to check your own assumptions to plan to be reflective to create procedural changes, to mitigate hidden bias. Very, very important.

And then CQ action. The final piece people judge us on behaviors and be willing to be adaptable and flexible. There's nothing wrong with compromise. Why is compromise such a dirty word? Actually, let's use it as an opportunity to understand that we all come from different perspectives and sometimes the best way forward is a mutually acceptable one, and so, when you're thinking about design, it's got to run that behavioral frameworks gotta run through who you're working with, how you're treating those people, how you're informing your design of products and services, and how you're engaging your external stakeholders, your clients, and the other people who are gonna be using this space and so it's a very holistic way of looking at inclusivity in design and the built environment. It's not just about OK, you know, I need to think about this particular characteristic when working and with this particular space, it's about the thinking and behaviors that go all the way all the way through that and it it's the consciousness of those decisions that makes a difference.

So, bringing that really thoughtful slow processing is really important because our brains are gonna keep going keep talking. Our brains are processing 11 million pieces of information at any given point. If we've got access to all five of our senses, 11 million pieces of information, but the conscious capacity to process 40. So, for any given moment, if your brain is processing 10,999,900 and 60 bits of information of which you're completely unaware you are shortcutting information, you're creating biases all the time. Now, biases are not universally bad, some are good. Some keep us safe; they give us, you know they allow us to blink and breathe and move without really thinking about it but some of them are unhelpful, and being able to slow down that process is really crucial in order to be effective and working and relating with each other because there are about more than 180 different biases that have been researched and one that I like to talk about is called the IKEA effect. And the IKEA effect is the disproportionate value that we place on things that we create ourselves. We place 63% more value on something we've created ourselves than its objective value and I find this particularly fascinating in the architecture and built environment and I wonder how that plays out.

And then another example I like to use is the Google effect. So, the first bit of research that's been done into the Google effect is that we're more likely to forget things that we think will be easily searchable online. Now, you know that's true, right? And if you think about it when was the last time you memorized a telephone number? So, the technological changes, environmental changes, political, ideological, sociological, you know, financial. All of these different things happening in our world they create biases and shortcuts in our brain, of which we're completely unaware until we slow down to actually think about it and slowing down to think about things is a really crucial part of that inclusivity piece because we've got to assume that we're biased, because indeed we are, and we don't know what shortcuts and assumptions we're making until we slow down to really check by inviting that diversity of opinion and feedback to inform our thought process.

That was a really long answer.

Jeanette: Oh my gosh, there's so much to digest.

Luis: A lot of goodies there.

Jeanette: So many goodies.

Luis: A lot of information.

Jeanette: And really what stuck with me was the fact that more so now I'm realizing that certain aspects of the profession of being human really cause this is not even talking about being an architect or an engineer or a designer or whatever. This is just being human. That we need to stop working in silos. We need to stop working in isolation in a vertical setup and really see the process in its entirety, in its horizontal fashion and really take time to digest the various parts separately. There are so many nice, juicy bits that you've discussed right now. This idea of unconscious bias that we are not aware that we are judging our situation judging people just because we have a snippet of information and we sort of invent the, you know between what we see and what we think and is kind of bridge the gap with some sort of. Imaginary thing that does not really exist and we are placing it onto another person. But I need to go back a little bit and ask if we are in this position of, let's say I'm aware that I am unconsciously biased. How can I read cues or how can a designer read cues? Or can the cues be read them correctly? Is there a way of checking whether I'm misinterpreting information, whether it is verbal or non-verbal?

Marsha: Yes, absolutely, and I think that's the key with the cultural intelligence behavioral piece is that you have a framework to be able to check those cues and ultimately it comes down to how you handle the mistake if you haven't done it correctly. The way that you check the cues is by asking, actually, UM, say this is what I understand is going on here, have I interpreted that correctly? Now, obviously you never mean to cause offence if you cause offence, then really importantly, it's how you handle the mistake by acknowledging it, listening to it, learning from it and reflecting and moving forward differently. Understanding that I didn't get that right, I need to do it differently next time, and you find that your mistakes will always be forgiven if you take that approach. It's the defensiveness and the not willing to take on the feedback, and it actually doesn't matter what your intention is. What matters is the impact and understanding that intention can be very different from impact is a crucial part of learning and understanding and growing and dealing with that defensiveness. So, managing cues is about asking about acute observation about really clear self-awareness. What is it that I'm bringing to this party? What do I need to know about myself? You know, I have a propensity for overconfidence. I know I have a propensity for, you know, incredible expressiveness which is actually both of which can be hugely off putting. So how do I check those things? And that isn't about me, code switching or covering. That's about me wanting to be effective at working and relating with you. If there is a different thing going on there where I feel I have to hide who I am in order to integrate myself that's a different set of, you know, ideological processes. But if I am tempering my behaviors so I can be more effective at working relating with you. That's OK, you know, that's about how we move on together as humans so that we can be effective at working relating together. So, you know you, you're absolutely right that you know whether it's the built environment, whether it's arts and culture, whether it's our politics, whether it's off our finances, and having this approach of being culturally intelligent is really quite, you know, key, but that's like bringing it back to the built environment it's so important, it's so important that our built spaces are inclusive because, like you say, that the environment in which we exist, the space in which we are influences how we think, how we behave, how we speak. Our language, you know, if we were, there's a reason why incarceration is the way that it is in these small, tiny, caged boxes. It's a punishment that space matters. And there's a reason why we feel like we can breathe when we're out on a beach because it's just open and there's space and there's air and you know that we can, we can see far, and we can see what's coming to us. You know all of those things matter. For while we feel peace was walking through, you know, forest and the funds cutting through the trees. You know there's there's a reason why our space makes us feel and think and experience life in a particular way, and so if we are not thinking inclusively about that, then we are not creating inclusive spaces and that's why again, it's so important to have that diversity of people working in the profession and we know that this profession is when I say the profession, mostly architecture but I, you know, I, I know it's the case for so many other professions they're closed off to a diversity of people because we don't make them accessible and the way we teach very old fashioned. The things that we say very fixed and so there is so much that needs to change but we start by changing ourselves. What is it about me that needs to change so that I can be more effective at working and relating with you? And I always say if you can change your own world then you can change the world and it needn't be such a big task to deal with.

Luis: Wow. I am curious.

Jeanette: I hope our audience is taking note.

Luis: A lot of notes.

Luis: You mentioned something a few words that I just got from what you said, be a listener thinking, asking, mutual acceptance, observation, change.

Referring to David Livermore's publications, where he talks about cultural values, because values are important, and some cultures being more individualistic versus others that are more community based. How do you think engagement with within community for city projects could work if the population is largely individualistic?

Marsha: So, this is really important to understand that individualism and collectivism is one of the keyways that we see our world. But neither preference is right or wrong. They're just different. And so, if we perceive ourselves to be more collectivist, the question is how do we understand individualism? So, we can be effective at working and relating with it. And there are times when we as collectivists might look at someone who's an individualist and say that they're a lone wolf. But actually, sometimes you need that, Uhm, break away from the group think in order to really appreciate a diversity of opinion going into a project and so the individual needs on occasion might be something that needs to be understood and respect it. Individualists are not necessarily all about themselves, they just perceive the world through, you know, their own their own ways of being and it's about how do I move forward to make the best? It doesn't mean that they're not interested in society doesn't mean that they don't believe in doing everything for the collective good. It just means that that's the way that they view the world and so let's take Covid for example how do you succeed in keeping people safe if you're an individualist versus the collectivist? Now, some people might say Southeast Asian countries that are more collectivist in their thinking have been more successful and managing COVID than, say, an individualist society you might perceive the US to be more individualist. So, in Southeast Asian countries they've created mandates around how everyone must behave and everyone you know needs to wear masks, you do what you need to do, and that hasn't always sat so well with some of the more individualist societies, but if there was an understanding of cultural intelligence and the fact that people just have different preferences. The way to have managed Covid effectively in individualist society was to understand what are the motivations of an individualist and use those motivations to encourage them to act in a way that was for the common good and greater good. But that isn't really what happened. What really happened was that the collectivist thinking was imposed on individualists and of course, they railed against it. Talked about fake news and everything else, and so it's a lack of understanding when it comes to, you know, different preferences and ways of seeing the world and adapting those that are the behaviors so we can be effective rather than one size fits all. That's never going to work.

Jeanette: Yes. There are so many things that we could unpack with this conversation, but I'd like to go back to the definitions of EDI, we've defined them, yes, but do you think that the definitions are the same for every culture? Say if I were to take inclusion. Would I think about or is my definition of inclusion the same as your definition of inclusion or Luis's definition of inclusion? If I'm in India or Canada or Malta or the UK, will we have the same definition for these words? And if not, what do we do?

Marsha: So, I believe that the definitions are universal, it's how they're interpreted that's different.

Jeanette: May I clap after the reading? It seems as though I need to.

Marsha: I want to clap.

Jeanette: Marsha, that was yes, it just puts the book in a different from a different perspective that I had not appreciated when I first read the book. So, thank you for that.

If I may conclude with one last question. If I may conclude with one last question. Different countries in the world are at a different level of CQ Intelligence. Somehow embrace it more than others, some have applied it more than others. With your help, the UK has already been greasing the wheels, maybe you know there is more work to be done, but there are certainly other countries that have, you know, required the first boost. So, how do you think the profession can evolve and be the instrument that that drives this cultural change in terms of CQ?

Marsha: I think this is about role modeling. I don't think that we can expect everyone to come up to the same point as a you know forward thinking society, whatever a forward-thinking society looks like these days. I think the only place that we can really look at the moment is New Zealand as a place where you know there's real sort of difference in understanding and leadership in the world.

I yeah, I don't think you can expect everyone to come up to the same point because everyone has different histories. Colonialism has affected different parts of the world in very different ways. The way that that's embedded itself. A religion has embedded itself in very different ways around the world, and how that plays out in the way that difference is accepted, etc. Again, is very challenging and so we can only make the steps that we can in order to a role model for others and try to be a bastion of good practice and best practice. I think it's beholden upon those of us who do have a voice, you do have authority and they do have privilege, you do have education to try to forge a way forward to be at the vanguard of a change that others can follow. The situations that we have at discrimination under-representation in our society have been millennia in the making, and I would be, uhm, you know, unrealistic and naïve to suggest that within my lifetime you know, simply by trying to grease those wheels to move things forward we can make the significant shift forward globally that I wish we could see. But I have to do what I have to do whilst I'm here and doing it and we are at different places the world. We just have to accept that and do what we can do. We have to, you know, break it down into, you know, bite sized chunks for ourselves because the size of the task is huge, it's by taking personal responsibility that we can do that and so if I can end with anything, it would be to quote Martin Luther King. He said fly, if you can't fly, run. If you can't run, walk. If you can't walk, crawl. But by all means you must keep. Moving forward.

Jeanette: This was Marsha Ramroop and you are listening to The Human Agenda. Thank you so much for joining us in this episode.


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