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All of Us: What We Mean When We Talk about Inclusion

This is the first half of a report produced by 6 Degrees and Royal Bank of Canada for 6 Degrees Citizen Space 2017. For the full report, click here (pdf).

Of the many echoes of the modern predicament to be found in Ancient Rome, one of the more intriguing surely lies in how the powerful empire ruled over its multinational, pluralistic citizenry. The Roman Empire—whose far-flung borders ran at various times from England south to the Sahara, from Spain to Syria—had no choice but to wrestle with the realities of governing a diverse group of subjects, the vast majority of whom didn’t speak Latin, and had never taken any of the proverbial roads leading to Rome. The roots of the empire’s answer to that challenge can be traced to its very founding myth—Romulus, the surviving twin, declaring Rome an “asylum,” calling all refugees, runaways, and outsiders of every stripe to his new city. The practice of recruiting soldiers of all ethnicities helped build Rome’s formidable armies,1 and as Mary Beard has written in her excellent book SPQR, slaves could win emancipation, and citizenship. Indeed, by the third century, whether out of wily pragmatism or a deeply felt sense of fairness (the Romans seemed to have both in spades) every free inhabitant of the Roman Empire, wherever he or she lived, was made a full citizen.2

The experience of coexisting with peoples different from us, then, is thousands of years old, with hints of its rewards and challenges and dilemmas and contradictions evident even in gladiatorial, slave-keeping Ancient Rome. We are not the first humans in history to think about how to live more harmoniously in pluralistic societies, though in the 21st century we are surely among a rare few to think about it in such a deliberate and active way. Governments like Canada’s and Australia’s grapple with questions around minority rights, while in the corporate world there is a robust infrastructure to pursue goals of diversity and inclusion. On a global scale the United Nations has pledged to “Leave no one behind” in the quest for universal human rights and economic opportunity, and the World Bank, an organization more commonly associated with market-friendly development programs, has set itself the task of identifying social exclusion’s root causes.

Yet in the broader culture, at least in the West, the idea of inclusion recurs these days more often as irritant. Not long after Beard published her critically lauded, best-selling history of Rome, she found herself embroiled in a bun fight over, indirectly, inclusion. Her suggestion that the Roman Empire was more racially diverse than we often realize—made in the course of an online debate that arose about a black character in a BBC cartoon about Ancient Rome—quickly became a flashpoint for tensions around diversity and representation. There were fierce criticisms (and then much worse) that Beard was presenting a sanitized, revisionist picture of the times to better suit modern sensitivities.

A well-respected historian at Cambridge University, Beard supplied facts to substantiate her claim, but, to her critics, this was just another case of an academic with a progressive, “politically correct” diversity agenda rewriting the historical record with feel-good fictions.

The ideals of diversity and inclusion

The ideals of diversity and inclusion as well as their realities still challenge us, inspire us, divide us, and elude us. Consider the controversy over the leaked memo submitted by a Google engineer, James Damore, to his employer, about diversity policies, female engineers, and the nature of women’s brains. The memo and its author’s subsequent firing quickly turned into a referendum on everything from Silicon Valley’s gender problem to the shrinking public space for dissenting opinions on the “diversity consensus,” with Damore variously playing wounded free-speech hero or anti-progress villain. Questions around inclusion have also coalesced into thorny legal challenges in the United States, most recently with a 2014 suit against Harvard University, filed by an advocacy group representing Asian-American students who claim they have been discriminated against by affirmative action policies.

In the political realm, rifts over diversity have deepened into serious fault lines: not only Brexit and the Donald Trump revolution, with its darkly anachronistic supporting cast of neo- Confederates and Nazis, but also the rise of anti-immigrant, nativist political parties and candidates throughout the Western world. Meanwhile, there have been conflagrations—in some cases literal ones—ignited by the social and economic alienation witnessed in Paris’s banlieues and the outskirts of other European cities.

We may be in a golden age of “diversity and inclusion,” but it would seem, as the London-based Indian writer Pankaj Mishra suggests in his recent book Age of Anger,3 that an astonishing number of people around the world now count themselves as left behind—glum millionaires and the most penurious of the 99 percent; citizens of Western liberal democracies and denizens of Mumbai’s slums; stateless migrants from war zones and working-class white Americans; disaffected young Muslim men and white male columnists for daily newspapers. How can so many feel so excluded? How did we arrive in this place, and where do we go now?

For globalizing, pluralistic societies—which is most Western countries today and a good many in the rest of the world—these are vital questions. They are all the more urgent in the shadow of a global migrant crisis that puts intense moral pressure on the world’s richer countries to open their doors wider. Already, according to the United Nations, between 2000 and 2015, the number of international immigrants went from 173 million to 244 million,4 and these migrants are ethnically and culturally more diverse than in earlier waves. The risks, and lost opportunities, of not integrating such large numbers of people hardly need to be spelled out. And there is an irrefutable humanistic, moral case for according all one’s citizens the same rights and freedoms and responsibilities, the same access to economic and social success.

How do we pursue ways to be more inclusive

Dramatic changes in the global landscape are intensifying rifts and inequities, but they also present an opportunity for change, for real transformation. The challenge is in accomplishing this in ways that are effective and fair—and that are seen to be effective and fair—for everyone, including dominant majority groups. How do we pursue ways to be more inclusive of our most vulnerable without alienating the rest? How do we maintain social cohesion within societies that are diversifying and changing so rapidly? What exactly do we mean by inclusion? We are in a critical moment for such questions as a rhetoric of inclusiveness speeds ahead of actual change, and the impatience for progress turns, increasingly, to frustration. The short history of inclusion is full of optimistic and determined efforts, some with mixed results. Recently these have attracted a new wave of critics who are philosophically committed to the goals of inclusion, and are holding institutions to account in a bid to better define and achieve them. For anyone interested in a better system, it’s illuminating to study those experiments—ideas in inclusion that have worked, and ones that haven’t.


To begin, it helps to attempt to define inclusion, that nebulous word that can contain a multitude of meanings and interpretations. For the lay person, the term invokes everything from debates about Sikhs carrying kirpans and hijab bans in European cities, to removing barriers to education or professional opportunity for people with disabilities, and the diversity and inclusion buzzwords that are currently in vogue in workplaces and sometimes with equal vigour kicked around on social media. It is fair to say that inclusion can encompass all of the above, but at its fundament it is the idea of giving all citizens the chance to participate equally in economic, social, political, and cultural life.

at its fundament it is the idea

Inclusion as a common good is an idea that few reasonable people would argue against—even if the exceptions to that majority are making themselves heard loudly and brutally these days. There is very little to be said against robust political, social, and economic participation for all, and for the extension of rights, freedoms, and responsibilities for as wide a swath of a country’s population as possible. The debate is over how to achieve this, of course: who bears the responsibility for it and how far to go in evening the scales.

The first step, though, is to understand the task. Since at least as far back as Regency England, the challenge of effectively helping the marginalized has been constrained by a lack of understanding, or curiosity, of what marginalizes people—and of the full experience of living on the margins. The revised 1834 Poor Law, with its unsanitary workhouses, seems designed to help—one uses the word loosely—an undeserving poor. Lawmakers had little interest in the question of why the marginalized were marginalized. Programs for the disadvantaged have obviously come a long way since, but only recently have they begun to explore more fully the underlying facts.

Inclusion is in a sense more easily understood as the absence of exclusion, and that term can be traced back to its use in the 1970s by the French government to define marginalized groups in need of assistance.5 The economist Amartya Sen points to the usefulness of the concept of exclusion in defining poverty more holistically—not just by income, but by the “capability deprivation” on multiple fronts that accompanies low incomes. “We must look at impoverished lives, and not just at depleted wallets,” he has written.6 That is all the more true in heterogeneous societies in the developed world, in which marginalization can routinely occur without being attended by abject poverty. A World Bank report on inclusion rightly points out that considerations of social inclusion have “blurred the distinction between these two stylized poles of development,” as developed countries wrestle with the problem of people within their own borders who have been left behind.7

creating inclusive societies takes active work

Not long ago Western countries responded to the challenge of creating an inclusive-with-a-small-i society with a classically liberal, difference-blind neutrality: equality guaranteed to all via a set of rights written for all, rather than targeted rights or programs for some. Over the past two or three decades, in countries that have been more traditionally reliant on immigration, and have had explicit policies and infrastructure for immigration and citizenship—such as Canada, Australia, and the United States—a different question emerged: does the enshrining of equal rights actually deliver anything approximating equality? Indigenous peoples in Canada have the same human rights as anyone else in the country, yet many still lack basic necessities like clean water, and are denied fair treatment in the justice system. The mere right to political or economic equality, likewise, does not guarantee either. Running for political office still relies on the ability to raise funds, one’s social network, and connections to more experienced politicians, and so on. Economic opportunity is circumscribed by the financial resources to be suitably educated and trained, awareness of available jobs (which are not always advertised), the willingness of an organization to hire you, and the support you get if you are in fact hired. Both are challenging to pursue successfully from the margins, and from a historical position of disadvantage. We are all equal, but we are not all equal.

Thus the more recent idea that creating inclusive societies takes active work, beyond merely not-excluding. That work can take a number of forms, but the underlying philosophical idea represents what Charles Taylor, in a 1992 essay, described as a shift away from a politics of universalism and to a “politics of difference.” The politics of difference, he wrote, “asks that we give acknowledgment and status to something that is not universally shared.”8 The recognition of that distinctness is the foundation for differential treatment—giving certain rights or entitlements to some groups but not others. The scenario Taylor explored in that essay was the Quebec question and language rights, but the logic holds for all sorts of minority group needs. Indeed, fifteen years later, Taylor, along with the sociologist Gérard Bouchard, investigated some of those needs in the landmark Bouchard-Taylor Commission, a Quebec provincial government-initiated study of reasonable accommodations for minorities within the province, aimed at nurturing pluralism. Earlier this year, in the wake of the Quebec City mosque shooting that killed six people, Taylor rescinded his support for one of his own report’s recommendations, for a secular dress code. In an open letter in La Presse, he wrote that the measure, intended to pave the way for the other recommendations, had instead led to a host of broad attempts to restrict religious expression (principally targeting Muslims) and fed an ongoing and divisive debate in the province9—evidence of how complicated a business this can be.

The biggest ongoing case in this country of the need for differential policy, of course, concerns Indigenous peoples, who continue to suffer exclusion on every major front (economic, social, political, cultural)—the legacy of a long-running political system that was explicitly designed to assimilate them and eliminate their culture. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings and resulting report provide the most recent, and thorough, review of this dark history, as well as 94 concrete recommendations to address its effects. Some of these are aimed at bridging unforgivable gaps; others could be an illustration of the kind of group-differentiated policies argued for by the influential Canadian political philosopher Will Kymlicka, who has written extensively about the unique status of national minorities. Compared with, say, immigrants, whose ultimate goal is integration and whose needs are transitional, Kymlicka has written, national minorities may require differential policy on a permanent basis, in recognition of the need for the long-term survival of their cultures.10 For this reason, he has argued for the term “multinational” over “multicultural” in this context—an idea that resonates with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s declaration that Canada is a “post-national country.”11


The West is a relative latecomer to the challenge of designing these differential treatments for historically disadvantaged groups. To take an exceptional example from the other side of the world, India arrived at that juncture almost seven decades ago, a newly independent nation reckoning with its insidious caste system: baroque, ancient, and instituted and preserved by one of the world’s most tolerant religions in one of the world’s most pluralistic countries.

The Indian mechanism of “reservations” has been in place ever since, written into the 1950 constitution that also abolished the caste system, and built on a modest framework of quotas that goes back to the British colonial period and, in some states, even earlier. The most shunned of the castes, now organized into three broad categories—Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes (many of whom live in forests in the northeastern states, a world away from urban India) and Other Backward Classes—since the 1980s have had a percentage of government jobs, university spots, and legislature seats set aside for them, up to a limit of 50 percent. And so the largely urban, upwardly mobile children of middle-class Indians compete for the remaining half of those positions—except in states like Tamil Nadu, where reservations have translated to a winning political formula for the underprivileged vote, and therefore the percentage of reserved seats in government jobs is 69 percent, well above the ceiling set by the Supreme Court.12

Even beyond outlier states like Tamil Nadu, it is difficult to say how effective the system is. On the one hand, it allows participation in the economy for the country’s most vulnerable, which cannot but help. Just how much it helps is the question. The population of all the targeted classes hovers somewhere around three-fifths of the country, and according to a 2013 report in The Economist, government jobs as a proportion of the overall job market are about 2 percent:13 too few to register as sufficient change for the recognized groups, significant enough to seem constricting to everyone else. Reservations have been in place too long in India for the newly disadvantaged advantaged to fight them very consistently (though they may in part account for the fleets of tutors sicced on middle-class children from a young age). But from time to time there have been riots, as well as protests—as in 2006, when reservations were extended to include elite medical and other institutes, thousands protested, and doctors walked off the job.

Lawmakers, undaunted, continue. The state of Telangana recently increased its mandated reservations for disadvantaged Muslims, who have been slipped into the Other Backward Classes category. (The secular constitution bars reservations based on religion.) A third to half of seats in local councils and governing bodies are now reserved for women. And in the past few years there have been agitations from various other groups, including Patels and impoverished Brahmin priests in Gujarat—the most privileged of the privileged at one time—to be counted as economically disadvantaged and have reservations set aside for them, too.14

The Indian experience is uncommon in every way. The reservation system itself seems at times as elaborate as the caste system. And some of its ancillary effects—an apparent race to the bottom to scrap over quotas; it is also routinely blamed by the media for the Indian brain drain, and for contributing to already corrupt patterns of electioneering and vote-bank politics—are unique to India. But it is nonetheless intriguing to study as an almost 70-year-old, ongoing experiment in inclusion.

How do we correct historical injustices

An example somewhat more comprehensible to readers in the West may be the case of South Africa—although here too we are speaking about a majority that functions like a minority. South Africa held its first all-races election in 1994, soon after it dismantled its system of institutionalized segregation, and millions of black South Africans have been educated and employed since. But on a host of different markers—from economic inequality to the ratio of black to white professors at universities—South African policies still fall short. The system of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment, an affirmative action-style plan put in place by the African National Congress that aims to expand black-owned businesses, promote more equitable racial representation in the workplace, and generally spur black participation in the economy, has come under serious criticism. Thomas Piketty declared it a failed experiment two years ago, noting that economic inequality was even worse now than during apartheid, with well over half of the country’s wealth concentrated in the hands of a tenth of the people, the majority of them white.15 And a number of South African leaders have criticized the program, including the political economist Moeletsi Mbeki, the former president’s brother, who has blamed it for creating “a small class of unproductive but wealthy black crony capitalists.”16

There is no shortage of infrastructure, including government legislation with a highly intricate set of rules and numerical targets for employers, with accompanying codes and scorecards. Businesses of a certain size are required to report on their progress with regard to a number of employment equity goals, including workplace diversity, for which long-term goals include a representative ratio of employees who are black, mixed-race and so on. (There are also minimum targets, such as a required proportion—less than 2 percent—of black disabled employees, say.) The laws have succeeded in bringing more blacks into the workforce, and into the middle class. But a great many of the poorest blacks are still excluded from both—the black unemployment rate is 40 percent (compared with 8 percent for whites) if you count those who have stopped looking for work.17 Black South Africans are still held back by racism, and as in India, the knock-on effects have included rampant political corruption that infects the whole system, and according to some critics, a stifling of black innovation and entrepreneurship at a critical juncture in the country’s history.

It would be a mistake to think that the experience of either country adds up to a warning against the adoption of inclusionary policies elsewhere in the world. What it does is frame important questions about how to design such policies, the conditions under which they can work, and the unintended by-products of some iterations of a differential-treatment approach. Does the official recognition of certain groups as “disadvantaged” (or worse, “backward”) risk damning them to future discrimination? How do we correct historical injustices and disadvantage in a way that integrates groups, rather than deepening racial, economic, and other divisions, and drawing corrupt new pathways to privilege?


Hover around a busy area downtown in a city like Toronto at lunchtime, and you will more likely than not observe social groups encompassing a mix of ages, ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, and genders pouring into and out of the restaurants and coffee shops clustered around the office towers: Asian hipsters in conversations with middle-aged men in chinos; young black urbanites with fashionably quirky socks lunching with older suburbanite women and Mountain Equipment Co‑op types; huddles of women of varying ethnicities and ages in an array of office wear. “Work friends” can be remarkably different from each other in a way most people in our social groups outside of work are often not: a change in habits that comes from exposure, a shared culture, and the human impulse toward connection. They are also a reminder that the working world, like schools, can play an important role in citizenship and inclusion. Exposure and education are key in bringing people along, and the office is where many adults encounter both.

Indeed, the corporate world has become a significant actor in the field of inclusion in the West, part of a response to a market case for inclusion that has emerged in the past two decades. The argument is laid out succinctly in a 2016 report from the International Monetary Fund. “There is now strong evidence that inequality can significantly lower both the level and the durability of growth,” the researchers write. “Even if growth is the sole or main purpose of the neoliberal agenda, advocates of that agenda still need to pay attention to the distributional effects.”18 The World Bank, another heavy investor in such global distributions, goes a step further in its report on social inclusion, in wanting to explore the reasons for those effects: “why certain groups are overrepresented among the poor and why some people lack access to education, health, and other services or receive poorer-quality services.”19 The report’s answers to those questions settle on everything from food security to environmental sustainability, ideas that if followed to their logical conclusions should revolutionize the way the World Bank does business.

There are obvious reasons for the private sector’s embrace of diversity and inclusion. Exclusion in a workplace, beyond being unfair, costs employers. A variety of experiences and backgrounds in a group is more likely to generate innovative ideas. Mixed workforces more closely resemble markets, and they reflect changing demographics; nearly half of American millennials are not white, and the post-millennial generation is even more diverse.20 A study of Canadian diversity by the Trudeau Foundation and the Centre for International Governance Innovation found that for every 1 percent rise in ethnocultural diversity, a range of workplace sectors saw increased revenues and productivity of anywhere from 1 to 6.2 percent.21 Diversity policies are also useful insulation against discrimination suits. In fact, the expansion of corporate diversity programs came in the wake of several high-profile cases involving tens of millions in damages.22 Inclusion in the workplace, at its best, is more than all this; it can harness the talents of a diverse group, and create a harmonious, productive whole that is greater than its parts.

the working world

The diversity and inclusion business is thus a more than $8 billion industry in the U.S. alone,23 with diversity symposia and unconscious bias workshops and consultants and official benchmarks, such as the U.S.-based Diversity Collegium’s, now in its tenth year. More and more large employers in both public and private sectors employ diversity hiring goals or targets and appoint diversity managers or committees. When Google fired James Damore earlier this year, it would have come as a surprise to exactly no one that it has a chief diversity and inclusion officer (who is also a vice president)—even with, or perhaps all the more because of, the swirling possibilities of gender discrimination lawsuits. (The U.S. Department of Labor brought a suit against the company; its investigation earlier this year suggested widespread gender-based pay gaps. A group of current and former female employees is also considering a class-action suit, alleging pay gaps sometimes in the realm of tens of thousands of dollars.)

With so many companies investing in diversity, workplaces today should be significantly more diverse, with more leadership positions held by women and minorities. But as studies have found, this is not exactly the case. Between 1985 and 2014—over almost three decades—the percentage of black men in management positions at American companies with 100 or more employees crept from 3 percent to just 3.3 percent, according to a 2016 Harvard Business Review report based on interviews and data from 800 firms. The proportion of white women did rise, by 7 percent. But five years after companies introduced mandatory diversity training, the proportion of Asian-American men and women in leadership positions shrank on average by 4 percent to 5 percent.24

None of this is surprising given the methods most companies rely on in the pursuit of diversity, note Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev, the authors of the HBR report. Diversity training, for instance, is a staple at Fortune 500 companies, and employed by many American and Canadian firms. But a substantial body of research over more than half a century shows that training is not particularly effective at encouraging people to confront their biases—and in fact, can provoke the opposite effect. Mandatory training, the kind favoured in lawsuit-wary corporate North America, is particularly pernicious at reinforcing biases rather than challenging them.25 People, not surprisingly, don’t like to be told what to think. (It is worth noting that Google announced in 2014 that more than half of its workforce had already been through unconscious bias training.)

A diversity infrastructure gives management a sense that it is taking steps toward change. But it doesn’t always denote actual progress. In the last three years, a report from Deloitte found, the number of companies that consider themselves excellent at gender diversity went up by 72 percent, and nearly half of companies surveyed this year said their focus on global cultural diversity was adequate.26 This is sobering to contemplate in the context of a well-publicized 2016 study from the University of Toronto involving a résumé audit, interviews, and 1,600 fabricated résumés sent to employers in sixteen American cities. The study found that black, Asian, and other minority applicants who modified their names to sound more white, and altered other references to conceal their ethnicity, were more than twice as likely to be called about a job as those who didn’t.27 Even more damning, the rate of callbacks for “ethnic”-sounding applicants was no higher from companies who say they are actively seeking diversity. And because applicants themselves were less likely to modify their applications to pro-diversity companies, minority applicants in fact fared worst at companies with a stated commitment to diversity.

A performance of diversity without the substance, then, can be damaging in very tangible ways. “Having an institutional aim to make diversity a goal,” the British-Australian feminist scholar Sara Ahmed writes, “can even be a sign that diversity is not an institutional goal.”28 In her book On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life, Ahmed invokes the sociological concept of habitualization, developed in the 1960s, to describe the work that happens within an institution. Institutions, whether workplaces or universities (the focus of Ahmed’s research), function with an interplay of habitualized activity (things workers no longer have to think about but just do instinctually) and deliberate activity (the active decisions they must make, innovative work that is done). One challenge of diversity as a goal, she notes, is that it must somehow travel from its designation of conscious aim to habitualized practice—surely the level on which true inclusion happens.

Inclusion in the workplace at its best

This presents a vexing challenge for employers: do nothing and the problem persists unchallenged; tackle the issue head on with the best tools currently available, and you could end up making it worse. It is, however, a conundrum worth wrestling with. Economic participation is vital in the inclusion equation, and workplaces have historically shown considerable bias in the other direction. Exclusion in one domain can also reinforce exclusion in others. And, for companies committed to real change rather than optics, there are diversity measures that can lead to that habitualization. Dobbin and Kalev identify college recruitment programs targeting women and minorities, for example, which they found more effective than bias training or hiring rules. (Managers who carry them out either volunteer or are chosen because of a proven ability in recruiting, and the emphasis is on finding talent—a positive exercise rather than a punitive one.) Voluntary training programs in general are much more effective; the freedom to choose allows people to act with more generosity, and change their points of view. Transparency and what the study calls social accountability can also be transformative. People behave better when they think others are watching, and this is no less true for people in offices. The possibility that their decisions might be reviewed by their peers resulted in managers making more equitable decisions. Eventually, it’s habit forming.

In some ways companies may better achieve true racial and gender diversity without zeroing on either principle. There are also other kinds of diversity not captured in diversity spreadsheets at all: generational exclusion, for instance, a pervasive reality in the youth-focused West, and certainly in the workplace, where older employees are uniquely vulnerable to job loss or marginalization. There are ways to communicate a commitment to inclusion that encompasses these, and is less vulnerable to misapplication. The challenge lies in persuading employers to spend the energy to find them—and to employ measures that may take time, and may not boost the company’s position in diversity rankings or be as satisfying to company lawyers.


Recently a group of Canadian researchers conducted a study to investigate how audiences of ethnic minorities respond to advertisements featuring ethnic minorities.29 Participants in five experiments were shown ads featuring ethnically diverse models as well as ads with only white models. The study’s surprising finding: minority consumers responded more positively to ads featuring white models than to ads showing models of other ethnicities than their own. In other words, advertising that featured one minority group offended members of other minority groups because it seemed to remind them they hadn’t been included—a curious and yet entirely human reaction that gestures to the complexity of inclusion.

No longer is exclusion simple a condition

For one thing, ethnocultural minorities tend to draw their ethnic identity from a specific culture or place, rather than from a generalized marker such as “minority” that binds them to all other minorities. And intercultural dynamics are not only a matter of perception; they can describe very real differences between minority groups. This fact is hinted at in the case brought by a group of Asian-Americans against Harvard, and in a recent campaign to keep a 20-year ban on affirmative action in California that brought out hundreds of Asian-American students; the move to repeal the ban had significant support from Hispanic voters. Speaking about the Harvard suit, the lawyer and civil liberties advocate Alan Dershowitz warned about the difficulty of penalizing one group that has been discriminated against historically (Asian-Americans) to help another.30

No longer is exclusion simply a condition that a hegemonic majority inflicts on a minority; relationships between different minority groups can also be tinged with tensions over power and privilege and competing needs, and play into ideas about what inclusion should and shouldn’t look like. The new critics of race-conscious policies and politics are not the kinds of people who go to white pride rallies and cry “reverse racism.” They may be minorities who, once again, feel excluded because of their identity, minorities who want to be included but not on the basis of their identity, or members of the racial majority who are arguing not for the good old days, but for a broader vision of inclusion.

Consider race-conscious admissions in the United States. The approach has certainly yielded some diversity: white students made up 72 percent of the student body in 1994; roughly two decades later, that was down to 58 percent.31 But if colleges look more inclusive, the picture complicates upon closer scrutiny. At 100 highly selective American universities, including Ivy League schools, black attendance actually declined or stayed the same in that same period.32 General college enrollment rates for Hispanic students, meanwhile, more than tripled between 1996 and 2012, and Asian-American enrollment rates rose modestly.33 If the point is inclusion, something is lost when some groups that were historically excluded are even more excluded now. And black enrollment numbers don’t capture the gaps in performance, graduation rates, and post-degree incomes between black and white students. Merely being conscious of race when reviewing applications is not enough; students need real support long before they apply for college, and after they get there. Asians, Hispanics, and Blacks have all been victims of discriminatory practices in North America, and in many cases continue to be, but their particular experiences are vastly different, as are the policies needed to address them.

The problem lies in the temptation to view “diverse populations” as a single monolithic entity, a tendency subtly encouraged by quantitative targets (even unofficial ones) in HR departments or on campus. The flattening effect that an infrastructure of inclusion can have on the diversity that exists among minorities reenacts in a sense what the Australian academics Jon Stratton and Ien Ang have suggested is a failing of multiculturalism: the multicultural orthodoxy “constructs a binary relation between ‘ethnic communities’ and ‘Australian society’, as if the two were mutually exclusive, homogeneous entities.”34

By emphasizing the differentness of a culture from the “mainstream”—a kind of race-less, neutral middle, as though such a thing exists—the discourse of diversity and inclusion can dull very sharp cultural differences within that culture. Ruby Hamad, a Lebanese-Australian writer and filmmaker, has explored this theme in her writings about Western perceptions of Islam. Rare is the news article about Muslims that doesn’t feature an image of a hijab or niqab, she points out—even though both are symbols of very particular strains of Islam, and there are many communities, including her own, where women don’t wear them. Editors have newspapers to publish, and stories needing images, and this may seem a picayune point, but Hamad has felt firsthand the effects of reinforcing clichés about Muslim identity in this way; often she has had to argue for the legitimacy of her own Muslim identity, which she says is “too Muslim for some, not Muslim enough for others.”35

Too narrow a focus on one kind of inclusion can obscure other kinds of exclusion. The Equality of Opportunity study, led by Raj Chetty, a Stanford University economist, reviewed data on 30 million college students and found that many Ivy League universities have more students from families in the top 1 percent of income than in the entire bottom half.36 The focus on “identity diversity” has created campuses that look more inclusive, but continue to exclude, this time on the basis of economic advantage. Intriguingly, California, where the affirmative action ban remains, accounts for five of the top ten colleges in a New York Times ranking using Chetty’s data tracking the percentage of students who come from the bottom fifth of the income scale but end up earning in the top three-fifths. At Cal State, Long Beach—in tenth place—
79 percent of students make that generational income leap. (The top school, with 85 percent, is in New Jersey.)37 A study of Californian colleges undertaken by Richard Kahlenberg, a fellow at the Century Foundation and a vocal champion for the goal of socioeconomic diversity, revealed that without the crutch of race-conscious policies, officials were forced to find other ways to make their student body diverse, and many did so by pursuing socioeconomic diversity—which ended up yielding more racial diversity as well. In seven of ten colleges Kahlenberg and his colleague studied, black and Hispanic attendance rose after the affirmative action ban.38

Merely being conscious of race

Class, then, may prove to be a more effective filter than just race. This is not to minimize the corrosive effects of racial discrimination directed at any stratum of society, but it does reflect the irrefutable reality that the effects of racism, and of every other kind of prejudice, are greatly amplified at the lower ends of the socioeconomic spectrum. Kahlenberg finds an unassailable champion for his view in the American civil rights movement: “It is a simple matter of justice that America, in dealing creatively with the task of raising the Negro from backwardness, should also be rescuing a large stratum of the forgotten white poor,” Dr. Martin Luther King wrote in his classic text Why We
Can’t Wait

Notwithstanding their pedigree, even reasonable critiques of attempts at inclusion are difficult to articulate while a more fundamental controversy roils over any efforts made at all to include minority groups. During a period of unprecedented scrutiny of police shootings of black men (and children), six in ten white Americans said they believe discrimination against white people is as big an issue today as discrimination against people of colour, according to a Public Religion Research Institute and Brookings Institution survey.40 A Pew Research Survey this year reported that only 36 percent of white people agreed that racial discrimination is a barrier to black people getting ahead today, compared with nearly twice as many black Americans41—interesting to contrast with a poll by the same group three years ago in which a majority of white respondents said they support affirmative action programs on campus.42


Discussions of coming demographic change appear to amplify the anxiety. Studies reveal that white subjects who are first shown demographic data of a future when whites no longer make up the majority are more likely to respond fearfully to survey questions about ethnic minorities.43 Economic uncertainty has a similar dampening effect on tolerance and openness. In the book Strangers In Their Own Land, sociologist Arlie Hochschild reports on the frustration expressed by many white working-class Americans that they have been waiting patiently for prosperity, but that visible minorities are now cutting in line, with unfair advantages.44 These attitudes are lent support by tangible action from the Trump administration, including a U.S. Department of Justice plan to assist legal challenges to affirmative action.

For now, sober progressive critiques of diversity and inclusion occupy a misshapen public space that also encompasses more self-serving arguments. It’s a strange coalition: advocates for fuller kinds of diversity; people who interrogate the language and structure of race-conscious hiring; those who view any such accommodations as racism against white people; minorities who object to the insinuation in the language of diversity—however unintentional—that the old way, unfettered by demands of social justice, was a purer, virtuous pursuit of merit.

The diversity versus meritocracy argument is a particularly aggravating one, facilitated by apparent oblivion of the mediocre white men through time who were hired or promoted, and of the role of social or financial suasion in getting them there. In truth, real meritocracy would bar privilege of every kind. Some proponents of the invisible-hand approach might be surprised to discover that their patron saint, Adam Smith, was a believer in equality and merit to the extent that he argued against inherited wealth. “A power to dispose of estates for ever is manifestly absurd,” he proclaimed. “The earth and the fullness of it belongs to every generation, and the preceding one can have no right to bind it up from posterity.”45 In the instance of a meritocracy so complete, it must be said, we would surely have a lot less need for inclusion programs of any kind.


There are glimmers of hope for the reality of inclusion. In his book Making a Global City, Robert Vipond tells the story of a single Toronto school, Clinton Street Public School, in a community settled by waves of new immigrants through much of the 20th century. In 1921, 90 percent of students were from what some might call “old stock” Canadian or British immigrant families. By the 1950s, at least half the students were Jewish. By the mid-1970s the school was changing again—a protean marvel of ethnocultural diversity, teeming with students of Italian, Portuguese, Latin American, and East Asian origin.46 This was not just demographic inclusion at work; teachers were creative, and responsive to the changing student body. In the 1940s, with the school’s Jewish population on the rise, and a legal mandate to provide Christian instruction, the teachers simply decided to quietly ignore the law. In the 1950s, the school developed its own English as a Second Language curriculum, long before such a thing formally existed at the school board level. Clinton School was a thriving experiment in multiculturalism that is remarkably relevant today.

In truth real meritocracy

Across the Atlantic, five decades later, is another intriguing model, if a very different one: Iceland, a veritable utopia of gender-based inclusion where 48 percent of all MPs, close to half of board members of listed companies, and 65 percent of university students are women (though one hopes the scales aren’t going to tilt much further one way). Every parent in Iceland is given 3 months of paid parental leave, and 90 percent of fathers take it. Iceland’s government became the first in the world to mandate pay equity based on gender, and the country famously had a woman president from 1980 to 1996, and a female prime minister in the aughts.

There are lessons in both, as there are in the Indian and South African projects of inclusion. Democracies (Canada, Iceland, India, and South Africa all qualify), and liberal democracies, in particular, have an undeniable advantage when it comes to fostering inclusion. But to do it successfully takes more. Change appears to works best when it trickles up, or is at least supported by shifts, and creative thinking, at the grassroots level. A robust civil society also helps. This does not mean that policy work at the state level isn’t important; it is crucial, but policy efforts at social inclusion seem to work best in concert with social change. It’s not a coincidence that long before Iceland’s pay equity laws or parental-leave policies came a day of protest, in 1975, in which 90 percent of Icelandic women—teachers, doctors, housewives, accountants—set down their tools and refused to work.

Any effort to build inclusion

This is because the most vital change doesn’t begin at the level of behaviour. Laws, hiring guidelines, and admissions policies can mandate against racist or sexist or homophobic acts, but it is impossible to legislate against racist or sexist or homophobic thought—not to mention undesirable to try. Thought finds political and social and cultural expression; it elects presidents and prime ministers and decides the outcomes of referenda. Any effort to build inclusion, on the street or inside corporate headquarters, therefore, has to address our perceptions. This deeper, truer kind of inclusion, unlike its quick-fix political facsimiles, takes time, but it is also more likely to endure. The distinction between merely changing behaviour and a more fundamental change in thought is as important for excluded groups as anyone else: essential human dignity matters as much as, if not more than, economic opportunity. “The truth alone triumphs”—not “We want those civil-service jobs”—was a slogan of India’s independence movement, now enshrined on its national emblem. “Dignity before bread,” as the historian Leon Aron has written, was the rallying cry of the Tunisian revolution.47

How we think and talk about inclusion, then, is as important as what we say or do about it. We have to somehow find a way to sympathetically bridge the difference between those who view societal inclusion as a zero-sum game—inclusion for some, however worthy of help, necessitates exclusion for others—and those who understand that inclusion for all actually increases the sum in the long run. It is possible, and indeed vital, to resolve this, and to do so without reducing inclusion to a market argument. But it is difficult to imagine many hearts or minds being changed in the fractious, vitriolic public arenas in which such conversations are now happening. The xenophobia being whipped up by Brexiteers and Trumpians, by their alt-right counterparts in our own country, speak to the worst angels of our nature—all of us. Those who lean toward the same troubling biases are tipped that way entirely. Many on the other side emerge increasingly radicalized. One cannot blame them, and cannot help but lament the narrowed possibility for a shared public conversation, a common arena for debate. To ask the former group to be less angry or extreme seems futile; to ask the latter is read as re-victimizing victims, placing on them the burden for change.

In the discourse, as in the sphere of policy, the burden for change must rest somewhere. A remarkable study about transphobia published in Science magazine last year overturned decades of conventional thinking about the effectiveness of political persuasion.48 The study, conducted by two researchers, David Broockman and Joshua Kalla, was based on door-to-door canvassing of five hundred voters in Miami-Dade county, where a local ordinance was put in place protecting transgender people from discrimination. Broockman and Kalla, as it happens, had just debunked an earlier, similar study whose data and methods did not hold up. In the new study, which the pair led, canvassers conducted a ten-minute interview explicitly aimed at changing voters’ minds, as well as before-and-after surveys. Later follow-ups tracked whether the change stuck. The study’s revelation, which attracted attention from political scientists across the country, was that ten minutes of conversation did change many people’s minds. It was in fact possible to shift opinion by talking. (Sometimes even subtler messages can have a similar effect; researchers in the minority-ads study found that ads that contained words like “gentle” or “forgiving” drew a less negative response from consumers who felt excluded than ads that didn’t. A suggestion of compassion seemed to evoke that sentiment in the subjects.)

How we think and talk about inclusion

But what if you have been having the same conversation for years and getting nowhere? A number of Indigenous writers, leaders, and individuals scattered across Canada have evinced fatigue and anger at pointing out the same truths for half a century, over three major national commissions, with little change on the ground. This has come hand in hand with shifts in theories of aboriginal law, and recently there has been a move among some Indigenous people, though not all, to not identifying as Canadian at all. Some Indigenous commentators online have suggested the term “Indigenous Canadian” is an oxymoron, if not worse. For the rest of the country, it can appear as a new challenge—the elevation of the multinational concept to a next level, just as many have had a belated awakening on the shameful truth about Indigenous issues, have arrived at a new commitment to the idea that their country must include, in every way, Indigenous Canada. Are these the most painful effects of historical distortions of a people’s identity, one course of which is to radicalize? Or is this in fact the natural progression of a modern multinational state, the recognition of many nations within its borders?

It may be both. In some ways this may be, for better or worse, a variation on the position staked by Quebec, whose citizens, incidentally, a decade or two ago went from identifying as French-Canadian to viewing themselves as Québécois. Maurice Richard has spoken of being criticized by the Francophonie for continuing to call himself French-Canadian after the rest of the province had moved on. Quebec’s rhetorical shift did not alarm English Canada in the same way, and this may not reflect a deep-seated racism as much as the fact that it happened largely in the French-language press, unobserved by much of the rest of the country. (There are, of course, also implications of other differences in the case of Indigenous peoples, among them the existence of treaties and land rights.) Indigenous individuals who reject the label of Canadian don’t all live in one geographic area, but they did literally have different nations of their own long before Canada existed. And this shift is happening in what, for now, remains the dominant language of national Indigenous discourse: English. The rest of Canada is more aware of it, and this is surely a good thing, even if the conversation is then a more complicated one.

Opting out is another choice articulated by some, including the London-based writer Reni Eddo-Lodge, author of the book Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race. Eddo-Lodge has written about the crushing “emotional disconnect” of trying to articulate racialized personal experience to a white person who is stubbornly oblivious to the existence of structural racism, of other, less privileged ways of experiencing the world. “Amid every conversation about Nice White People feeling silenced by conversations about race,” she wrote in the Guardian, “there is a sort of ironic and glaring lack of understanding or empathy for those of us who have been visibly marked out as different for our entire lives, and live the consequences. It’s truly a lifetime of self-censorship that people of colour have to live.”49 Whether or not this is a universal experience—whether or not any universal experience exists for people of colour, or any people—it is undeniably a reality for many, and the act of writing the book is a profound attempt to communicate it. Notwithstanding the book’s title, this is the opposite of shutting down the conversation. In her writings, in interviews, Eddo-Lodge is speaking to everyone about race, including white people who feel remotely inclined to listen. It is a book that should change minds.

Still, its title, perfectly reflective of the high emotional pitch of social media, also raises questions. Can inclusion rest on the exclusion of some? Does it need the exclusion of some because even to include those voices is to perpetuate past wrongs? There is a natural friction between groups who want change and groups who are served by the status quo: the latter can exert an aerodynamic drag on movement forward. But what do we do with unwanted voices that are a majority? It’s easy to forget, for instance, with all the demographic projections and the discourse of a multicultural Canada, that we still live in a state where 80 percent of the population is white. It would seem unrealistic, not to mention exclusionary, to think we can build an inclusive society while tuning out or turning down that 80 percent, even if some of them (a minority, it is worth mentioning) are saying things we find abhorrent.

There is a principle at stake, of not allowing debates about inclusion to happen in an exclusionary way. The new vogue in the West is for a modulation of the conversation by suppression, a desire for the silencing of not merely hateful opinion, but divergent perspectives of many kinds. (It occurs even while some countries around the globe are developing a free press and free speech for the first time.) The argument made is that certain conversations must stop for other, more productive ones to occur; and anyway, it is impossible to silence the powerful majority. It is difficult to see how a modern, inclusive society benefits from the broader streak of illiberalism represented here. Does the suppression of some views not logically encompass the potential suppression of any or all views? Can a free society support the kinds of intolerance—including an intolerance of religion—that have become commonplace in modern progressive thought? Freedom of thought and speech are deliberately blind to content; making the freedom contingent on which thought or words defeats the point.

In this mode of thinking, it is not only racism or prejudice that is shut down, but also many other voices, including progressive ones—people broadly aligned with the underlying values who may not speak precisely the same forceful, coded language of online activism. This is all the more poignant given that these political or social constraints on speech have no effect at all on those fully committed to illiberalism and to the free expression of ideas of xenophobia, racial superiority, sexism, and social injustice.

There is another pragmatic argument to be made. The support of the majority is surely vital to the long-term health of minority rights. Even successful movements that have risen up from the grassroots have found support among the majority, or from cultural or political elites. (While this reality is far from desirable, significant research shows that policy is disproportionately influenced by the affluent. When there is a divergence in the preferences of the poor and the rich, it is the preferences of people in the 90th percentile of income that drive policy, and the racial majority is well-represented in that group. It may be more productive to challenge and change those preferences than ignore them.)50 And while it may be impossible to silence the majority, it is certainly possible for a majority to feel silenced, which is a political obstacle as well as a moral and social one.

And while it may be impossible

The problems of a mildly uncomfortable majority are, of course, not the concern of activists demanding the most basic forms of inclusion for black Americans, or Indigenous Canadians, or any other disadvantaged group. Nor should they be. Discomfort pales before real economic and social injustice, and in any case the work of activists has generally been to throw rhetorical grenades, to build pressure in the system, to remind everyone that these debates have stakes, and to shift the conversation from the edges. This is important work. Yet it is also a fact that a position of discomfort is not one from which people will act with the greatest generosity or fairness. The frustration of activists is understandable; they don’t want to negotiate with people who refuse to “get it.” We cannot then leave this entirely to the activists. Responses have to come from somewhere else, too—from minorities who are not too exhausted to talk about it, from reasonable members of the majority who don’t default to one of a few modes currently available in the popular discourse, which include angry reactionary; sanctimonious, slightly self-loathing recovering white person; and silent observer. They have to come from the middle, and be heard by the middle, which means they may have to come outside the polarized zones of social media.

Countries such as Canada and Australia have staked a lot in the idea of achieving inclusion by recognizing, and accommodating, difference. That mode of thinking has migrated from courts and parliament houses out into the public arena. In the public discourse, the challenge is in how we as citizens can achieve that recognition of particularity, and answer its demands, while still achieving a recognition of the universal—respect for all groups, and people. We could do worse than to consider the advice of the American philosopher Martha Nussbaum, who has written about the value of applying the literary imagination in a judicial context. Adopting the posture of “concerned reader of a novel,” she writes, allows a jurist to be merciful.51 For the lay person too, there is much to be said for viewing the world this way, to approach our disparate fellow humans with genuine curiosity and sympathy, with a desire to understand “the entire complex history of their efforts.”52 Taking in the lives of others, and their whole stories, would allow us to be more compassionate, and like Nussbaum’s reader, to participate, and observe,
to expand what we see.

It is more fundamentally about

Defining inclusion is so difficult in part because inclusion depends on perceptions—of fairness, of equity—which vary depending on the person doing the seeing. In fact, questions of perception lie at the very heart of the question. Inclusion, after all, is not merely about literal rules—legalizing gay marriage or mandating equal access to services. It is more fundamentally about how we see our place in the world, about our ability to imagine and achieve a good life in every area that is meaningful to us. The deprivation or confinement of this ability limits the richness of that life; its expansion sustains that vision, allows it to flourish. The capacity of all citizens to have this, in turn, allows a society
to flourish.

Inclusion has been described as a “mutually beneficial state for both the community and the individual.”53 Much rides on that “mutually beneficial.” True inclusion improves life for each of us, and for all of us. The language of a politics of difference, as we use it in Canada today, relies on what is owed to distinct groups and individuals, the rights of citizens. But ultimately those distinct groups, and indeed all groups, owe something to each other, too. This can be hard to remember in discussions of inclusion and exclusion, which often bring into clear view the failures of governments. But it is nevertheless true. What we owe each other is a question for governments to answer, but it is also a question for individuals to untangle: what our responsibilities are as citizens, what our obligations are to those different from us, and what we owe to our communities—each of us, and all of us.



1Amy Chua, “The Lessons of Hyperpowers and the Future of National Identity,” Reflections, Fall 2008.

2Mary Beard, SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome (New York: Liveright Publishing, 2015).

3Pankaj Mishra, Age of Anger: A History of the Present (Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 2017).

4United Nations, “International Migration Report 2015: Highlights,” Department of Economic and Social Affairs, (2016): 5,

5Peter Evans, Suzanne Bronheim, John Bynner, Stephan Klasen, Phyllis Magrab, and Stewart Ranson, “Social Exclusion and Children – Creating Identity Capital: Some Conceptual Issues and Practical Solution,” Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, (2000):; and, United Nations, “Leaving no one behind: the imperative of inclusive development” Department of Economic and Social Affairs, (2016): 18-19,

6Amartya Sen, “Social Exclusion: Concept, Application, and Scrutiny,” Office of the Environment and Social Development Asian Development Bank, No. 1, (June 2000): 3.

7World Bank, “Inclusion Matters: The Foundation for Shared Prosperity,” The World Bank, (2013): 41,­2­6­5­2­9­9­9­4­9­0­4­1­/­6­7­6­6­3­2­8­-1­3­2­9­9­4­3­7­2­9­7­3­5­/­8­4­6­0­9­2­4­-1­3­81272444276/InclusionMatters_AdvanceEdition.pdf.

8Charles Taylor, Multiculturalism and “The Politics of Recognition” (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994), 39.

9Charles Taylor, “Le Temps de la Réconciliation,” La Presse, February 14, 2017,­514fc56d647a%7CpUtyV30bPPsb.html.

10Will Kymlicka, Multicultural Citizenship: A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996): 61.

11Guy Lawson, “Trudeau’s Canada, Again,” New York Times, December 8, 2015,

12“Supreme Court notice to Tamil Nadu on plea against 69 per cent reservation,” Deccan Chronicle, August 11, 2015,

13“Affirmative Action: India’s Reservations,” The Economist, June 29, 2013,

14“Brahmins in Gujarat demand reservation, salary for priests,” The Indian Express, October 3, 2015,

15Thomas Piketty, “Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture 2015,” (speech, University of Johannesburg, October 3, 2015), Nelson Mandela Foundation,

16“South Africa’s black empowerment: The president says it has failed,” The Economist, March 31, 2010, Also see: Jenny Cargill, Trick or Treat: Rethinking Black Economic Empowerment (Johannesburg: Jacana Media, 2010).

17“Employment, unemployment, skills and economic growth: An exploration of household survey evidence on skills development and unemployment between 1994 and 2014,” Statistics South Africa, September 16, 2014,

18Jonathan D. Ostry, Prakash Loungani, and Davide Furceri, “Neoliberalism: Oversold?” The International Monetary Fund 53, No. 2 (2016): 2,

19World Bank, “Inclusion Matters,” 4.

20William H. Frey, “Diversity defines the millennial generation,” The Brookings Institution, June 28, 2016,

21Bessma Momani and Jillian Stirk,
“The Diversity Dividend: Canada’s Global Advantage,” Centre for International Governance Innovation, Special Issue
2017, 8.

22Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev, “Why Diversity Programs Fail,” Harvard Business Review, July-August 2016 Issue.

23Ellen Huet, “Rise of the Bias Busters: How Unconscious Bias Became Silicon Valley’s Newest Target,” Forbes, November 2, 2015,

24Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev, “Why Diversity Programs Fail.” .


26Juliet Bourke, Stacia Garr, Ardie van Berkel, and Jungle Wong, “Diversity and Inclusion: The reality gap,” Deloitte University Press, February 8, 2017,

27Sonia K. Kang, Katherine A. DeCelles, András Tilcsik, and Sora Jun, “Whitened Résumés: Race and Self-Presentation in the Labour Market,” Administrative Sciences Quarterly 61, No. 3 (2016).

28Sara Ahmed, On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life (Durham: Duke University Press, 2012), 23.

29Mohammed El Hazzouri, Kelley Main, and Sergio Carvalho, “Ethnic minority consumers reactions to advertisements featuring members of other minority groups,” International Journal of Research in Marketing 34, No. 3 (2017).

30Anemona Hartocollis and Stephanie Saul, “Affirmative Action Battle Has a New Focus: Asian-Americans,” New York Times, August 2, 2017,

31Andrew McGill, “The Missing Black Students at Elite American Universities,” The Atlantic, November 23, 2015,

32Ibid.; Also see: Jeremy Ashkenas, Haeyoun Park, and Adam Pearce, “Even With Affirmative Action, Blacks and Hispanics Are More Underrepresented at Top Colleges Than 35 Years Ago,” New York Times, August 24, 2017,

33Jens Manuel Krogstad and Richard Fry, “More Hispanics, blacks enrolling in college, but lag in bachelor’s degrees,” Pew Research Center, April 24, 2014,

34Jon Stratton and Ien Ang, “Multiculturaled imagined communities: cultural difference and national identity in Australia and the USA,” Continuum: The Australian Journal of Media & Culture 8, No. 2 (1994).

35Ruby Hamad, “The uncomfortable truth about Australian ‘diversity’,” The Sydney Morning Herald, April 21, 2017,

36Raj Chetty, John N. Friedman, Emmanuel Saez, Nicholas Turner, and Danny Yagan, “Mobility Report Card: The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility,” The Equality of Opportunity Project, July 2017,

37David Leonhardt, “America’s Great Working Class Colleges,” New York Times, January 18, 2017,

38Richard Kahlenberg and Halley Potter, “A Better Affirmative Action: State Universities that Created Alternatives to Racial Preferences,” The Century Foundation, 2012.

39Martin Luther King, Jr., Why We Can’t Wait (New York: Penguin, 2000).

40Robert P. Jones, Daniel Cox, E.J. Dionne, Jr., William A. Galston, Betsy Cooper, and Rachel Lienesch, “How Immigration and Concerns about Cultural Changes Are Shaping the 2016 Election,” Public Religion Research Institute and The Brookings Institution, June 23, 2016,

41“On Views of Race and Inequality, Blacks and Whites Are Worlds Apart,” Pew Research Center, June 27, 2016,

42Bruce Drake, “Public strongly backs affirmative action programs on campus,” Pew Research Center, April 22, 2014,

43Brian Resnick, “White fear of demographic change is a powerful psychological force,” Vox News, January 29, 2017,

44Arlie R. Hochschild, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right (New York: The New Press, 2016).

45Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (New York: Random House, 1994).

46Robert Vipond, Making a Global City: How One Toronto School Embraced Diversity (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017).

47Leon Aron, “Everything You Think You Know About the Collapse of the Soviet Union is Wrong,” Foreign Policy, June 20, 2011,

48David Broockman and Joshua Kalla, “Durably reducing transphobia: A field experiment on door-to-door canvassing,” Science Magazine 352, Issue 6282 (2016).

49Reni Eddo-Lodge, “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race,” The Guardian, May 30, 2017,

50World Bank, “Inclusion Matters,” 142.

51Martha Nussbaum, Sex and Social Justice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 171.


53United Nations, “Creating an Inclusive Society: Practical Strategies to Promote Social Integration,” Department of Economic and Social Affairs Working Paper (2009): 12.