This is an excerpt from Fitness for Life 7th Edition Cloth With Web Resource by Charles B. Corbin,Darla M. Castelli,Benjamin A. Sibley & Guy C. Le Masurier.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) released a statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The ACSM notes that all people deserve the right to be able to safely participate in physical activities, receive proper nutrition, have appropriate health care, and have access to other basic human needs. The statement asks that all people “go about their daily lives, making decisions with social justice in their hearts and minds.” The ACSM statement is about respect for others--all others. Respect for others is important for enjoyment in sports, as well as meaningful interactions in life. Several factors that promote respect for others are described in the following paragraphs.
The National Education Association (NEA) defines social justice as a “concept in which equity or justice is achieved in every aspect of society rather than in only some aspects or for some people.” Both the ACSM and NEA point out the importance of social justice and emphasize diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of education and society.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The word society refers to a large group of people who have a history of working and living together. It can refer to a neighborhood, a school, a community, a nation, or an even larger group (for example, Western society). Characteristics of a society include traditions, organized laws and rules, and standards for living and conduct (social etiquette).
Societies provide for the common interests of all members and protect them from outside threats. Diversity refers to the inclusion of different types of people in society regardless of race, ethnicity, age, disability, culture, socioeconomic status, sex, or gender identity. Equity refers to the personal quality of being fair and impartial (free of bias or favoritism). To achieve diversity and social justice it is important for each individual to show equity by treating all members of society equally and fairly and including everyone in all aspects of life. The vocabulary terms relating to social justice have similar but distinct meanings as described in the following section.
Sensitivity and Trust
Sensitivity refers to paying attention to the feelings and concerns of others. Ways to build sensitivity include listening (for example, hearing what others have to say rather than only telling others what to do) and communicating in nonthreatening language (for example, giving positive feedback rather than harsh criticism). Trust refers to the belief that others are honest and reliable. Demonstrating honesty and reliability in your actions helps others learn to trust you. People who are trustworthy and sensitive to others’ needs typically earn the respect of others.
Empathy refers to the ability to understand and be sensitive to the feelings of others. An empathetic person can imagine what it is like to be in another person’s shoes and acts with compassion. True empathy is the result of an internal desire to help people rather than acting because of external pressures. Empathic people listen, challenge prejudice, and take action to aid others.