What is Inclusion?

Watch the following three videos in their entirety before moving to the next step.

What is inclusion? - Inclusion Imperative

What is inclusion? - Down Syndrome Queensland

Inclusive Education - Education Equity Now, UNICEF Europe & Central Asia

Defining 'Inclusion'

For the purposes of this course, we will use the following to define inclusion:

“Inclusion refers to how diversity is leveraged to create a fair, equitable, healthy, and high-performing organization or community where all individuals are respected, feel engaged and motivated, and their contributions toward meeting organizational and societal goals are valued” (O’mara et al., 2014).

Hair Love video & reflection

Use the worksheet attached below to complete this activity.

Hair Love is a Sony Pictures Animation short film directed by Matthew A. Cherry (Juri, 2019). The story of Hair Love was born out of seeing a lack of representation in mainstream animated projects, and also wanting to promote hair love amongst young men and women of color (Juri, 2019). The hope for the directors when making this short film was to inspire young audience members who come from communities that are traditionally underrepresented in the eyes of mainstream film and media, and empower and show them that all stories are important and deserve to be seen and heard (Juri, 2019).

Hair Love - Sony Pictures Animation

Help others bloom activity

Use the worksheet pages 9 - 12 to complete this activity.

Why is inclusion important?

Cultivating inclusion in the classroom, workplace or any space that we occupy is important for several reasons. Social inclusion allows people to:

  • Gain a sense of belonging
  • Have valued roles in the community
  • Have social relationships with others they choose and have share similar interests
  • Actively participate in the community
  • Lead to less conflict
  • Positively impact economies
  • Allow people to gain a greater sense of wellbeing

Social inclusion is defined as “the process of improving the terms of participation in society, particularly for people who are disadvantaged, through enhancing opportunities, access to resources, voice and respect for rights” (Sustainability Management School 2021).

As we try to cultivate inclusion in our societies, one thing we all can start doing is changing our language to be more inclusive (Sustainability Management School 2021). 

Those labeled as disadvantaged, underprivileged, or marginalized have simply been intentionally excluded from society & deprived of economic, educational and other opportunities (Sustainability Management School 2021). Instead of using the words disadvantaged, underprivileged, or marginalized, try using more specific and inclusive terms. These can include: systematically disadvantaged groups, historically oppressed & underrepresented communities, black people, queer people, and working-class people to name a few (Sustainability Management School 2021). 

The following two videos further highlights the importance of inclusion. Watch these in their entirety before moving to the next part.

When More People Speak Up, More People Listen - RBC

That Little Voice - RBC


“Sustainability 101 - Why Is Social Inclusion Important?” S U M A S, 26 Apr. 2021, https://sumas.ch/sustainability-101-why-is-social-inclusion-important/. [Accessed Jan 20, 2022]

“Why Social Inclusion?” New Brunswick Association For Community Living (NBACL), https://nbacl.nb.ca/module-pages/why-social-inclusion/. [Accessed Jan 20, 2022]

O'mara, Julie, and Alan Richter. Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarks: Standards for Organizations Around the World. 2014, http://www.omaraassoc.com/pdf/GDIB_2014_Standard_A4_Version.pdf. [Accessed Jan 27, 2022]

“What is inclusion - Inclusion imperative.” YouTube, uploaded by Inclusion Imperative, 13 Apr 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ea4TdXGp8f0

“What is inclusion?”. YouTube, uploaded by Down Syndrome Queensland, 29 Oct 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VMz06iVzqs

“Inclusion Education - Education Equity Now.” YouTube, uploaded by UNICEF Europe & Central Asia, 26 Jan 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HPh4RoV63s

“Hair Love | Oscar®-Winning Short Film (Full) | Sony Pictures Animation.” YouTube, uploaded by Sony Pictures Animation, 5 Dec 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNw8V_Fkw28

“When More People Speak Up, More People Listen.” YouTube, uploaded by RBC, 6 Aug 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1nJqpqgzR0

“That Little Voice.” YouTube, uploaded by RBC, 22 Jan 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ll56imVATLk


Juri, Patricia. The Story behind “Hair Love” - SFFILM. SFFILM Education, 2019, https://sffilm.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/SFFILM_EDU_StudyGuide_Hair-Love.pdf. 

Complete and Continue