The outcome of the presidential election has sparked many emotions throughout our country. And since then, the emotions have run high. Protests in cities, an intense continuation of social media blasts, and marginalized communities literally living in fear for maintaining their livelihood. In January of 2017, America will have new leadership. Leadership permeates from the top down. At least in regards to policy, laws, and overall progression.

Some of the toughest conversations many people have are those about race, gender, sexual orientation, and religion all topics the campaigns were gravid with. Since a new president typically symbolizes moving forward, we must ask the question, how do we continue the conversation on diversity and inclusion (D&I)? It as been tough due to plenty of individuals believing D&I is no longer relevant. We all have access to all the same resources, right? And discrimination is a thing of a bygone era, true?

My intellect and raw common sense would say no. But I am only one person. Because our views differ greatly, and we have literally hundreds of ways to express those views, it is imperative that we have well-informed, meaningful discussions about inclusion. When people show up with senseless chatter as a basis for argument, everyone goes in circles. There is no conclusion.

For those conversations to move from speech to action, we need strong leaders. Leaders that will commit to the right side of history even if that means being unpopular. Our greatest leaders were men and women who received much criticism, abuse, and even death because they stood in their truth, on the side of equality.

I can't say for sure what will happen in the near future. But I can say for sure that something WILL happen. Leaders of organizations and companies need to keep D&I in focus because it is quite possible many liberties as we know them will change. Let's not silence the talk around diversity and inclusion; it could be the only thing keeping us united.