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Every Leader Should Be an Ally: How To Implement Diversity and Inclusion in Your Business Leaders must become allies to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in order for them to succeed. Here's how to overcome the challenges of implementing D, E and I in your organization.

By Phil Bohlender

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In many ways, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 launched the current workplace equality movement. In addition to granting protection to those who might otherwise be discriminated against, it also introduced the opportunity for lawmakers to become allies.

An ally is someone who is typically not a member of a mistreated or marginalized group but who expresses or gives support to that group in the ongoing effort to effect change. Allies need only have an open mind and a compassionate heart.

Historically, allies have assisted movements generated by marginalized groups because of the access and privilege they have that some oppressed groups may not have due to the societal, political, or legal status quo of their time. The lawmakers who passed the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 were some of the original allies. The 88th Congress included 14 women and five black men, out of the total of 535 lawmakers. The remaining 516 congressmen were just that, white men.

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