I’m hopeful about where this work can take us – with the right commitment.
The recent uptake in equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) work signals (to me at least) that the bigger questions underpinning it are being asked and heard at some tables; the conversation is happening, and the business industry is realizing it needs to keep up.
That said, a lot of us continue to be told, on a daily basis, that we can’t expect all of who we are to be safe and celebrated in our spaces (assuming we can even get in the door in the first place), and too often, that “human rights” don’t actually apply to all humans.
So we need to keep exploring. We – business, society, humanity really – need to start consistently backing up our declarations of “we’re inclusive and celebrate diversity!” with true demonstration through organization-wide embodiment and support of authentic inclusion practices.
With my focus on 2SLGBTQIA+ EDI within business, I work to guide businesses and organizations in their exploration and integration of more meaningful inclusion for Two Spirit, lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, intersex, asexual, and other non-heterosexual and non-cisgender workers, customers, and service users.
I dream of a world where 2SLGBTQIA+ folks can be and see all that they are as they move through it – a world where we no longer have to weigh authenticity against employability, access against safety, or read between the lines to see ourselves represented.
Tj Jones (he/they)
My approach is informed by filtering my 20+ years of lived experience and almost 10 years in 2SLGBTQIA+ community advocacy through my Business and HR management education. This specific combination of personal and professional knowledge has given me powerful insight into the needs of these communities, perceived barriers to having them met from inside and outside systems, and ways to work within organizations to challenge and expand their capacity to better include and serve 2SLGBTQIA+ folks.
My motivation stems from both a desire to help improve the workplace and consumer experiences of my fellow queer and trans humans, and a love for holding space that empowers people to have their “light bulb moments” through challenging their existing ideas, investigating their biases, and considering the perspectives of others.
I acknowledge Ktaqmkuk (the island of Newfoundland) as the unceded, traditional, and ancestral lands of the Beothuk and Mi’kmaq, and Labrador as the traditional and ancestral lands of the Innu of Nitassinan, the Inuit of Nunatsiavut, and the Inuit of NunatuKavut. I acknowledge the inherent benefits I have received because of my whiteness, and the straight-passing, cis-passing, and masculine privilege I have received since beginning my transition. I commit to continuing to educate myself on the experiences of folks from other marginalized groups; to do my best to engage responsibly and intentionally with intersectionality; and to work to challenge and dismantle my own intrinsic racial, socio-economic, ability, and gender biases.
Feedback received throughout my years of facilitating has consistently highlighted an ability to meet people where they are and a knack for creating safe learning environments with my accessible delivery style.
I’ve had the opportunity to work with some incredible people and organizations since launching FPM at the start of 2021. Here is what some of them had to say:
Header Photo by Delia Giandeini
Profile Photo of me by Steven Crummey
Values icons from www.flaticon.com.
“Empathy” & “Collaboration” by Freepik.
“Accessibility” by Pixel perfect.
“Integrity” by iconixar.
“Vulnerability” by mynamepong.