You may have seen it already – the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion (CIDI-ICDI) started using a new hashtag on Twitter: #cdndiversity. We thought it was a great idea. We tweeted it out and suggested that Canadians tweeting about diversity start using it.
By using hashtags, Twitter allows you to share tweets and have conversations on specific topics that become organized, archived and findable. Any time you see a # followed by a word or phrase (no spaces), this is the equivalent of categorizing or tagging a message (e.g. #cdndiversity). Others can follow, subscribe or easily find messages tagged in this way. Some people use hashtags to have organized, time-specific “Tweetchats” about a particular issue, or use them to help organize tweets from a specific event. In this case, check out #cdnimm and #cdndiversity to see what’s being shared and discussed. In fact, you don’t need a Twitter account to follow the conversation and sharing. Just click on the link to see a search result of all the relevant tweets.
A #diversity hashtag has existed and been used for some time. Like the move in Canada to use #cdnimm for news, issues, discussions specifically related to Canadian immigration, we assumed this to be a move to create a Canadian focus on diversity.
So, we asked the folks at CIDI-ICDI to tell us about it:
Why did you create it?
One of the reasons we created the CIDI-ICDI itself was because there is a growing need among Canadian organizations to clearly define what diversity and inclusion (D&I) in Canada is. #cdndiversity is an extension of that conversation. We created #cdndiversity to create an immediate public resource to collect digital content specific to both Canada and the D&I conversation. It’s a resource that we not only hope to provide, but one we hope to utilize ourselves should its popularity continue to grow.
While the CIDI-ICDI has a special interest and expertise in what’s happening in Canada, we also know that we are not the only ones talking about D&I.
There are a plethora of thought leaders and organizations in Canada. We may all have different directives, mandates or goals, but when broken down, we generally share the same audience of people: people who care about other people and the betterment of the Canadian society. For example, at the CIDI-ICDI we have an employer/employment/workplace culture focus, while the Canadian Centre for Diversity has an educational focus. One group may be dedicated to disability awareness, while organizations like yours at Maytree are focused on immigrants. At the end of the day, there is one thread that connects us all, the empowerment of Canada’s people.
If we all share this thread, and attract similar audiences, then we can, at some level, work to support one another.
Social Media is the perfect driving force to do just that.
#cdndiversity creates an “at a glance” view for this collective audience to know what’s happening right now in Canada when it comes to the experiences of Canadians. What ideas are being shared? What events are happening that you may otherwise not have known about? What unintentional hidden resources are out there, just waiting to be found? What might we work on together?
What does #cdndiversity mean to you? How inclusive is it of diversity, broadly defined?
In the development conversation around the hashtag, we realized that #cdndiversity could be so much more. #cdndiversity has the power to actually become a movement. #cdndiversity isn’t just about branding the CIDI-ICDI, it’s about branding a specific part of the D&I conversation as Canadian for all Canadians. We want to lead that charge.
#cdndiversity is a concept with a root purpose of encouraging all Canadians to build a personal appreciation for their own individuality, while at the same time learning how to collaborate with one another as empowered individuals. The benefits of encouraging this yin/yang of thinking reaches to so many levels of our society; in our education systems, our workplaces, our everyday communities, and even our home-lives.
#cdndiversity represents all the things we may categorize under the diversity umbrella: Diversity, inclusion, human rights, civil rights, innovation, collaboration, inspiration, pride, diversity of experience, diversity of culture, yet compiled in one place and with a Canadian focused lens.
What value is there to having a Canadian subset of the diversity hashtag?
Our laws, while similar, have some very specific differences from other countries. For example, in the U.S. there is a national accessibility effort, the Americans with Disabilities Act, while here in Canada it’s still very much a provincially focused conversation, which in many cases is only just beginning.
To the other side of that; just this week, Canada marked the ten-year anniversary of LGBT Marriage Equality, while the U.S., France, England and more are still in the midst of an intense debate. While the conversations are similar between many of these countries, there are gaps. By creating a separate hashtag dedicated to D&I in Canada, we can casually help fill in those gaps as a community of Canadian thought leaders.
Beyond tagging/categorizing tweets, might you use it for online conversations, Tweetchats, etc., in the future?
We recognize that #cdndiversity carries a multitude of opportunities. We have a few things on deck that we are mulling over and considering in terms of its use. Hosting Tweetchats is certainly one of them, but we want to make one thing very clear: while we created this hashtag, this hashtag is for everyone. This hashtag isn’t just for Canadian D&I professionals, it’s for all Canadians. We would love for all organizations to think about using this hashtag to host Tweetchats if the topic should fall under the Canadian D&I umbrella.