As a kid, I would often sneak into my parents’ room to peek at what I called “grown-up papers.”
Inside their main closet were two file folders, one made of blue plastic and the other a patterned metal. With great care, I slid through the alphabetized files until I reached the Luther Adoption Services folder and a related document, Michigan Adoption. These were the only records about my arrival in this world and how I learned where my birth parents came from.
The document contained these descriptions:
Mother: Italian/Yugoslavian, medium complexion, college degree.
Father: Negro, dark complexion, high school education.
Until I reunited with my birth family in my early 20s, this was the only official information I had about my parents. Still, the routine of holding and reading these documents sparked my quest for knowledge, accumulation of data and the ultimate acceptance of others.
Many years later I earned a Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology and created K. Parks Consulting Inc., headquartered in Melbourne, Fla., all in an effort to satisfy that quest.
K. Parks Consulting is dedicated to applying the science-practitioner model to diversity and inclusion, and we specialize in analytics and training. I have published several peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and, most recently, my own book, Managing Diversity in the Military: The Value of Inclusion in a Culture of Uniformity.
In this space I will be blogging about my experiences assessing and measuring diversity and inclusion for clients. I encourage an open dialogue at the end of each post, and I will actively seek comments and feedback.
I hope to provide readers with valuable information and assistance in their own endeavors. Don’t let your future diversity and inclusion efforts gather dust in the closet.