Reena Hajat Carroll, the outgoing executive director of the Diversity Awareness Partnership, is leaving St. Louis after 10 years at the helm of DAP.
On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Carroll joined host Don Marsh to discuss what she’s learned over her years leading the organization and what work St. Louis needs to do in the areas of diversity and inclusion going forward.
Carroll said that when she first started in the position, she found St. Louis struggling to conceptualize diversity and inclusion outside of solely racial lines.
"We weren't thinking about other dimensions and identities," Carroll said.
Over those years, DAP's work has expanded to include community engagement around LGBTQ, disability and religious lines.
"That's important to make sure that marginalized communities and people who are hurt by exclusivity are being heard," Carroll said.
That's not to say St. Louis is done confronting issues of race.
"The big challenge ahead is the same that it has been for the past decade and beyond that: how do we bring people together who have different experiences and perspectives and to say, it is okay that we think differently, but let me explain to you what my life is like and let me explain to you how this inequity has affected me and my family," Carroll said. "Until you understand that, we can't have any kind of change. I think the work in this community has to be around continuing to bring people together to share experiences."
Listen as Carroll discusses how DAP has catalyzed conversations on diversity and inclusion, the challenges ahead and what she'll be doing when she moves to Los Angeles:
St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.