In our current political climate, our nation is undeniably divided. While many organizations and corporations have implemented diversity and inclusion policies, employees and members are finding that they are lacking a key component; equity. In a time where people seem to want to build wall, Ty Bledsoe is helping people build bridges within their workplaces and organizations.
Bledsoe works for a Fortune 10 company as the assistant vice president of external and legislative affairs. He is also a reverend and a third-generation pastor.
Read more: Quynh Chau Stone talks journey to America, losing everything and building The Source of Hope
Bledsoe says that his days begin at 6 a.m. and that they often continue until 11 p.m. or 1 a.m. He begins his day with prayer, checking his emails and making a to-do list of key items.
“Throughout the day, it’s about going out there and making decisions, a transformative impact and adding value with individual relationships and organizations I work with,” Bledsoe says.
In addition to his work for a Fortune 10 company and his work as a reverend, Bledsoe often serves on three different boards of directors. He is on the executive committee for the greater Irving and Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce, where he serves as the chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. He is also on the Executive Board for University of Texas at Dallas and serves on the board of directors of Project Unity, a nonprofit faith-inspired organization based in Dallas, that is focused on racial reconciliation.
“Racial reconciliation means bringing people together from different backgrounds, different ethnicities in respectful and civil conversations,” Bledsoe says. “It’s about building bridges and not walls.”
Part of racial reconciliation is increasing equity in the workplace. While many organizations make it a point to increase diversity and to cultivate an inclusive environment, Bledsoe says that many are lacking on the equity front.
“Diversity is being invited to the dance, inclusion is being asked to dance, but equity is having the power to select the song that you dance to,” Bledsoe says. “They need to have all three of those components because if you just have diversity without equity and inclusion is just window shopping. If you had inclusion without equity, then it’s both unfair and actually perpetuates institutional and cultural inequities and inequality. They need to make sure that they’re giving their employees the keys not only develop their skills but to utilize their skills in a professional manner.”
As Bledsoe wears many hats, he hopes that his work will leave a lasting impact. He encourages everyone to live a “eulogy focused life” as well as a “resume focused life.”
Read more: A new effort to house homeless female veterans in Collin County
“It’s nice to find out what someone’s willing to die for, but rather, I challenge people this, ‘What are you living for?’ ‘What is your inspiration?’” Bledsoe says. “Once people tap into finding out their purposes and how they can go about and fulfill that purpose, then they can go in there and not only achieve their goals, but they can achieve significance, and they can be the change that the world desperately needs.”