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What Does ‘JEDI’ Really Mean?

B Corp - AMS FulfillmentIs it civil rights… is it human rights… what is DE&I or JEDI? Is it simply a new form of affirmative action? We see advocacy for it in the media, and we also see complaints, calls to end it and even mockery. In this writing we’ll try to define the terms and also explore the effects of these policies.

First we went to Google with the question, “What is DEI.”

“Diversity, equity and inclusion is a term used to describe policies and programs that promote the representation and participation of different groups of individuals. DEI encompasses people of different ages, races, ethnicities, abilities, disabilities, genders, religions, cultures and sexual orientations.”

JEDI adds the word Justice: Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Justice is a beautiful word, a beautiful concept and a beautiful reality.

B Corporations and JEDI

We went to as our first source of information on the meaning. What does it mean to a B Corporation?

“Historic and ongoing systems that sustain and exacerbate inequality among systematically disadvantaged groups create the need for companies to have specific and intentional plans to adopt principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) within their own organizations and value chains. Taking continuous action on JEDI is the foundation of a safe and equitable workplace that fosters belonging and reflects a range of critical labor and human rights.”

Without going to the dictionary or to the experts, what does JEDI mean to the man on the street? Justice – there is no stronger foundation than making decisions based upon what is just. Equity – giving every employee an equal consideration and pay for equal effort. Diversity – keeping in mind past discrimination when hiring and promoting employees. Inclusion – being mindful of including persons who in the past may not have been included.

Among the critical voices we hear the following accusation – JEDI means hiring less qualified persons in order to reach quotas. This is absolutely untrue. It does mean eliminating prejudices based on race or sex, providing training when called for, and hiring fully qualified persons.

The article states that JEDI falls under human rights. “Indeed, JEDI has deep conceptual links with both Human Rights and Workplace Culture, plus Fair Wages covers wage equity, which is essential to achieving broader equity in the workplace. However, Human Rights and JEDI in particular often inhabit distinct spaces in sustainability and organizational change discourses. They also can fall under different roles or departments within a company and are subject to distinct frameworks, guidance, and regulation.”

When a company is a B Corporation, there are expectations: “The systems of oppression and marginalization that we operate within are deeply rooted in our societies and touch virtually all facets of our lives. We must therefore require specific, intentional, and ambitious action from companies on JEDI.”

JEDI at AMS Fulfillment

What does JEDI look like in practice? For an answer, we turned to Samantha Hicks, AMS Corporate Culture and Org. Development Business Partner.

“This topic is something I am passionate about, and I feel fortunate to be part of its development and evolution here at AMS. Yes, companies can check the box of having policies in place, and having DEI training, but “Justice” means so much more. Which is why I am proud to see AMS and other B Corps adding “Justice” as a top priority in their DEI efforts. Justice means “Action.” So, what are companies “Doing” in response to these issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion? To me, this is a powerful question. People bring awareness about their struggles to authorities, but for so long, it has been put aside, as if on a waiting list of least priorities. Justice ensures timely action!

“AMS’ JEDI Program encompasses all phases of bringing equity to those who do not have the means to be their best at their job, bringing equality to all people to have the same opportunity for prosperity, including a diverse range of people from all backgrounds into decision making, and with a strong leadership team taking “Action” to bring justice as top priority to our company’s success.” 

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Thank you, Samantha. Because we work every day to uphold the principles of JEDI, AMS is a good place to work, a good business partner for our clients, a helpful citizen of our community and a better friend of our shared Earth. We aim to B the Change.

Quotes in this article are from

Photo credit to Samantha Hicks.



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