What Is Diversity?

Today we feel that many caring and aware individuals
wish to practice diversity inclusion and acceptance. But
what is this? The following statement from Queensboro
Community College, gives a fine description of the
complexity of this issue.
“The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It
means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our
individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race,
ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age,
physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It
is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing
environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond
simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of
diversity contained within each individual.
Diversity is a reality created by individuals and groups from a broad
spectrum of demographic and philosophical differences. It is extremely
important to support and protect diversity because by valuing
individuals and groups free from prejudice, and by fostering a climate
where equity and mutual respect are intrinsic.
‘Diversity’ means more than just acknowledging and/or tolerating
difference. Diversity is a set of conscious practices that involve:
• Understanding and appreciating interdependence of humanity,
cultures, and the natural environment.
• Practicing mutual respect for qualities and experiences that are
different from our own.
• Understanding that diversity includes not only ways of being but
also ways of knowing.
• Recognizing that personal, cultural and institutionalized
discrimination creates and sustains privileges for some while
creating and sustaining disadvantages for others.
• Building alliances across differences so that we can work
together to eradicate all forms of discrimination.
Diversity includes, therefore, knowing how to relate to those
qualities and conditions that are different from our own and
outside the groups to which we belong, yet are present in other
individuals and groups. These include but are not limited to age,
ethnicity, class, gender, physical abilities/qualities, race, sexual
orientation, as well as religious status, gender expression,
educational background, geographical location, income, marital
status, parental status, and work experiences. Finally, we
acknowledge that categories of difference are not always fixed but
also can be fluid, we respect individual rights to self-identification,
and we recognize that no one culture is intrinsically superior to
another.”

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1 Response to What Is Diversity?

  1. Kathe Mayer says:

    Another well done piece about diversity today and what it means.

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