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Diversity: Is It Important

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So we always hear the term “diversity” thrown about as something we need to achieve. I went to schools that actively recruited students from around the globe. I post on several forums that mention it somewhere in their vision or mission statement as to what the site hopes to gain. They make claims as to how diverse their communities and views are.

But I think most of them are just yanking their own chains. They are really all about diversity when THEY are the majority. Many of them are the first to leave communities where they aren’t members of the dominant culture and don’t feel welcome or don’t fit in. But when someone else makes that claim about their community, they are laughed off.

So is hoping for diversity enough or should we really strive to be diverse? Should we just think that because there are members of various races/nationalities/sexual orientations/religions/political parties/whatever that there is diversity- or should we also seek a diversity of opinions and ideas? Because you have gay friends, does that mean there is diversity if you all share the same views on homosexuality? Because you have some non-Christian friends, does that mean there is diversity if you are all politically conservative?

For those of you who belong to communities where you’re not the majority- what drew you to that community? Why did you stay? What would make you interested in belonging to a group where you aren’t one of the majority? Do you feel you get more out of communities where you are in the majority or the minority?

In other words, how does a group- be it online, a school, a place of employment, a club or whatever- attract members of all walks of life and really make them feel at home? Is that possible? Or is it just wishful thinking?

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About Cara

  • My high school was all about diversity, but the school didn’t make it an issue until my class made it one. In our school’s case, we were successful because we were diverse. Yes, there was about a 40% majority of white people, but there a big number of blacks and mexicans. Surprisingly, not so many Asians, but that was more because there were two nearby high schools that were like 90% Asian. It was nice seeing such a mixture of people, which is why I liked the environment. Large numbers of white people are given in this country, but to see more than average number of “minorities” is very pleasant and less intimidating.

  • -E

    So how do communities go about gaining diversity if that is something they desire? Does it just happen or do they do something to get there?

  • beadtot

    Diversity is not an invented concept–it occurs in nature AND nurture. It became a ‘hot topic’ as a color issue because wildlife linkages focus on some skin colors more than others — with a diverse range of motives.

  • I think most of the time it just happens. The schools do work at making its campus desirable and open. That’s pretty much all it can do. Diversity is a result of the school’s atmosphere.