I have been thinking a lot about the word diversity ever since my son and his family have made a decision to move to another part of the United States that will be rich in diversity. I looked back at their past (and mine) and sensed that it is sorely lacking in the current status.
Now there is nothing wrong with where they (or I) are at, but in my words, it is very vanilla. They will be given many opportunities and experiences in the future that they wouldn’t have gotten. I endorse this for them as it will make all of them (adults and children) better people when surrounded by diversity.
What is Diversity?
Diversity refers to human qualities that are different from our own and those of groups to which we belong, but are manifested in other individuals and groups. Dimensions of diversity include, but are not limited to: age, ethnicity, gender, physical abilities/qualities, race, sexual orientation, educational background, geographic location, income, marital or partner status, military experience, parental status, religious beliefs, work experience and job classification.
Why is Diversity Important?
Diversity provides a lesson for each of us to be okay with and open to those things that set us apart and understanding and accepting of people for who they are.
Being culturally aware provides an opportunity to stand back and consider that there are certain backgrounds, personal values, beliefs and upbringings that shape the things we all do. Something that is considered inappropriate behavior in one culture may be perfectly appropriate in another.
The Opportunities for my Grandchildren
Learning about other cultures helps us relate to one another and be okay with different perspectives. Think about my grandchildren in school! They have some unique chances to experience more of the world and never leave their classroom.
With the support of research, theorists and experience, the inclusion of multiculturalism within classrooms just makes perfect sense! Think of it…providing young children with endless opportunities and exposure to beautiful traditions, music and rhythms, instruments, celebrations, books, people, homes, art; and that is just to name a few!
I have been thinking a lot about diversity and my grandchildren.
“Diversity is the one true thing we have in common.”