Why is diversity so important? 

 

The other day I had the opportunity to assist in giving a presentation to a local service organization about the importance of diversity in Huntington County.  Honestly, this made me feel a bit sheepish.  I felt (and looked) very young and number of years calling Huntington my home.  Am I still considered an “outsider” and not given the right to be telling community business persons something that they have probably been told of for their entire lives?  Coming from the University can also bring baggage with it.  Some folks probably think that an idealistic concept like diversity is great on a university campus but out at Wal-Mart, Crestview Middle School or Taco Bell, diversity is nonsensical and unncessary. 

 

But I also felt sheepish because I don’t feel that I understand the necessity of diversity enough to be considered a champion for its implementation.  I’m a good participant but not leader.  Believe me… I would like to be a champion, to stick my neck out, to do my best to convince others of why we need to have persons who are different from us speaking into our lives but I am often aware of my own confusion about diversity and, worse, my own racist attitudes.  I know all of the “right answers” about diversity but I’m not sure how internalized they are.  Moreover, I’m afraid that what I can communicate about diversity will only generate responses like, “That’s nice, dear” or “Bless your heart” or “Diversity is only a good idea on paper” or “I used to think that way but now I know better”.

 

Primarily, I want to understand the necessity of diversity so that I would act and think rightly but I also wish that I could compel others to live and think rightly as well.  It would be nice to make people mad once in a while, to challenge people to examine their thoughts and behaviors that are unjust.  I want to move beyond participant to leader, from discussion-leader to practitioner. 

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  1. That is what is interesting about doing what God has called us to do-sometimes we are NOT exactly qualified.  Look at Moses, he was pretty out of his league and he DEFINATELY was not a native and yet when God calls you to make a move, he gives you all you need to implement it.  Good Luck in this adventure-we are pulling for you and praying for God’s favor (which it is obvious that you already have.)

  2. Diversity is a really strange idea, and many times people only think of diversity in skin color. My group of friends is as diverse as it gets and all of us are white. It’s really odd how we all came together to be friends, worship ministry majors, accountants, art majors, comm majors, psych majors, and the closest bunch of friends I have ever had. We come from about 6 different states, all in different kind of homes, some PKs some teachers kids etc. We bring those experiences to one place and are able to grow (and sometimes experience first hand) the experiences they have had.I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t know, but it’s just wierd to me too how different people can be and how easily people put stickers on one another and write each other off. It’s kind of sad.

  3. I hate to say this but . . . if  “all of us are white,” it’s not as diverse as it gets. We can (for only the moment) leave aside racial diversity in the description above. Is there age diversity? Economic diversity in that group? Is each person in college or a graduate thereof (diversity of educational opportunity? Everyone is from a state, so are there no white people from France, Switzerland, or Poland? Is everyone evangelical?
    We don’t always recognize the ponds we swim in.

  4. Alf could be a possibility if you can guarantee he/she wouldn’t get run over several times weekly!!!

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