The month of April is Diversity Month; a time to celebrate the inclusion of all people within society. While this month may be riddled with April showers, it can also be deemed as powerful. April thankfully provides the opportunity to honor both past and present individuals that have and continue to be strong representatives for their respective cultures. During this month, women such as Michelle Obama, Lucy Liu, America Ferrera, Hillary Clinton, and many others should rightly be celebrated. As Diversity Month 2021 continues, diversity is increasingly becoming more prevalent. For example, Hollywood is honoring minority curated content, professional sports leagues are leading conversations on equality and the current White House Cabinet historically reflects society. Yes, many societal arenas are becoming more diverse as those of different races, genders, and sexual orientations are proudly obtaining space. However, although diversity has recently become a popular topic, many do not understand its importance. In fact, research shows that “most people don’t have a clear understanding of diversity and inclusion.” Nevertheless, diversity should be greatly recognized as underrepresented individuals are asking “What about us?” and “What about our representation?” Clearly, it is pertinent to fully understand diversity, the many benefits it provides, and why society cannot prevail without it. Yes, school is in session and the topic is DIVERSITY.
First, diversity is important because it reduces prejudiced thinking. Oftentimes, when individuals engage in non-diverse environments they develop prejudice thoughts and ideations about other societal groups. As a result, they might hold ugly stereotypes to be true, facilitate discrimination, or believe that their group, and only their group, is important. However, if one was a member of a non-diverse society, how would they know that prejudice thinking is unnecessary? How would one be aware that their thinking is riddled with falsehoods if they never had a conversation, broke bread, or closely worked with those that are different? Thankfully, diversity reduces prejudice because it proves that prejudiced thinking is incorrect. When one is thrust into diverse environments, they receive the opportunity to engage with others and discover that differences are not detrimental. In fact, diversity promotes acceptance and officially establishes that stereotypes are ancient falsehoods, discrimination is unethical and all people are important.
Diversity is also important because it allows for the inclusion of various different perspectives. Respectively, we all have our own unique perspectives as we somewhat experience life differently. In fact, due to our differences, we often make decisions or complete actions that are vastly different. For example, an African-American Woman might review an issue in the workplace and make an equally effective yet, different decision than a Hispanic-American Man would. Honestly, we all view the world, issues, and solutions differently. However, decisions that affect a multicultural group are best when they include all perspectives. Yes, the most effective decisions are made when different perspectives are included in the decision-making process. Diversity powerfully ensures that once we all gain a seat at the table pertinent decisions, which are inclusive to our differences, can effectively be made. Truly, as our world continues to become more diverse, this benefit can be viewed as a necessity. Powerfully, it provides underrepresented individuals with the opportunity to state “My opinion is…” instead of “What about us?”
Lastly, diversity helps us realize that despite our differences, we truly are alike. While there are various perspectives, we are the same. In fact, according to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, all humans are 99.9% the same in their genetic makeup. We are all the same. More specifically, the core desire of all people is to love and to be loved; to validate and to be validated. Although we may have different appearances, sexual orientations, economic statuses and abilities, we all want to be successful and enjoy our time on earth. Therefore, we should celebrate diversity during this month and always as a multicultural perspective brings a healthy balance and unique global mindset.