October 17, 2016

What is diversity?

In light of recent events in Charlotte, as well as working with diverse students, I have been exploring relatable, easy to understand ways to discuss diversity with children. So if you have moment to talk about diversity with your child, here is a roadmap that I put together. Enjoy talking about your differences and similarities! image1

Diversity: the state of having people who are different races or who have different cultures in a group or organization.

Now let’s use the word diversity in a sentence:

The school aims for diversity in its student population. The city is known for its cultural diversity.

Source: Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary

How are we similar?
– We all have feelings and want to be love and respected.
– We want friends and to be included.
– We have skin, hair, ears, noses, eyes, arms, and legs.
– Sometimes we play the same sports or participate in the same activities.
– Sometimes we celebrate the same holidays.

How are we different?
– Hair color and texture, eye color, skin color, freckles, and body shapes and sizes.
– Languages, religions, cultural traditions, and beliefs.
– Hobbies, jobs, interests, and talents.

Let’s talk about it, think about, and explore diversity more:

Diversity means there are a lot of different types and kind of things; a variety. Just as there are different kinds and colors of toys, cars, trains, and other objects, there is also diversity among people.

Wouldn’t it be boring if every car was exactly the same in color, shape, and size? Well the same applies to our friends, neighbors, and people in the world. Our world would not be very interesting if we were all the same. Our differences make us unique and interesting, allowing us to contribute in so many different ways.

Diversity can be found in your own home. Moms and dads can be different races and the same gender, siblings can have different hair color, and families members can all like different activities. Diversity can be found in schools, workplaces, shopping centers, and other public places.

What’s great about diversity?

Diversity introduces us to other ways of living. When we share what music, food, clothing, and traditions we like, we share our diversity. When we learn about one another and learn to enjoy what others enjoy, we become less scared of change. We learn to be accepting of different ways of living, our different appearances, and our different likes.

What can be challenging about diversity?

Diversity can cause fear and misunderstandings. We may decide to not let someone participate in an activity because they are different. We may show unkindness by deciding to not like who they are before we get to know someone. Unkindness can even be shown when we don’t let someone participate in an activity because they are either a boy or girl. When someone is treated unfairly like this it is called discrimination.

The next time you see someone who is different than you, think about how much you can learn from them. Think about how their differences and your differences both make your worlds more interesting.

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