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Diversity Created by Sue Johnson, Educational Advisor, 2007 1.

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1 Diversity Created by Sue Johnson, Educational Advisor, 2007 1

2 “He prayed – it wasn’t my religion. He ate – it wasn’t what I ate. He spoke – it wasn’t my language. He dressed – it wasn’t what I wore. He took my hand – it wasn’t the color of mine. But when he laughed, it was how I laughed, and when he cried, it was how I cried.” - Amy Maddox 2

3 “As the American population changes, college graduates will need even more the skills and desire to deal with individuals with a wide array of backgrounds and perspectives. The fundamental goals of a liberal arts education-- critical thinking, problem solving, exposure to a broad range of ideas and topics, communications skills-- remain perfectly suited to help students negotiate a diverse world.” Howard Greene and Matthew Greene Independent educational consultants Why is studying diversity important? 3

4 Spending time with people who are truly different than we are makes new ideas more “available.” Some of those ideas are great ones that we would never have developed had we surrounded ourselves only with same-thinking people. April 13th, 2006 by Erich ViethErich Vieth Why is diversity important? 4

5 I. Diversity - What is it? Culture: learned behaviors men/women urban/ city dwellers able bodied/challenged college/non college younger students/older students Race: biological differences appearance body size Social: classes Sandards of living Expectations Accepted behaviors 5

6 II. Culture - made up of: Our learned behaviors: concepts habits skills attitudes beliefs values 6

7 We can look at culture as systems: We are born into families We enter into educational systems We proceed into the world of work All of these are different cultures each of which sets up filters through which we see the world. 7

8 III. Our task: develop cultural competence Examine/explore our own biases & prejudices – our filters - Bias Prejudice Stereotypes 8

9 IV. Strategies: Realize that differences enrich us and make up the mosaic of our lives Learn the skills to create a common ground with people who are different Recognize the obstacles imposed by: Bias – an unfair preference for or dislike of something Prejudice – prejudge based on characteristics such as gender, race, sexual orientation, religion. Usually based on stereotypes Stereotypes - assumptions made, without proof or critical thinking, about the characteristics of a person or group of people Discrimination – actions that deny people equal access 9

10 Strategies Communicate and establish rapport with one another Develop support systems Explore own culture – examine our own varied background Think critically – don’t just assume Gather information Analyze the info Create new ideas Act on the information 10

11 Act on it! Group activity 11

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