Many of us can agree that diversity is a good thing. Making diversity a goal is, for the most part, a no-brainer. However, we often forget the many reasons why diversity is important in the first place.
Here are three reasons why it is important for us to continually encourage diversity.
Diversity is more realistic.
When you find yourself in a place lacking diversity, you begin to view the world as homogenous. You begin to believe that everyone looks and thinks just like you. That is simply not true.
The world is not a homogenous place, and not everyone you encounter will share your background, belief system or ideals. We have a natural tendency to stereotype people; we develop ideas of what people from other countries or of other racial backgrounds should be like. Without exposure to diversity, we develop a single story about an entire demographic based on tiny bits of information, and that “single story” is often entirely inaccurate.
When we are exposed to diversity and actively pursue it as a goal, we are able to develop a more accurate view of what the world around us is like.
Diversity makes us smarter.
Being exposed to diverse ideas helps us expand our minds. Racial or ethnic diversity in the classroom or workplace leads to diversity of thought. Diversity of thought leads to better, stronger ideas. Diverse ways of thinking encourage discussions and debates, which can stimulate the mind, create a sense of unity and camaraderie on a team and help create long-term solutions to problems.
Diversity helps preserve traditions.
By encouraging diversity, we preserve interesting, engaging and important stories from those around us. We are able to preserve and celebrate not only our own traditions, but that of the people around us.
As you celebrate Diversity Month this year, take a moment to remember why it is so vitally important in the first place.
Asia Burns is a junior journalism and mass communication major at Samford University.