Appreciating Diversity: Living in a Multicultural World

By Mari Carmen Bennasar, PsyD, Director of the Lucero Latino Mental Health Program; Core Faculty, Counseling Psychology Department October 05, 2015

Mental Health Tips from William James College Faculty: Appreciating Diversity: Living in a Multicultural World, by Mari Carmen Bennasar, PsyD, Director of the Lucero Latino Mental Health Program; Core Faculty, Counseling Psychology Department.

In a global economy, diversity is a given and cultural awareness is essential. Diversity is the mosaic of people whose varied backgrounds, styles, perspectives, values and beliefs can be assets to groups, organizations, and the communities in which we live. More than ever, it is important to embrace diversity and celebrate its many positives.

When people value diversity, they recognize and respect difference. Stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination interfere with this respect and come about when people fear difference. 

Tips for Appreciating and Embracing Diversity

Respecting and appreciating diversity begins with a critical evaluation of ourselves. We can begin to appreciate diversity by:

  • Increasing our understanding of our own and others’ worldview 
  • Examining critically our attitudes towards people who are different from us 
  • Identifying the origin of our negative reactions and recognizing our biases 
  • Being willing to talk, listen, and learn 
  • Being aware how discrimination operates, who it privileges, and who it harms 
  • Speaking out against insensitive remarks and discriminatory behaviors 
  • Respecting and accepting differences 
  • Creating and/or allowing space for different activities, routines, practices 
  • Respecting and supporting difference in our institutions and communities 
  • Acting as a role model 
  • Human diversity is a gift. Appreciating and celebrating this can help us all lead happier and more productive lives.