Things to Know About Diversity
Whether you're looking to build relationships with others from whom you differ, create a workplace that's inclusive of people from different backgrounds, or just want to know more about diversity, you might find the following points to be helpful.
Tips for learning about diversity:
- Be aware of microaggressions, which are subtle, unintentional behaviors that represent unconscious, deeply-ingrained biases.
- Perceptions of the dominant group often differ from those of the minority or oppressed group, based on experience.
- Becoming culturally competent involves not just having knowledge about other groups or the skills to interact appropriately, but also awareness of aspects of your own identity.
- Appreciate aspects of your own identity, both privileged and stigmatized (e.g., you might belong to an oppressed group in terms of religion, but a privileged or dominant group in terms of race).
- Shift your mindset when you have conflict with others around issues of diversity from "They need to change" to "What can I change?"
- Question yourself when you feel reactive about diversity: "What am I missing in this situation?" "How might my desire to be proven right (or innocent) affect my view of the other person or reality?"
- Increase your tolerance for making mistakes as you strive to build relationships with people from whom you differ.
- Learn to "sit in the fire" and deal with difficult emotions (e.g., guilt regarding privilege or anger regarding discrimination).
- Be an ally (e.g., if you're a white person, speak up about racial inequality).
- Appreciate your allies.