While diversity may not necessarily be an unfamiliar concept, especially for those of us who live in more liberal states or come from more open-minded cultural backgrounds, it is still important to recognize the positive impact that it has on us in our day-to-day lives.
If I could only choose one take-away from the conversations surrounding diversity, it would definitely be the way diversity improves our ability to think outside of the box and communicate effectively.
Let’s take a look at schools for instance. Historically, culturally diverse academic campuses offer a more robust educational experience, since students have the opportunity to interact with peers and mentors that come from different backgrounds and upbringings. This is especially true for students who may have previously been raised mostly amongst people of similar racial, cultural, or socioeconomic backgrounds.
A diverse academic environment allows these students to come into contact with peers that they haven’t interacted with before, which in turn can challenge and dispel predisposed stereotypes about certain races, ethnicities, cultures, or economic upbringings. These interactions will also allow them to be more collaborative and will also present students with the opportunity to view things from a different perspective, two skills that are very crucial to future success, especially in the workforce.
Most notably, diversity helps us understand and accept differing beliefs and perspectives, which thereby encourages us to become more aware and empathetic.