Diversity. What exactly does that mean?Posted: March, 27 2010 in Blog, Diversity in media, cultural diversity, culture diversity, diverse, Diverse Casting, diversity, diversity cultural, diversity definition, diversity ethnic, diversity management, diversity of, diversity program, diversity species, diversity training, ethnic diversity, gay, gay films, gay marriage, latino films, Lesbian, Lesbian films, ma vie en rose, managing diversity, multicultural, multicultural activities, multicultural art, Multicultural casting, multicultural day, multicultural issues, multicultural lesson, multicultural literature, multicultural people, multicultural society, multicultural world, multiculturalism, multiculture, muslim films, tolerance, tolerances, tolerence, what is diversity, work diversity, workforce diversity, workplace diversity
The interesting thing about the word Diversity is that many people see it as a threat, a challenge to the status quo, an agent of oppression, or a condemnation of those who are currently in the proverbial driver’s seat. I can’t tell you how many times I mention the word diversity only to feel that slight twinge of very real discomfort from my fellow conversationalists. In many instances the word diversity has meant the inclusion of another race, religion or lifestyle at the cost of and/or the exclusion of everything and everyone else. Some have even gone as far as to call it reverse discrimination. Now that is an odd term? It is almost as if someone is saying that there is an accepted or understood way to discriminate and anything else, or any other way is doing it backwards. We are a very funny society aren’t we?
Diversity has always been a word that seemed more comfortably uttered by those who felt as if they had been excluded, and almost apologetically voiced by those who wanted to express their understanding of the excluded ones current situation. However, I would like to challenge those of us who find ourselves in this new ever shrinking global community, to erase all of those feelings of regret and remorse and approach this new global community with a different looking glass.
We must find a new way to understand diversity if we are going to achieve understanding and tolerance in this new world. Becoming diverse does not mean that we create or support an underserved or under-recognized group of people and exclude another. Becoming diverse and celebrating a diverse society means celebrating all, at the same time. To achieve this thing called diversity we must start by creating an environment free of animosity from perceived past wrongs and limitations.
We must enter into an understanding of equality and compassion, and we must start the conversation that includes all people. So how do we do this? In my humble opinion I think the healing and understanding begins with transforming our media. Media matters. Media is one of the most powerful and yet underutilized tools of our society. Media today is being used, whether consciously or unconsciously, to promote separation and animosity. This current exclusion of races, religions, and lifestyles by the current media makes many of our society feel excluded and unrecognized. People who feel excluded and unrecognized tend to become empathetic and resigned. This ,my friends, is not a way to build a strong community.
I would like for you to visit the site Hulu.com. After you are there scroll through the images on the front page and count how many people of different ethnic backgrounds grace the slide show. Now that you have a rough count, click on a few of the slides and see how many of the programs that use a person of a different culture, actually feature that person in their show.
You might find yourself a little surprised at just how little our media looks like our world.