Letter: The truth about diversity
Diversity is not a goal. Inclusion is a means.
Contrary to the prevailing belief in academic and corporate environments, diversity is not a “goal.” Rather, diversity is simply the nature of the global talent pool. In organizational settings, inclusion is the means by which this talent pool is effectively engaged in the development of society.
The promise of inclusion in societal settings is one of imagining other people’s lives and other versions of reality. Movements such as Black Lives Matter and The March for Life serve to satisfy two inclusive human needs: the need to feel authentic and the need to belong. While the visual and verbal cues in these movements are often readily apparent, what is less obvious is the back story: the history, motivation, traditions, and religious beliefs of a culture that ultimately informs participants’ behavior.
Conceptually, diversity mirrors the spectrum of human experience in the global talent pool. Shifting patterns of immigration in our nation’s schools suggest that diversity in the years ahead will therefore be increasingly understood as a diversity of values. Thoughtful conversations about core values in instructional settings will depend upon the co-creation of meaning between and among students and their teachers. In contrast, instructional models focused on surfacing bias will likely prompt backlash and deepen division by alienating and shaming those assumed to be privileged.
Bowman lives in Fargo.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.