Recently, when facilitating a conversation with students about “our changing community,” a student asked “what can she do to learn more about different social and cultural identities.” I answered her question and thought that I would share my answer with others who might be interested.
First of all, when I’m facilitating conversations like this with students, I explain that cultural/social diversity happens when different identity groups are represented in the population you are examining. For instance, there is an appropriate representation of people from different ages, abilities, races, ethnicities, genders, orientations, socioeconomic backgrounds, religions, etc. I explain that when we are exposed to diverse populations, chances are that we will be more open minded and more likely to thrive in diverse work environments.
So, if you don’t have the luxury of being exposed to diverse identities on a regular basis, below are some examples of ways in which you can intentionally expand your knowledge and increase your worldview:
- Leverage campus resources, visit the library (physically and/or virtually) and read more about diverse social identities and inclusive environments here are some examples.
- Join a student organization/club.
- Optimize your life experiences by attending events that expand your cultural knowledge base such as the Diversity Lecture Series here at GRCC. The next lecture, on Wednesday, October 9th, 2019, in the ATC Auditorium at 1:00 pm, will feature Dr. Bernadette Marie Calafell who has research and teaching interests in feminism, critical race theory and ethnic studies.
- Break down cultural and social silos by intentionally connecting with people from different backgrounds.