DIVERSITY TIP OF THE WEEK: Lean into Discomfort

Event Type(s): Other,Diversity

Interacting with people who are different from us can be uncomfortable. Should we ask the person in the wheelchair if they need help or is that patronizing? Do we shake the hand of the woman wearing a burqa? What's the gender identity of the person we just met and do we use "he" or "she" or some other pronoun? Situations like these can lead us to avoid the person who's different as a way of avoiding our own anxiety. But when we do this, we don't grow. Instead it's better to approach than to avoid, to see what we can learn, even to ask the honest, but seemingly stupid, question. To become culturally competent, we need to "lean into discomfort".

--Contributed by Kumea Shorter-Gooden, Ph.D.

For more information, contact:
Jenny Denton
Office of Diversity and Inclusion
+1 301 405 6810

www.provost.umd.edu/diversity




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