DIVERSITY TIP OF THE WEEK: Individuals Aren't Diverse, Groups Are

Event Type(s): Other,Diversity

Sometimes individuals are referred to as "diverse". But that term doesn't make sense, because "diversity" is a group rather than an individual characteristic. Individuals, for example, African Americans, sexual minorities and religious minorities, may be "marginalized" or "underrepresented", and to create diverse work groups and classrooms, we need to recruit, hire, admit and fully engage students and colleagues from such groups. But "diversity" is a characteristic of the collective. Referring to individuals as "diverse" contributes to the notion that some people have "culture" or "identity", while others do not. Yet every one of us has "identity" and "culture". Using precise terminology helps us to make a "diverse" campus feel truly inclusive.

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

For more information, contact:
Timea M Webster
Office of Diversity & Inclusion
+1 301 405 6810

www.diversity.umd.edu




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