RISE MODULE: Celebrate Diversity Month
OVERVIEW & HISTORY
Celebrate Diversity Month originated in 2004 and was created to identify, highlight and honor the diversity of the world around us and its citizens. Multiple diversity consulting firms partnered together to lead the charge for a holiday to recognize the importance of multiculturalism in global societies. Diversity most simply defined means difference. It represents the differences we hold in many spheres. Most commonly when we talk about diversity as a society we refer to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other philosophies.
Celebrating diversity involves not just a recognition of differences but also a conscious effort to understand, appreciate and learn from those differences. Acceptance and respect are the anchors to broadening our horizons and understanding each other on a grander scale. What is true is that in spite of all our differences there is tremendous similarity in the human condition and experience. The goal in “celebrating diversity” is to find connection, to recognize that shared experience and to foster harmony with people in spite of our different beliefs, cultures and ideologies.
Acceptance and respect are the anchors to broadening our horizons and understanding each other on a grander scale. What is true is that in spite of all our differences there is tremendous similarity in the human condition and experience.
The benefits of embracing diversity and promoting its importance can be recognized at home, the workplace and on a global scale. Understanding each other in deeper ways keeps us humble and open to growth. Having a diverse workforce allows for multiple perspectives and solutions that cross-cultural boundaries and open opportunities that may have been unrecognizable and unobtainable in the past. When we embrace, encourage and value our differences we walk one step closer to creating global harmony and extinguishing social injustice.
Diversity has had a significant impact on sports and has helped to make them more inclusive and accessible to a broader range of individuals. It has allowed for a greater variety of skills, playing styles, and perspectives to be represented, making the games more dynamic and exciting to watch. The inclusion of individuals from different cultural backgrounds has also led to the incorporation of new techniques, equipment, and training methods, pushing the boundaries of what was previously thought possible.
Furthermore, diversity in sports has helped to break down stereotypes and prejudices in other parts of society, promoting greater understanding and respect for people from different walks of life. It is for this reason that major sporting events such as the Olympic Games and World Cup find ways in which they can celebrate those from all countries, cultures and backgrounds. Overall, diversity has not only enhanced the sporting experience but has also helped to promote social inclusion and positive societal change.
The daily lives of all Americans are impacted by Black Americans and their accomplishments. From Garrett Morgan who invented the traffic light to Lewis Latimer who contributed to the telephone and light bulb to Maya Angelou who has influenced American literature and to Gladys West whose mathematical expertise created the foundation for the global positioning systems (GPS) we use daily. One area in which Black Americans have found a tremendous platform for excellence and social change is the realm of sports. Multiple athletes have excelled in their sport becoming champions and some of the best to ever. While receiving acknowledgement and fame for their efforts they have simultaneously challenged and exposed the discriminatory systems to other Black Americans and Americans generally. These brave athletes sacrifice so much in their careers to derail the status quo. Athletes like Bill Russell, Muhammad Ali, John Carlos and more recently, Lebron James, Venus and Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Maya Moore have used their platforms masterfully to create change.
- What exposure do you have to different cultures and lifestyles?
- How can diversity impact sports?
- What experiences have shaped your personal opinions on diversity?
- Why is diversity awareness important?
- Understand that we can be diverse (different in many ways not just in terms of race, gender etc.
- Recognize that diversity is the only constant. None of us are exactly the same each of us is different from each other in certain ways; whether those ways are visible or not. Also, in spite of diversity there are many similarities we hold with others in terms of values, passions, backgrounds etc.
- Expose yourself to different cultures and perspectives
- Go out to eat or cook a meal involving a new cultures cuisine
- Volunteer with a community or group you are unfamiliar with
- Speak up and speak out when you see or hear divisive behavior