Ready to Celebrate Diversity Month?

When I realized that this month is Celebrate Diversity Month I decided to write a blog about it. The problem I encountered, though, is that the word diversity has many meanings, depending on context and experience. It also has negative connotations because some look at it as if you are for diversity, you must be anti-white male.

In looking through a lot of definitions through a Google search, the one that resonated best with me was "Diversity means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies."

It should not be that complicated! Here is the thing, humans are ALL different and diverse. So, instead of getting caught into the whole controversy about diversity as mandated, encouraged, trained, etc., I decided to candidly share what it means to me.

What diversity means to me

I have always looked at diversity with curiosity, probably because of my personal journey. You see, I was born in Cuba, left at 18 years of age by going to Spain, where I got in touch with my roots. After a few months, me and my parents went to Costa Rica, which was my base for about 12 years. During that time, I did all my higher education in the USA, where I had to learn not only another culture(s) but also another language. Then I spent 11 years in Mexico. After permanently moving to USA in 1997 I lived in Michigan and Texas, after which I spent 2 years in Germany to end up in Delaware, where I live today.

Through all that exposure to different cultures, I found out not only differences, but also commonalities. I became aware that diversity of minds is more important than any other type of diversity, because a closed mind in any culture, doesn't help leaders and tends to look the same!

The recognition of a common humanity is the first step in the celebration of our differences - differences that inform our cultures, our values, our minds, and all our ways of being in the world. 

For me Diversity is much more than quotas or integration. Diversity is a state of mind. Diversity is more than percentages of women in leadership or a welcoming environment. Diversity exists when you go above and beyond being aware of differences or accepting differences to the point of actively including and celebrating in your life people who are different from you.

Diversity is learning from our differences to make the whole workplace and community a better place.

What does diversity means to you?

As we celebrate diversity this month, take a few moments and reflect on what diversity means to you. Think about how many friends you have that are different from you. If you can't come up with many, make a special effort to get to know people that are different. Share that with others. Share it here with us in the comments. 


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