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What is diversity?

Is it just about color, socio-economics, gender, weight, race etc.? What is diversity?

42 17254892 24 36~Diversity Posters What is diversity?Are you or someone you know leading diversity initiatives in your school?

I ask because I am thrilled and over-the-moon to have been selected as the Director of Diversity at my school for the 2008-2009 year. It is a newly created position and right up my alley – I think.

Am I really a right fit for the position? 

That was actually my first question I had to ask before accepting. Then I got a flashback of my newsroom days – when it was crucial to have a variety of voices, from the community, to be represented in each newscast. You’d be surprised at how much thought goes into figuring out news lineups. 

But we all know – especially in schools – that diversity means many different things to many different people. 

As an African American woman, I know the issues that are important to me – but having had the newsroom background, I can say with certainty that I will have a great grasp of broader issues that are important to even greater communities. 

So in addition to my educational technology responsibilities, as DOD I will be expected to conduct the following:

-lead a committee (can do this pretty well – will keep you posted)
-create programs (definitely need guidance on this one)
-help recruit people of color (this is a new responsibility for me)
-develop forums for both students and parents of color (not bad)
-provide resources for the greater school community (my favorite thing to do)

Readers, feel free to share any tips, links, ideas – anything - to help me get started on this new road.  I feel a little like Lewis and Clark.
  
Here are resources that are helping me to get started.
I will also be attending the People of Color Conference in New Orleans in December. I attended last year’s conference and met author Frank Wu.

Comments

  1. Stacy says:

    Congratulations! We have a DOD at our school and the creation of the position has been a super positive experience. Visit our website to read more about it. wwwatlreidotorg (slj won’t let me put in the address as is!)

  2. Amy Bowllan says:

    Will do and thanks, Stacy. I am definitely going to need all the help I can get ;)
    Sorry about the html and address codes – this program can be a little funky sometimes, so it pays to copy the comment before posting. Thanks a mil!

  3. Kakie says:

    Congratulations – what an honor for you. Your question ‘What is Diversity?’ is a really good one. I think of diversity beyond race, socio economic status, gender, etc. However, it has been my experience that many people do not.

    It is about differences in everything we do. How we learn, how we interpret things, our thought processes, our social styles etc. I wish more people would embace the broader idea of what that means.

    As you may know Amy, the tagline for our business is “Growing Kids Through Diverse Learning Experiences.” The reason I mention that is because recently someone made a comment about the fourth book in our series called “Anna Goes Hiking.” Anna is caucasian and a person (who is also caucasian) asked me what hiking has to do with diversity (because of our tagline.) I thought it was interesting and it brought me (once again) to the reminder that it does have so many meanings for so many people. I think you are going to do a great job in this role. Congrats!!!