I HOPE this post is relevant, as I am a TAD bit sheepish about the picture (see below).
A guiding question I have been asked recently, that deserves a pause: Why is diversity necessary for a school community? My reasoning is based on my own personal experiences and what I have learned as a journalist and teacher.
Personal experiences first…
When I was growing up, my dad’s best friend, ‘uncle Frank’ was Chinese. He wasn’t a blood relative but he was family. He and my dad were inseparable, as they worked together as printers. ‘Uncle Frank’ is my brother’s godfather and even after my dad’s passing, he remains a close member. He and his family members came to all of our celebrations: communions, baptisms, weddings, funerals, etc. We learned a great deal about the Chinese culture through our relationship with uncle Frank and his family.
My mother’s long-time and best friend is a woman named Binnie. Binnie is a Jewish woman who, too, was an integral part of my family. She encouraged my mother to continue her education – while raising 10-kids! Binnie and my mother received their Master’s degrees (in nursing) the same year and still remain good friends today. And like Frank, Binnie and her family came to all of our family functions.
Then there were our Irish and Italian buddies who taught summer tennis with us for New York Junior Tennis League. At the time, my sister and I did not drive so Bob and Chris would travel to our all-black neighborhood, picked us up, helped us set up the nets, and drove us home from our tennis sites each day.
We were fortunate to have these people in our lives. The sharing of our cultures provided more windows to the world for us to look out of, while dispelling certain stereotypes. And while this snapshot into my life is not the full story of the impact diversity had on my family, it is an indication that diversity is necessary for everyone.
When you are not exposed to diversity, your lens is limited. imho
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