Diversity: setting the bar higher


Natalie Cullen

Learning how important diversity is in our society can encourage students to actively seek its exposure.

Elizabeth Yowell, J1 Reporter

What does ‘diverse’ mean? The textbook definition of diverse is having a variety of people from different social backgrounds. A diverse community isn’t necessarily a united one though, and it’s time to start approaching diversity differently in schools. 

Bowie’s students should embody diversity as well as unity, this means being a community of people from different social backgrounds that accept each other despite their differences. 

We can’t avoid diversity because it’s everywhere we go. There is always going to be someone who has a different social background from us, it’s what we do with these differences that count. Students will benefit from learning not only to acknowledge diversity but to seek it out with intention. 

Being united as well as diverse can have a tremendous impact on students’ futures. In order to be successful, it is important that we understand how to approach diversity. According to The Century Foundation, 96% of major employers say it is important to know how to work and interact with people from diverse backgrounds. If schools don’t teach students to be inclusive, they will struggle to work well in new environments because they aren’t used to collaborating with those from different social backgrounds. 

In addition, groups that welcome diversity will have a higher performance level. A case study from the Harvard Business Review noted that diverse teams of people are able to focus on and examine facts more precisely. Because inclusive groups embrace each other’s differing perspectives they are able to tackle conflicts from a variety of standpoints and bring their own approach that won’t suffer the narrow-sighted views of an exclusive bias. 

Embracing unity can also make people healthier and happier. According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group, 81% of people who worked in an inclusive environment reported feeling happy in their lives, three times as likely as people who worked in an uninclusive environment. Merely acknowledging diversities won’t do much, but creating inclusive and accepting environments can improve students’ quality of life.

Some will argue that students shouldn’t be stipulated to accept others who are different from them as this can make them uncomfortable. However, it is unavoidable that some students will feel uncomfortable, and to form an inclusive environment these students must learn to work with others who are different, regardless of feelings of discomfort. Ultimately, the advantages of experiencing diversity are worth any reservations students initially have.

To instill inclusivity in students, Bowie should provide training and informational sessions that teach students the importance of embracing diversity. Learning how important diversity is in our society can encourage students to actively seek its exposure. 

True unity goes further than merely being aware of social differences. After all, Bowie’s motto is “Pride in Performance,” and this is exactly what an inclusive student body can accomplish.