Diversity can simply be the state of having a variety of different people in a group. Less simply, it refers to the goal, process, and responsibility of a group to cultivate an inclusive environment that is home to many different people in which no one is excluded by those differences. I identify as an ally, and sometimes a social justice activist, and I also identify with the groups I belong to by choice and by birth. As an educator, I feel a responsibility to students to listen and try to understand their individual experiences and identities. I supervise a diverse staff and work with diverse coworkers, as a graduate assistant in the Sadler Center, and attend class with diverse peers and professors. Diversity comes up as a topic in all of my classes, many of my conversations at work, and I try to engage in learning opportunities on campus. It is one of the central themes of my experiences here.
The School of Education is a community that has certain responsibilities, even more so because it is part of an institution of higher learning. Recognizing diversity and individuality is one of the most important responsibilities because it aligns with our values as a college, as educators, and as counselors. It is only through taking this on ourselves that we can promote a more just and diverse world.