What is Diversity?

Image of heart made up of different people

By the RVC Diversity Committee

When we talk about “diversity” in our school, we’re discussing the degree to which the school community reflects the range of different kinds of people in the wider world.

In the United States, because of our history, diversity is often primarily thought of as racial diversity, but race is just one dimension of diversity. People also differ from one another in many other dimensions, including gender and gender identity, languages spoken, class, culture, cognitive style, education, income, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and more. 

Research has shown that these kinds of differences can make it harder for people to connect and empathize with one another. Learning how to work with people who are different from yourself in some way is one of the great benefits of having a diverse school community. 

Different perspectives can contribute to many kinds of discussions and problem solving, helping to make a more robust and effective community. A richness of perspectives in the classroom prepares our kids for lives in our very diverse part of the world–one that will be even more diverse in the future. This kind of proactive diversity goes beyond learning tolerance to developing an understanding that diverse perspectives can lead to better, more creative outcomes. 

Navigating and celebrating difference is a prosocial skill, like empathy or forgiveness, that can be learned and developed. In our diverse society, learning to work across differences broadens our horizons and opens up possibilities. 

And attention to diversity does something else as well: when we look at the differences between people, we also see more clearly what we have in common. We understand what is truly universal to all people, regardless of who they are or where they come from: a capacity to love, a yearning to belong, laughter and tears. A diverse environment helps each of us to appreciate more fully what it is to be human. 

Thank you for reading!  Please connect with us, share your feedback, when we cross paths at school. 

Coming up! We very much hope that you plan on attending the September 19th Parent Ed:  Children and Gender talk by renowned speaker Alison Park.  Get updated on what your child will be engaging in the changing world of gender.  Don’t miss the wonderfully stimulating, inclusive discussion with never-ever-boring speaker Alison Park.