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Acceptance of Diversity Essay

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If I had been asked to define diversity 10 years ago, I would have defined it simply as being different; specifically, of different race, gender and age. These beliefs are similar to the primary dimensions of Marilyn Loden’s Diversity Wheel (Canas & Sondak, 2014). I have viewed diversity primarily in context to my existence in the world around me and Loden’s primary dimensions most closely describe what I thought of when I heard the term diversity. Thankfully, I have grown more in the past 10 years and would now define diversity not just as Loden’s primary dimensions but would say that diversity is an acceptance of the differences between people and these differences permeate all areas of life. My mental model is now more along the lines of the Four Layers of Diversity as presented by Anita Rowe and Lee Gardenswartz (Canas & Sondak, 2014). This definition is more inclusive of different types of diversity, especially in ways that are not as visible. I feel that society as a whole is becoming more tolerant of racial diversity and we are now moving to a point of greater acceptance of all types of diversity, but we still have a long way to go.
I am African-American and German and I was adopted at nine months by a Caucasian couple of German descent. I grew up in the 80s and 90s as the only black kid in my neighborhood and regardless of the racial make-up of my classes, I never quite fit in. Everywhere I looked were white faces looking back at me and I was different. My differences defined me. I had “untamed” hair, olive skin, brown eyes, and had a love for African music and soul food and white parents. I was vastly different from others in the blonde hair, blue eye, pale skinned world in which I lived. I moved to the beat of my own...


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... global sense of diversity yet and that I need to work more to understand other forms of diversity better. I believe I am on the right path but I have a lot of work to do to make this paradigm of thought my reality.



Works Cited

Canas, K. A., & Sondak, H. (2014). Opportunities and challenges of workplace diversity: Theory, cases and exercises (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Rucker, W. (2002, Fall/Winter). ‘A Negro Nation Within the Nation’: W.E.B. DuBois and the Creation of a Revolutionary Pan-Africanist Tradition, 1903-1947. Black Scholar, 32(3/4), 37. Retrieved from https://eds-b-ebscohost-com.csuglobal.idm.oclc.org/ehost
Sammaritino, A., O’Flynn, J., & Nicholas, S. (2002). Managing diverse work teams: A business model for diversity management. Retrieved from Diversity Management website: www.diversity-management.cz/tiki-download_file.php?fileId=18




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