“A Very Short Film About Diversity,” below, is scheduled to be shown to all First Year students at North Central College in mid-October 2016. A project of students, faculty, and staff, it’s part of a larger effort to make diversity more central to the college’s life and curriculum.
In Winter 2014 a group of faculty, staff, and students formed C.O.D.E.—Coalition On Diversity in Education—with the goals of improving coordination between curriculum, extra-curricular activities, and website to better reflect the already significant efforts at diversity already underway at the college, and to foster even more. It’s C.O.D.E.’s goal to so infuse diversity throughout college life that every student, staff, and faculty will have to learn about diversity deeply, face issues of racism and inequality squarely, and learn what they can do to combat the deleterious effects of these. I’ve written many times that Americans would rather talk about anything—anything—but race. C.O.D.E. wants to force both conversation and action.
The short film below comes with a brochure that every first-year student in their First Year Experience class will get after they see the film. It contains names and contact information for each “multicultural club” on campus, representatives of many of these clubs appearing on the film and inviting everyone to “Join Us!” You don’t have to be black to be part of the Black Students Association, or Hispanic to be part of Raza Unida, etc. The brochure also contains a small sample of courses now being offered where students can study diversity more deeply. (See this brochure Here.)
I was asked to make a short statement on Why Diversity Matters for the brochure and wrote this:
IT’S GOOD BUSINESS: Corporations know diversity results in greater innovation and productivity. They invest heavily in diversity programs and look to hire people knowledgeable and comfortable with diversity. IT’S HUMAN: The world grows more global and interconnected every day. Without understanding and respecting our differences more deeply, it’s harder to connect to our common humanity. IT’S AMERICAN: So much of the culture and economy of the U.S.A. has been created by racial and ethnic minorities, yet racism and ethnic strife so often disrupt our social life. Your generation could be pivotal in lessening racism and helping our country fulfill democracy’s promise.
“A Short Video on Diversity” and the brochure will be the first time every first-year student gets such a concentrated presentation on diversity. Thanks to all who participated. It’s a great first step to have everyone understand how important diversity is.
♦ Go to a post giving more history and detail on the C.O.D.E. initiative.
♦ Go to the TEACHING DIVERSITY main page of this site.