Framing the Dialogue

Diversity

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February 20, 2009 Update:  A recent article on college hiring (actually a lack of hiring) people of color and women gave the NCAA only a C+ grade.  This is studied each year by the The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida.  Yes, apparently there is such an Institute.  I wonder who pays for that institute.  Like a chess game, the NCAA responded with thier own statement from their Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion.  Yes, apparently such an office exists.  Sigh.
We are committed to celebrate our differences and to respect individuals, each with their own personalities, backgrounds, beliefs, and ideas. The strength of our diversity combined with a dedication to a common purpose leads us to tremendous success.

We are committed to celebrate our differences and to respect individuals, each with their own personalities, backgrounds, beliefs, and ideas. The strength of our diversity combined with a dedication to a common purpose leads us to tremendous success.

A headline in my local paper caught my eye this morning.  Pittsburgh is the location of the National Aviary.  As I was growing up this was a frequent destination for field trips.  I don’t know what made me read beyond the headline; “Aviary CEO abruptly resigns.” 

The CEO shared that no one issue lead to her resignation, but proceeded to mention a few.  One that I found interesting was her concern that officials did not promote diversity.  I have reread the article several times and have no idea what she meant.  Did she want a greater variety of birds?  Or maybe her staff was not diverse enough.  Wait, she would have control over that.  My guess is that the vegan selection in the café was limited. 

The word “diversity” is one of those buzz words that have a really foggy meaning and is used far too often as if it is always a good thing.  If you look up the word in Wiki, you have to select the context before it gives an answer. 

How can diversity be bad?  If you consider animal habitat, some of the most diverse areas for birds is on the forest edge.  If you want maximum diversity, we should only have forest edges.  The problem is that many other birds will not live there.  Some habitats are not diverse, but are home to great critters. 

Another thing that makes me uncomfortable is the tendency for organization to try to create diversity.  This seems artificial and unnatural.  Colleges like to do that and often post their diversity statistics.  You can usually find this easier than their rates of returning students.

I remember attending a college fair while my son was a senior in high school.  There were presentations from some local universities and a few alumni gave talks.  One young man’s talk stuck in my mind.  He was in his third year at a large university.  The main theme of his talk was about how diverse the university was.  Nothing about his professors, classes, or college food.  He was really impressed with diversity.

His parents could have saved a lot of money and got him a job at Disney World.  They probably could use a ticket taker at the It’s a Small World ride.

How many colleges, companies, or government agencies have offices of diversity?  There seems to be a lot of money in diversity. 

I am concerned about the diversity in my house.  Since my son went to school, I am the only male.

3 CommentsLeave one

  1. Kevin says:

    You’re always welcome at my apartment if the estrogen level is overwhelming. I have a Laz-e-boy with your name on it.

  2. All In Favor… - Framing the Dialogue says:

    […] still tense, as the discussion turned to talk about local governments “guaranteeing” diversity among their staff and officials.  There was the usual stuff about having representation that […]

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