Intellectual Wellness: A New View of Diversity

Today’s post is from a lecture I was at last year by Erin Howard as part of my GA’s Leadership Series. Erin is a remarkable woman who shed a new light on diversity for me (which is surprising seeing as in my master’s program, I thought we had learned everything we need to know about diversity).

This is also way more than just intellectual wellness…

Here are some of my notes that I took and still to this day reflect back on.

• Diversity:  Who? What? Why?

• It is in every part of our life, it is a lot more than just race.

• There is only one race, human.

• Unity

The Butterfly Effect, Status of law, Low of Sensitive Dependence

• Everything you do matters, forever; everything, all of us and forever

• Who really saved the 2 billion people?

• How far back could we go to show who it really was? How far forward can we go in our lives to show whose lives we can touch?

• Diversity is not something you can “do”

• Diversity is a philosophy that starts with tolerance and respect and moves to acceptance

• Embraces the truth that we are all connected

• Uncertainty worries us-we react differently

• Will Campbell (civil rights leader)-white born in Mississippi, Baptist minister. Stood up for what is right. Dr. MLK Jrs conference-Brother to a Dragonfly-he was always going against the grain always challenging people-we have to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor

• There is no boundary-we all play a role and we all have a role-opportunity to liberate

• How can you deal with the history?

• You can’t change the past, but you can help shape the future

• We are connected to both the good and bad

• “You are the other me” If I do harm to you, I do harm to me. If I love you, I love me. Mayans saw themselves as each other. We share in the good and the bad.

• You don’t have to compromise your values, but you do need to respect others

• Diversity is unique and constantly in motion

• If you find yourself never being uncomfortable, you should try something new-find a few things in our life that push us, make us grow

Some of the things that always stick with me are the ideas that you don’t have to compromise your values but you need to respect people. Sometimes I feel as if people see their values as very black and white and that if you don’t fall into their values than you don’t deserve respect. No one is saying that you need to give up who you are, but respect other human beings.

The other idea that I love is the Butterfly Effect. Wow. Can you even fathom how YOUR life has affect others? What is your Butterfly Effect? What are you doing to make sure that your Butterfly Effect (oh crap, here is where my misguided English makes me wonder is effect or affect…ug…English, why you so hard???) is positive?

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