Definition for Diversity

The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.

Diversity is a reality created by individuals and groups from a broad spectrum of demographic and philosophical differences. It is extremely important to support and protect diversity because by valuing individuals and groups free from prejudice and by fostering a climate where equity and mutual respect are intrinsic, we will create a success-oriented, cooperative, and caring community that draws intellectual strength and produces innovative solutions from the synergy of its people.

"Diversity" means more than just acknowledging and/or tolerating difference. Diversity is a set of conscious practices that involve:

  • Understanding and appreciating interdependence of humanity, cultures, and the natural environment.
  • Practicing mutual respect for qualities and experiences that are different from our own.
  • Understanding that diversity includes not only ways of being but also ways of knowing;
  • Recognizing that personal, cultural and institutionalized discrimination creates and sustains privileges for some while creating and sustaining disadvantages for others;
  • Building alliances across differences so that we can work together to eradicate all forms of discrimination.

Diversity includes, therefore, knowing how to relate to those qualities and conditions that are different from our own and outside the groups to which we belong, yet are present in other individuals and groups. These include but are not limited to age, ethnicity, class, gender, physical abilities/qualities, race, sexual orientation, as well as religious status, gender expression, educational background, geographical location, income, marital status, parental status, and work experiences. Finally, we acknowledge that categories of difference are not always fixed but also can be fluid, we respect individual rights to self-identification, and we recognize that no one culture is intrinsically superior to another.

Objective Of Committee Members: To make a difference

Diversity - All of our human differences

Diversity Training - Understanding how our differences may effect or influence our relationships at work (peers, subordinate, boss, and customers - intentionally or unintentionally)

Relationship Between Diversity and an Inclusive Work Place - The intent of looking at the diversity in your workplace and customer ranks is to create (impact) a more inclusive work environment for all employees and in the process attract more customers

A Diversity Issue Exists when…

An issue (policy or business practice - formal, informal, internal, or external) has a different impact on a particular group (i.e., impact on men vs. women, black vs. white, American vs. foreign, urban vs. rural, married vs. single, etc.)

It happens more frequently to a particular group (i.e., different groups may have dramatically different "numbers" - turnover, terminations, promotions, discipline, few or no role models, etc.)

It is more difficult for one group to overcome (i.e., upward mobility for a particular group within an organization - "glass ceilings")

A diversity issue exists where the policy or business practice has an impact exclusive of difference (not inclusive of difference). Is there a trend or pattern (intentional or unintentional)?

Having a diversity issue is not necessarily a bad thing. Doing nothing about it given you have knowledge of the issue is where organizations go wrong (negligence). Being in denial about these issues do not make them go away. Ignorance is not bliss inside or outside the courtroom. The real question is why do we have this issue and can we take action to correct it or improve the situation.

Princeton University Diversity in the Classroom: Links on the Web

Training Techniques Used

past generation and new generation training information table
Old School - Past Generation Training New - Next Generation Training

Confrontational - "in your face"


Expert trainer drives course

Facilitator leads and follows

Theory-based, academic

Practical, "real world"

Negative examples or role plays

Positive examples are used



Fuels backlash

No platform for backlash

Polarizes participants

Unifies participants

No pre-work or post-work

Mandatory pre-work and post-work

"Off the shelf" - one school

"Customized" - eclectic

Very little diagnosis or needs analysis

Mandatory "up front work" and post work

"Hit or miss"

"Always on target"

"Blame and shame"


"Live in the past"

"Look to the future"



"What next?"

Skill & Knowledge-based "I know what to do"

Talks about rights and victims

Talks about shared responsibilities

Focuses on "others"


"Build the temple, they will come"

"They don't worship in a temple!"

Ivory tower - externally driven

Internally driven (committee/council)

Diversity trainer is the savior

Diversity trainer is an advisor

Dependence on trainer

Client-trainer partnership



Specific, targeted

Holistic, organization-wide

"In a hurry"

"Cautious, take your time"

"Check the box"

There is no box



Impact - program fails

Impact - no longer a program

A way of looking at our business - poor business case

A way of doing business
- clear and compelling business case

Campus Cultural Centers

Kupferberg Holocaust Center exterior lit up at nightOpens in a new window
Kupferberg Holocaust Center Opens in a new window

The KHC uses the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

Russian Ballet performing at the Queensborough Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window
QPAC: Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window

QPAC is an invaluable entertainment company in this region with a growing national reputation. The arts at QPAC continues to play a vital role in transforming lives and building stronger communities.

Queensborough Art Gallery exterior in the afternoonOpens in a new window
QCC Art GalleryOpens in a new window

The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York is a vital educational and cultural resource for Queensborough Community College, the Borough of Queens and the surrounding communities.