64 Great Sites and Articles on Diversity and Appreciating Differences

March 14, 2010 by
Filed under: Culture and Diversity 

There are many differences that separate each and every one of us. For me, that is one of the things that makes life so interesting and enjoyable. Unfortunately, there are people who incorrectly assume something about another person or the group they belong to simply due to a difference. When it comes to diversity and appreciating differences, no one can honestly say that they are not interested in it. The reason for me stating such a comment is because regardless of who we are or where we come from, everyone has biases toward people we perceive to not be like ourselves. Whether it’s a difference in skin color (or shade of the same skin color), difference in language, or difference in gender, we all will have some form of naturally occurring preconceived opinion of a person who is not like ourselves. That is, until we educate ourselves and/or simply become a little more informed about the other person. 

Why do I say it’s a naturally occurring preconceived opinion? It’s because as human beings we all have a natural curiosity to know what goes on around us. At the same time, we as human beings have a preference that every object (be it a person, place, or thing) have some form of identification or label. That’s where the naturally occurring preconceived notion comes in. Whenever we are not able to readily identify or label something, our natural curiosity and thought process will want to create some form of label in order to store that object within our memory. That label may not be accurate and because of this, the memory we store in our subconscious about the object will be bias. The preconceived notion or ‘bias’ is based upon the information that either was available to us at the time the memory was recorded or the information we chose to pay attention to. 

What is Your Thought?  

Even if a person doesn’t believe they are insulting someone, they may in fact be doing so. At the same time, the person who unknowingly is insulting another person or group is doing nothing more than showing others their own lack of knowledge

Below are some examples of a person making what they believe to be a polite or complementary comment but in actuality can be taken as demeaning or insulting by the other party:

  • A manager hiring for an open position comments on an applicant who appears to be Hispanic or Black says, “I was really impressed with his way of communicating.  So proper and eloquent.” (Would that person say the same thing about a person who appeared to be white Caucasian?)
  • A supervisor for a bus or other public transportation company, who is known to not give many complements at all, tells two of his drivers (the only two who happen to be female on his team), “I have to say that I’m really impressed with your driving skills!”
  • A college student who is having trouble with a math class asks one of his peers in another class who is Chinese if he would mind helping him with a math problem he is having in the other course.  The Chinese student asks him why him since he doesn’t know him outside of the class they both share and the class they are sharing is an art course.

There are many websites and articles on the internet that discuss the subject of diversity. Below is a listing of some of the better free sites and articles I’ve come across on diversity and the appreciation of differences. These are by no means all the best sites and articles out there, but simply one listing.

The goal here is that you or someone you know will benefit from the information provided in these websites and articles. If there is a site or article, not listed below, that you believe will help others, please feel free to share it with the rest of us in the comment section at the bottom of this list!

  1. A Fair Go: A Community Kit for Action Against Racism – Produced by the National NGO Coalition Against Racism. Catered to the needs of Australians who share a commitment to addressing and eradicating racism, this can be transferred to other areas where similar issues occur.
  2. Across Cultures – Through the lens of a camera, discover some of the NFB collection that documents the contribution made to Canada by different ethno-cultural communities.
  3. Action Plan on Language Learning and Linguistic Diversity – Discussion about the European Union’s action on how to address the concern of language skills being unevenly spread across countries and social groups.
  4. Advantage Diversity – Canada – an initiative of the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC. This is intended as an organizing tool for agencies and individuals working on anti-racism activities.
  5. All One Heart – a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting harmony among all people and to encourage tolerance through raised consciousness by education and experience.
  6. An Approach for Teaching Diversity – A dozen suggestions for enhancing student learning by Jim Winship. These twelve suggestions are not exhaustive but they are supported by published literature on teaching for diversity, on effective college teaching, and are ones that both colleagues here at UW-Whitewater and I have found effective in teaching our undergraduate students.
  7. Appreciating Differences – Celebrate Diversity! – teaches teens about religions. Teens taking part in the 2009-10 Celebrate Diversity! program learned that people may practice a different religion but are not all that much different.
  8. Appreciating Differences And Similarities: How to Recognize and Use 14 Compatibility Factors to Open Up Creative Interactions – Interesting paper by Larry Byram and The Institute for Spiritual Partnership on the subject. Please note that some areas of this paper may be interpreted as a little too spiritual in nature, but overall the views and techniques outlined by Mr. Byram may prove useful to many individuals.
  9. Beliefnet – an interesting site that explores the spiritual side of existence and examines tolerance from a religious point of view.
  10. Coalition for Cultural Diversity – The members of the Coalition affirm that cultural diversity is a fundamental human right and that countries and governments must be entirely free to adopt the policies necessary to support the diversity of cultural expression and the viability of enterprises that produce and distribute this expression.
  11. Diversity and Complexity in the Classroom – Considerations of race, ethnicity and gender. “There are no universal solutions or specific rules for responding to ethnic, gender, and cultural diversity in the classroom, and research on best practices is limited”.
  12. Diversity and Gender Resources | BNET – White papers, case studies, business articles, and blog posts relating to diversity and gender.
  13. Diversity Appreciation, Training and Management – provided by the Free Management Library that provides organizations tools to accommodate expanding markets, increasing diverse workforce, and increasing public consciousness about how businesses should operate.
  14. Diversity Central – Resources for Cultural Diversity at Work.
  15. Diversity Council Australia – an independent, not-for-profit diversity advisor to business in Australia.
  16. Diversity Helps Your Business–But Not The Way You Think – Good Forbes article on the strengths of diversity and how an organization may best benefit from it.
  17. Diversity in Learning: A Vision for the New Millennium – A very good and thought provoking speech by Seymour Papert for the Diversity Task Force convened by Vice President Al Gore. Links to a video of this speech is available via this site.
  18. Diversity Pledges Ring Hollow – A new study shows that in spite of corporate promises to promote diversity in senior management, very little progress has been made.
  19. Diversity University – For those interested in acquiring tools to help others explore the areas of diversity, this site offers award-winning diversity e-learning programs, facilitated diversity training workshops and follow-up e-courses to help reduce barriers & improve productivity. Helps Reduce Barriers & Improve Productivity Helps Reduce Barriers & Impro
  20. Diversity Web – An interactive resource hub for  higher education. The DiversityWeb project is housed within the Office of Diversity, Equity and Global Initiatives at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).
  21. Diversity World-Workforce Diversity Index – Great site that takes the time to be on the lookout for online resources that promote workforce inclusion of all people. They categorize what they find according to a list.
  22. Diversity(MDPI) – an Open Access journal of the science and technology concerning diversity concepts and applications, diversity assessment and diversity preservation, is published by Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI) online monthly.
  23. Diversity, Learning Style and Culture – New Horizons. Educators do not believe that all learners are the same. Yet visits to schools throughout the world might convince us otherwise. Too often, educators continue to treat all learners alike while paying lip service to the principle of diversity.
  24. Diversity: Beyond a Numbers Game – Today, this workplace goal is more about inclusion than meeting quotas.
  25. DiversityBusiness.com – the nation’s primary resource portal for small businesses and large organizational buyers (i.e., Fortune 1000 Companies, Government Agencies and College/Universities).
  26. DiversityInc.com – DiversityInc is the leading publication on diversity and business. DiversityInc’s mission is to bring education and clarity to the business benefits of diversity.
  27. DiversityIncBestPractices.com – The one place for the latest research, analysis, metrics, trends, best practices and real-life solutions on diversity management from the nation’s leading expert, DiversityInc. Fresh weekly content on diversity-management trends, in-depth research, diversity-department structures, and diversity collateral material.
  28. Diversity’s Missing Ingredient – Appreciating one another’s differences, as opposed to just getting along, can translate into truth-discovering and real competitive advantage.
  29. Embracing Diversity: Toolkit for Creating Inclusive, Learning-Friendly Environments – Site with a downloadable toolkit that contains an introductory booklet and nine Booklets (including three specialized booklets), each of which contains tools and activities for self-study to start creating an inclusive, learning-friendly environment (ILFE).
  30.  ERIC – the Education Resources Information Center – an online digital library of education research and information that contains links to over 20, 000 papers and articles on the subject of diversity. Type in the word “diversity” in the search field.
  31. European Cultural Co-operation (ECC)-Council of Europe – seeks to develop throughout Europe common and democratic principles based on the European Convention on Human Rights and other reference texts on the protection of individuals.
  32. Facing History and Ourselves – a site that delivers classroom strategies, resources and lessons that inspire young people to take responsibility for their world.
  33. Improving Learning Resources Through Diversity – Link to an initiative of the Association of Educational Publishers. An educational publishing industry that mirrors the diversity of America’s classrooms is essential if the goal of educational equity is to be met. Building a diverse workforce requires a systematic and sustained effort.
  34. International Network for Cultural Diversity (INCD) – a worldwide network of artists and cultural groups dedicated to countering the homogenizing effects of globalization on culture.
  35. International Network on Cultural Policy (INCP) – an international forum where national ministers responsible for culture can explore and exchange views on new and emerging cultural policy issues and to develop strategies to promote cultural diversity in an informal venue.
  36. Learn to Question – A portal that examines the multiple facets of hate and diversity, this site offers interactive information on hate groups, gender issues, self-identity, multi-racialism and social movements.
  37. Learning From Diversity (N. Y. Times Opinion) – An interesting opinion article about the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the University of Michigan Law School’s admissions policy, in which race is one of the many factors that can influence a decision. Written by Jeffrey S. Lehman, dean of the University of Michigan Law School at the time.
  38. Learning the Value of Diversity – article by Leah Davies on how children’s identity and self-respect are related to how others treat them, and ultimately to their future success. Therefore, school personnel need to promote a safe, humane environment where inclusiveness, justice and an appreciation of individual differences are evident.
  39. Learning to Understand Diversity: Getting Students Past Common (Non)Sense – Paper by Pat Goldsmith (Instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside) that presents a pedagogical method for teaching sensitive, diversity related subject matter. The method is intended to develop a deeper understanding of how social processes produce racial and ethnic inequality.
  40. LearningDiversity.com – This site features a variety of “racial vignettes” – descriptions of problematic interactions between white people and people of color.  Each vignette comes with a commentary examining what might be troubling for the person of color in the interchange and the probable underlying racial mind set of the white participant.
  41. Learning-through-Diversity (CIRTL) – The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning seeks to contribute to this goal by enabling present and future STEM faculty to enhance the learning of all students whom they teach irrespective of, but not limited to, preferred learning styles, race, ethnicity and culture, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, religion, age or socioeconomic backgrounds.
  42. Mondialogo – Encouraging intercultural dialogue and exchange all over the world. Seeks to promote intercultural dialogue, understanding and exchange among young people. 
  43. More than Tolerance: Embracing Diversity for Health – webpage on the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation website that discusses how discrimination is not only an issue of social justice. There is growing evidence that it can have a devastating impact on health.
  44. Museum of Tolerance – link to a museum that challenges visitors to confront racism and bigotry.
  45. Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance – this site offers insight on dozens of the religions practiced around the world and encourages people to accept that all religions have a right to exist, regardless of an individual’s decision of which religion to practice.
  46. Poynter Institute – an all-encompassing data source for journalists has a diversity digest and interesting articles on how the media should expand its diversity reporting after Sept. 11 and incorporate it into everyday coverage.
  47. Precious Children: Diversity in the Classroom – Articles providing suggestions on how to promote racial and cultural awareness at school and at home from the early childhood education PBS television network. These articles provide suggestions on promoting racial and cultural awareness at school and at home.
  48. RACE – The Power of an Illusion – online companion to California Newsreel’s 3 part documentary about race in society, science and history.
  49. Race for Opportunity – Race for Opportunity (RFO) is committed to improving employment opportunities for ethnic minorities across the UK.  It is the only race diversity campaign that has access to and influence over the leaders of the UK’s best known organizations.
  50. Relationships Improvement Resource Center – This site provides material, articles and resources to help you improve your relationships at home and at work. It is updated frequently as we come across new material worthy of inclusion.
  51. Six Tips for Teaching Diversity – Effectively Incorporating Diversity in the Classroom. Learn to teach diversity effectively to all age groups with these six reliable techniques.
  52. Southern Poverty Law Center – Teaching Tolerance Project – Founded in 1991 by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Teaching Tolerance is dedicated to reducing prejudice, improving intergroup relations and supporting equitable school experiences for our nation’s children.
  53. Stone Speaks: Appreciating Difference – Glenda Stone CEO of Aurora, the international organization working for the economic advancement of women looks at how to identify and eradicate discrimination in the workplace and benefit from diversity.
  54. Talent Not Tokenism: the Business Benefits of Workforce Diversity – paper from the Equality and Human Rights Commission. An organization that recruits its staff from the widest possible pool will unleash talent and develop better understanding of its customers. It will also enable it to spot market opportunities.
  55. Teaching Kids Tolerance and Diversity – great and concise article on the subject.
  56. The Anti-Defamation League – one of the nation’s premier civil rights/human relations agency, ADL fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all.
  57. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) – an international non-governmental organization based in the United States. Describing itself as “the nation’s premier civil rights/human relations agency”, the ADL states that it “fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all”.
  58. The Value of Diversity to Learning Organizations – A very good paper by Daniel Cochece Davis, Ph.D. and Viviane S. Lopuch, M.A. presented at the International Communication Association’s annual conference, in Dresden, Germany.
  59. The Value of Feminine Speech in the Workplace – Very good article from the Scottsdale National Gender Institute. Their free online newsletter “Gender Journal: Men and Women Working Together” is a free, on-line newsletter that addresses a variety of thought provoking articles on gender issues in the workplace.
  60. Understanding Race: Are We So Different? – Looking through the eyes of history, science and lived experience, the RACE Project explains differences among people and reveals the reality – and unreality – of race.
  61. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) – works to create the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values.
  62. Valuing Differences and Diversity in the Workplace – differences strengthens an organization by providing it with a variety of resources that can be tapped and maximized. Having people with a variety of styles, abilities, and motivations provides room for flexibility, creativity, and dynamic interactions.
  63. Victoria Multicultural Commission – an independent organization that provides independent advice to the Victorian Government to inform the development of legislative and policy frameworks as well as the delivery of services to our culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse society.
  64. WhereWomenWantToWork.com – a free online service for women to research and compare organizations and comment on companies that have the best diversity programs and initiatives. It shows what organizations are doing to deal with discrimination and allows employees to see where their company ranks among the rest.

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