I think the terms diversity and multiculturalism need to be embraced much more than we are currently doing, especially in the current climate. What diversity means to me is inclusivity, understanding human differences, not just racial and/or gender, but all differences. If we could reach a place where we truly appreciate each other’s differences rather than judging them and accept that difference is positive because it helps us grow, then we could say we are embracing diversity. I am a diverse individual because as a Latina woman, I wear my difference daily. My own experiences have made me sensitive to others who are diverse. In my own learning, I have been privileged to see and appreciate the humanity and uniqueness in each person I encounter. It is important for me to help create a welcoming environment for people who are new to a particular group or context. At SOE, I believe those before me have created a welcoming and supportive environment. It is up to all of us here now to continue this effort. As educators, it is absolutely critical that we embrace diversity, welcome difference, and educate others that multiculturalism is a positive contributor to our society. We have to live this belief daily, because in so doing, we create stronger, healthier communities. We do this by accepting each other as we are.
It is important to recognize diversity at SOE because it is who we are. We are educators. Diversity begins at the moment someone steps foot on our campus, and we represent it at every community setting we participate in outside of William and Mary. It is, in essence, us, the William and Mary community, inclusive of students, staff, faculty, and administrators. This should be our way of understanding education. It is all of us. It is OUR community