Discussion: Envisioning the Future

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Look back on your experiences in the course and provide an overview of what you have learned from the course with regard to diversity. Address the following questions:

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  • How has your definition of diversity changed?
  • How do the four lenses approach the study of diversity with respect to the individual and society?
  • How do the four lenses represent a way of seeing diversity?
  • What are the implications of diversity on the future?
  • How are you going to implement what you have learned in this course into your own life?

In your response posts, compare your experience to your peers’ experiences.

  • Compare similarities and differences between your plan for implementing what you have learned throughout the course and your peers’.
  • How do your peers approach the study of diversity through the four lenses, and how could their insights be useful to you?

Required Resources

Bottom Line: Empathy
In this article, author Art Munin describes how racism and biases permeate many aspects of people’s lives and encourages educators to teach on topics of diversity using an empathetic approach.

The Four General Education Lenses
This document provides a brief explanation of the lenses through which we analyze diversity, including links to brief videos that explain the lenses and methods used. As you review this document and watch the videos, consider how each lens intersects when we look at diversity. Further, consider the following:

  • How do these lenses talk to one another to address various issues in diversity? 
  • How does each lens comment on society as a whole and impact changes within our personal and professional lives?
  • What is the value of analyzing diversity through these varying perspectives?

Peer post 1 


    When I began this class, I thought of diversity as race, culture, religion, and language for the most part.  After digging deeper into the four lenses and reading material in this course, I can now see different ideas and parts of a diverse public.  Diversity is the unique differences that individuals bring to a population.  Some of the diversity can be seen such as race, gender, physical disabilities, and age and other diversities may not be so easily seen like sexual orientation, culture, religion, learning disabilities, socioeconomic status or ideologies (May, 2016).   To me, diversity means that we all interact as humans and feel pride in the differences and similarities we all share.

      The four lenses help us to see that there is value to diversity and inclusion.  Diversity with the four lenses allows us to see the differences in people and allows us to appreciate and value others for the unique thinking, talents, or ideas that they may bring to our lives either in a work, personal, or social atmosphere.  The four lenses help us to understand that diversity is made up of so many dimensions.  Some aspects of diversity we are born with, some we choose, some are environmentally ingrained, and some are formed from past experiences and relationships (Shin, 2017).

    Most places of business will continue to emphasize greater diversity and inclusion in the future.   For businesses to continue to grow and be successful, the people who work there must start to represent society as a whole.  The new generations will avoid organizations that don’t prioritize diversity and inclusion and are unwilling to make jobs work around the needs and demands of their lives (Florentine, 2018).

    Since taking this course, my eyes have opened to the importance of inclusion for all.  I think when we stop to really listen to someone you can really learn a lot about their thinking and ideas.  Diversity and inclusion doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to agree with someone, you just have to have enough respect for another human being to give them a chance and allow them to be themselves without judgment.  

Peer post 2 

Hi Classmates and Professor!

When looking back at my first post I see that I initially thought of diversity as, and I quote from my first post, “I have always viewed diversity as the unique differences from person to person, whether that be gender, sex, race, income, or geographical location.” (Zack, 2019) looking at this now, I recognize that my view was very narrow and actually had a lot to do with physical differences rather than cultural, mental or emotional differences. I see in that post that I also used this quote “The relationship between humanity and human diversity may be viewed as similar to the relationship between sunlight and the spectrum of colors” (Thompson, 2014) now, I understand this even better – because it is not about physical or visual differences but rather differences in thought process, human relation from one person to the next and human interaction. My definition of diversity has truly changed to encompass a spectrum rather than a visual and physical appearance of differences. 

The four lenses help to understand the individual in society further because now we can see that our actions don’t impact just one area of society, but rather multiple areas, multiple lenses. Any move we make is, in nature, historic, it also forms social bonds, potentially changes the political environment and can reverberate into other areas such as the sciences or humanities. The four lenses also represent a unique way of seeing diversity by understanding that a political move, is not just a political move – for example, my final project was about women in the government. At first I thought that a political lens and historical lens would be the only two I could utilize, but this course taught me that I could also easily use both the sciences and humanities lens – I was able to make educated arguments on how women have scientifically impacted other women by fighting for the right to contraception and how they have impacted the humanities via media such as documentaries. 

The implications of diversity on the future, in a very physical sense, is the fact that more and more workplaces are increasing and encouraging physical aspects of diversity – different races, cultures and religions, all in the same place of work. The narrow-minded viewpoint of everyone matching in the same building has been effectively eliminated. My hope though, is that one day the view of physical diversity will be a thing of the past, and we will see more and more people focusing on mental diversity and mentally challenging one another rather than looking at something or someone for their physical face value. 

I have implemented what I have learned from this course in my daily life by making the most unlikely of comrades and by not leaving them in the dust the moment our viewpoints changed. Even though they are highly conservative, and I am highly liberal I did not turn away from them. I see our friendship as diverse, I see them as diverse even though, physically, we are very much alike. Now I don’t say “no, you are wrong” I understand where people are coming from – I feel like this course has helped me to grow and mature, which is a pleasant surprise that I did not expect from an online course!


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