50 Ways to Experience Diversity

1.           Read or listen to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

2.           Hold hands publicly with someone of a different race or someone of the same sex as you.

3.           Turn out all the lights in your room, and try to get out of bed and get dressed.

4.           Try a food from a different culture that you’ve never tasted before.

5.           Talk to your supervisors about the racist/sexist/homophobic language they use.

6.           Volunteer for an organization whose members or the people it works with are different from you.

7.           Talk to a gay, lesbian or interracial couple about their relationship.

8.           Watch a television show with the sound turned off, and see how much you can actually understand.

9.           Talk to someone of Hispanic origin about which word he/she prefers to use: Hispanic, Chicano, Latino, Mexican-        American, etc., and why he/she chooses that word.

10.      Choose a passage and substitute a feminine pronoun for each non-specific masculine pronoun.

11.      Sit down at a cafeteria table with people of a different race or nationality and introduce yourself.

12.      Ask your friends and co-workers to stop telling bigoted jokes in your presence.

13.      Make plans to attend a march, protest or rally in support of another group’s rights.

14.      Refuse to go to a bar or restaurant that you know has discriminatory practices.

15.      Listen to some music which represents a different culture.

16.      Write a letter to a member of Congress or a state representative in support of hate crimes legislation or other bills which would increase protection for minorities.

17.      Talk with a close friend about racism/sexism/homophobia, and honestly examine your own feelings.

18.      Stop asking your co-worker to get the coffee, type or take notes, just because she’s a woman.

19.      Learn some American Sign Language, the language of the deaf.

20.      Write down ten stereotypes that you have about different minorities, then write down ways you can rid yourself of them.

21.      Ask an international visitor about his/her home country.

22.      Read a book which represents or educates about a different culture.

23.      Put up information and/or fliers on the employee bulletin boards that help others learn about the activities of other groups.

24.      When you walk alone at night, think about how your safety may be impacted if you were a minority.

25.      Attend a religious service of a different faith or culture.

26.      Request that meetings and trips be held in handicap-accessible locations.

27.      Write a television station to compliment or criticize their coverage of minority and/or protected-class issues.

28.      Read a magazine which focuses on issues and concerns of a particular minority.

29.      Take a quiz testing your awareness of minority cultures.

30.      Write a letter to your local newspaper about your experience as a minority in the community.

31.      Rent a movie which focuses on minority culture, watch it with friends, and talk about it afterwards.

32.      Sign up for a language or culture-oriented class.

33.      Rent a wheelchair for the day and try to follow your regular routine.

34.      Contact a business to comment on how diversity is positively or negatively represented in their advertising.

35.      Join an international pen pal program.

36.      Ask a Native American about his/her tribal affiliation.

37.      Work to eliminate from your speech words which have racist/sexist/homophobic connotations.

38.      Investigate the contributions minorities have made to your area of specialty.

39.      Come out to someone new and tell him/her about your significant other.

40.      Ask an Asian Pacific American about their heritage:  Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, etc., and about their cultural traditions.

41.      Stop assuming that all men have girlfriends or wives and all women have boyfriends or husbands, and adjust your language accordingly.

42.      Talk to a minority person about his or her job, and the problems that minority employees may encounter.

43.      Request the removal of culturally insensitive graffiti wherever you see it.

44.      Go to a toy store and investigate the availability of racially diverse dolls.

45.      Learn the words to “We Shall Overcome.”

46.      Talk with your parents about how they taught (or didn’t teach) you to value diversity.

47.      Call in to a radio talk show and introduce the subject of racism, sexism and/or homophobia, or object to culturally insensitive comments by DJs.

48.      Make a list of ten things unique to your culture and share them with someone who wants to learn about them.

49.      When you go out, dance with someone of a different race or the same sex.

50.      Wear a button showing your support for EXPERIENCE DIVERSITY DAY.

 The preceding have been suggestions for majority and minority group members alike to explore the diversity and uniqueness among individuals in our society.  Please do not feel limited by them—they are designed to stimulate your thought and expand your horizons.  We hope that by individually participating in one or more of the above activities, you will approach diversity in an increasingly positive way, by seeing the world through the eyes of others.

 “50 Ways to Celebrate Diversity” is sponsored by the Cross Cultural Week Coordinating Committee of the ASMSU Programming Board, and the Union Activities board.