Diversity refers to the presence of people with actual or perceived differences based on a variety of characteristics. Diversity is often associated with instances in which there are people from different racial or ethnic backgrounds, but there are many other types of diversity, as we have mentioned in the previous section (i.e. gender, sexuality, age, disability). When studying diversity, external characteristics such as race and gender are often the first considered, but it’s also important to include characteristics that are not immediately visible, such as class, language, sexuality, talents, abilities, etc. Additionally, the study of diversity does not only require an examination of social groups that face discrimination, but also an understanding of individual differences. In order to develop an appreciation of the value of our differences, we must first understand those differences.
To appreciate the diversity in our society, we must acknowledge and appreciate the similarities and differences we share with others. We need to step out of our own lives and examine our perceptions and behaviors as outsiders. We must reflect on the judgments we make about other people, and question what biases we have and where they come from.It's challenging for most people to put themselves in someone else's shoes, but it’s essential in order to understand how others experience the world and make sense of their reality.