The population demographic in the United States is changing at a rapid pace. The 2010 Census indicated that over half of the population growth in the past 10 years was because of a rise in Hispanic people. Similarly, the Asian population represented the second largest growth among diverse populations. Increased diversity provides the possibility for expansion of economic growth. The interwoven tapestry that defines the United States as a land of opportunity is represented in the diversity of thoughts and ideas of many people.
Diversity of people expands the potential for problem-solving that leads to economic growth. When people conform to a specific way of being, the opportunity to network with one another and with other countries is limited. Economic growth is contingent upon building partnerships in the United States and with foreign countries. A diverse workforce provides entrée to connection building across borders. This enriches product development and consumer sales. When people immigrate to America, they are more likely to exercise an entrepreneurial spirit that enriches the economic environment.
Diversity in America creates a multicultural learning environment for school districts and society as a whole. A classroom approach to teaching diversity builds an inclusive environment that teaches trust and respect. Given the current and predicted change in population demographics, future workers need to know how to interact with a variety of people. Intellectual growth is stimulated as students learn to build relationships and work together with people who differ from them. Students gain a wide perspective and world-view by learning in a multicultural classroom.
Diversity encourages innovation. Different people look at things from varying perspectives, stimulating innovative thought. A homogeneous view tends to confine possibilities. As the population becomes more diverse, group-think no longer becomes an option. Innovation becomes a norm rather than anomaly. In this case, diversity is represented by ethnicity, cognitive thought process and approach to human problems. Since the demographic landscape is evolving at a fast pace, companies need a representative employee sample to meet the market demands.
It’s easy to make assumptions about one another and to live by societal stereotypes when the environment is populated by the dominant ethnic group. A diverse community requires different people to interact with one another. This relationship building often leads to understanding. Knowing one another leads to a greater sense of compassion. Compassionate disagreements are more likely to result in peaceful resolution, contributing to a society that is more connected and evolved.
- United States Census Bureau: 2010 Census Shows America’s Diversity
- Forbes: Is Diversity the Secret Key to America’s Economic Renewal?
- Great Schools: How Important is Cultural Diversity at your school?
- Forbes: Why is Diversity Vital for Innovation
- Living in diversity: Knowing Together in Compassion and Confrontation
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