Is Diversity Skin Deep?

March 8, 2010
By Carmen Paulson SILVER, Narberth, Pennsylvania
Carmen Paulson SILVER, Narberth, Pennsylvania
7 articles 0 photos 0 comments

In today's world, diversity is highly prized. Thanks to America, a diverse blend of authors, artists, scientists, teachers and even students are able to achieve recognition. There have been groups that strove for uniformity, but now, there seems to be a constant quest for diversity. For example, today a teacher announced that she was accepting volunteers for a program that seeks to aid children who do not go to schools that offer exemplary education. The teacher mentioned that having good grades was not a prerequisite for getting a job at this association. Then she requested that "students of color (meaning African-Americans, Asians and Latinos)" volunteer so that the members of the organization reflected the diversity of the children they sponsor. This remark led me to wonder whether I was diverse enough to volunteer at this organization. I considered my external appearance: I have light hair, blue eyes and pale skin. I realized that my appearance did not meet the teacher's definition of diversity. I started to question what diversity meant to me. I wondered if it were possible that diversity reflected more than skin color. I am part Hispanic and fluent in Spanish. I love to paint the world as I see it. I could spend hours absorbed in a good book. It brings me great joy to cook, go running, write poetry, spend time with the people I love, and above all, serve others. But you wouldn't know any of that if you never took the time to get to know me. As Galileo once said, "I never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him." Could it be that we are all different and diverse, and there is something in every person to respect and admire?

The author's comments:
What inspired me to write this piece was the event that took place when my teacher asked for "students of color". I felt so conflicted because on the one hand I wanted the job and on the other hand I felt that I wasn't good enough for it. This led me to a breakthrough of self discovery that until now, I was unable to voice.

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