Diversity Matters: Culture, Community, and a Common Passion
Diversity in education matters, and it plays an important role in Pearson’s mission of helping people make more of their lives through learning. Our differences give us unique perspectives that can enrich our learning, work, and lives. This blog post is part of our Diversity Matters series exploring different perspectives on why diversity matters in education. For more commentary and resources on the importance of diversity, visit our Diversity and Access website.
Growing up in vibrant Miami, Florida, my schools were never at a loss for diversity.
The rich cultures of my primary education classmates are close to my heart. The wide range of music, food, celebrations, and arts involved in my Miami community have inspired me in so many ways. Throughout my childhood I engaged in passionate conversations ranging from croquetas and cuban coffee to heavier issues like racial profiling and immigration laws. I learned that perspective is everything. You tend to see the severity of such issues when hearing from families’ whose histories are deeply rooted in these issues; from individuals who live everyday affected by these issues. My diverse community instilled compassion in me and added a wonderful depth to my education.
That’s why, when deciding between two universities, I couldn’t imagine a learning environment void of diverse cultural perspectives. I ultimately decided on a university that promised exposure to even more diversity, located in the salad bowl/mosaic (rather than melting pot) that is Los Angeles. (And, yes, the weather may have played a minor role in my decision as well.)
It’s no secret: UCLA students know diversity matters in education. Students are passionate about the fact that diversity matters on campus — evident in the countless active groups on UCLA’s campus devoted to celebrating and supporting underrepresented communities. These groups are run by students, for students. Not only are various perspectives in a classroom important for education, but having a supportive community is crucial to one’s educational career as well.
Instead of simply talking myself about why diversity matters, I enlisted some of my fellow students and tapped into one of the resources I value so much in my campus: the unique perspectives and unmistakable passion that comes from a community that both embodies and celebrates diversity. Each of their thoughts on why diversity matters in education are so beautiful, poignant, and different, I know I couldn’t have said it better myself.
This post was originally published on Pearson’s Teaching & Learning blog.
Courtney is a Communications Studies major at UCLA. In her free time, she enjoys writing music, practicing yoga and exploring all that Los Angeles has to offer. Courtney has always involved herself in leadership roles, from earning her Girl Scout Gold Award in high school to becoming the Director of Finance for UCLA’s JazzReggae Fest. After graduating in fall of 2015, she plans to teach English abroad in Thailand and travel to Southeast Asia. Courtney then hopes to work in a corporation’s marketing department.