Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Increasing diversity and patterns in society was the subject of a Westport Rotary Club talk today by Westporter Harold Bailey, Jr., chairman of TEAM Westport. The group, whose initials stand for Together Effectively Achieving Multiculturalism, is an official Town of Westport body whose goal is to achieve diversity in Westport, including encouraging people of different race, ethnicity and sexual orientation to become members of the community. Asked how local organizations could assist TEAM Westport in its efforts, Bailey suggested scheduling at least one function each year to promote awareness of diversity issues. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Posted 01/14/14 at 09:37 PM
Yeah, sure, promote “diversity issues” all you want but the “diversity” of Westport is and always will be limited to the “well to do” “diverse” and those numbers are slim, indeed.
The paradox of diversity is that while it aims to encourage acceptance, which is a worthy goal, it also focuses on the different groups to which all of us belong.
I often wonder how we all see each other in our daily lives: mainly as members of different groups, or as unique individuals, each with a different history and a different set of gifts. Going of course, beyond the first impressions.
How do we encourage true acceptance, as opposed to exhorting people to behave in certain ways?
I think that people who work or play on a team together come to appreciate each other as individuals. The problem is, you can never force friendship. It is something that forges itself over time and shared experience. And ultimately, isn’t this what diversity is about?