Diversity Revealed and Understood

Diversity appears to be the concept of the future. Churches, universities and jobs are now starting to express the need for diversification.  Everyone is purporting a concern for equality and equity in those particular areas. Whether a slick marketing scheme or genuine concern for humanity, diversity posits as a major reassertion into many of the institutions as we know them today.

Diversity is needed in some cases and unnecessary in others. If your demographics dictate such an approach then, yes, diversity is a needed approach. But, if you demographics are predominate in a certain ethnicity then diversity may not be as high on your list of concerns. The error lies in the effort of trying to diversify just for the sake of saying you are diverse. Dr. Anthony Bradley details this fact on his facebook page

Whoever the evangelical church planting guru is misleading white church planters who grew up the suburbs listening to rap music (but have no black friends) into thinking that hiring “a black guy” on staff at their “city” church will bring tons of black people needs to stop. That will not “work.” Anyone who respects black culture & has any cultural intelligence can explain how utterly irrational that is as an idea. And I wish black guys would not be so easily seduced with delusions of “we’re glad you’re here.” 20 years, same convo, doesn’t “work,” but I’m the crazy one.

If an institution/church is legitimately and genuinely open to diversity it will come out in its approach to others. Humanity is sensitive enough to authentic love and appreciation that it can tell the difference.

For months, I wrestled with trying to find a model for true diversity. I have seen many churches that have many different people groups collectively involved with their service. I see colleges reaching out to more to diverse groups to build their diverse community. Companies are slowly coming around to the notion of diversity but that is a road less traveled by many, for numerous reasons. Many of these folks are doing it and doing well, I may add.

I had a defining moment as I watch how this young man in Colorado decimated lives in a movie theater. The entire concept of diversity was revealed in a looming fashion.

“I saw people helping other people.”

Color, socio-economic, sex or sexual orientation did not matter; all that mattered was helping your fellow brother of sister get through this tragedy. People were going out of their way to assist whoever needed help.

It appears that most respond to tragedy as humans but live their everyday lives as “particulars”-life in our own world with our own people. We get caught up in the mundane and wrestle with the profound concept of being authentically human. As we react and respond to this horrible tragedy, let us be mindful. May we pray for the families of this madness as they try to piece together the fragments that are left from this scene.