Then, I thought about a column that my friend, diversity and inclusion expert, Risha Grant wrote just this year. She wrote that when people hear the word diversity, they roll their eyes, think of this word negatively as if it’s a rare disease. I’ve even seen people say it with air-quotes. Teenagers react the same way.
But like Risha noted, people see diversity as a problem. However, diversity is not a problem. It is a strength. The people, are the problem. I agree. And it starts when we’re young.
According to Risha, in our follow the leader culture, people feel emboldened to say things they haven’t said aloud before. It has become acceptable to bully and display hate toward others. She said Dr. King would not be proud of this America.
But despite the ill-feelings that people have toward each other in the world, Risha undoubtedly believes that despite all our issues, there are great people doing great things and love will always win over hate. She challenges you, and generations that follow, to leave this place better than we found it. Stand up and fight for those who are less fortunate or systemically underrepresented.
As a start, we can get off social media and talk to each other when we are amongst people. We can pick up the phone and talk instead of text. We can volunteer together. Anything. The gesture doesn’t have to be big. After all, “little things mean a lot.” Just do something to get to know someone who is different than you.
So, what are you doing to make America better than you found it? As the beginning of a solution, this week, you will be challenged socially more intensely than you ever have before.
Follow the instructions below for this week's Lunch & Learn Challenge, and have fun doing it!
1. Find someone of a different race/ethnicity or religion that you do not know and ask them to lunch.
2. While at lunch, choose one and discuss for about 5 minutes:
- Make a connection between Christmas and a lorry
- Make a connection between a park and a camera
- Make a connection between light and an apple
- Make a connection between a sign and a computer
- Make a connection between the beach and a car
- Make a connection between coffee and chocolate
- Make a connection between a pig and a fish
- Make a connection between a television and a plan
- Make a connection between snoring and a vote
- Make a connection between a potato and a shoe
3. For another 5 minutes each (10 minutes total), discuss a challenging moment in your life and exchange experiences on how the other person might have handled it.
4. As your Reflection, by Friday, answer the questions below:
- How was this experience?
- What did you discover about the student you lunched with?
- What ideas did they contribute to your experience and how can you implement some of their ideas in other areas of your life?
- How was lunch!
5. INCLUDE: First initial AND last name AND class period.
CAUTION!! Do NOT embarrass me, yourself, your class, the English department, the school or your parents with tasteless, meaningless comments. This is for a grade.
Due: Fri., March 30, 2018 11:59 p.m. CST