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Defining Diversity

Defining Diversity
Diversity is the inclusion of multicultural voices that have historically been overlooked and not included within mainstream America. These voices have been seen as lacking full membership into society based on race, gender, culture, ethnicity, disability, socio-economic status, national origin, or other unique characteristics. In addition, diversity includes first-generation students, veterans, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, body image, geographical region, language and other characteristics that deviate from the dominant culture.

Diversity also encompasses the four federally recognized minority groups;

MINORITIES: All persons classified as Black, Hispanic, American Indian or Alaskan Native, and Asian or Pacific Islander.

BLACK: (Not of Hispanic origin) A racial category of persons with origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa, Jamaica, the West Indies, and Haiti.

HISPANIC: An ethnic category of persons of Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.  These are persons of Puerto Rican, Mexican, Cuban, Dominican and Spanish ancestry.  Spanish ancestry includes Spain and any of the Spanish speaking countries of Central and South America.

AMERICAN INDIAN OR ALASKAN NATIVE: A political category of persons that can document themselves as ¼ degree of Indian ancestry and are members of a federally recognized North American Indian tribe.

ASIAN OR PACIFIC ISLANDER: A racial category of persons with origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and the Pacific Islands.  These areas include China, Japan, Korea, the Philippine Republic, Vietnam, India, Hawaii, Guam, and Samoa.


Diversity Components
Structural Diversity
The numerical and proportional representation of different groups in a context.  

Interactional Diversity
Interactions with diverse people and interaction with diverse information/ideas  

Institutional Diversity (Curricular/Co-Curricular)
Diversity courses, intergroup dialogue, programs, cultural awareness centers (usually seen on university campuses)

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