TO: All university students, faculty, and staff.
FR: The New Minister of Diversity.
RE: Clarification of the meaning of “diversity.”
Please allow me to introduce myself. I am the university’s new Minister of Diversity. I was recently appointed by the Diversity Initiative Planning Committee to assist the Office of Campus Diversity and the Diversity Task Force as we develop a new Comprehensive University Diversity Plan.
Along with the numerous and diverse responsibilities of my new position, I have been instructed to circulate a memo in response to the confusion surrounding the university’s new definition of diversity. The university currently defines diversity in the following ways:
Since that definition was developed, many of the members of the various diversity offices and committees have received requests for clarification of that definition. Most of these requests have been made in the spirit of diversity. However, one conservative professor committed to divisiveness, not diversity, submitted the following request:
Could you please provide me with a list of populations not “shaped by historical circumstances and by cultural identities, or a combination of the two” and populations not “shaped by varying socio-economic circumstances.”
Such an inflammatory request clearly indicates that some members of our community cling to the notion that diversity is meant to benefit only certain members of our educational community. The view that diversity is only “for” certain minorities has no place in a truly diverse university. Diversity benefits everyone and we are committed to proving that to even the most divisive members of our educational community.
I am certain that all skeptics, including the professor who authored the aforementioned request, know exactly what we mean when we say “diversity.” Those who do not may find it beneficial to spend some time contemplating diversity by closing their eyes and repeating the word “diversity” in a quiet location several times daily. This technique has proven to be effective and is recommended by most experts in the field of diversity.
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