What is diversity? It is the defining characteristic that allows present day America to develop what has been called a “salad bowl” or “melting pot” culture – by bringing together the influences of many. Different cultures and ethnicities are able to combine themselves, yet maintain distinctive their own characteristics and idiosyncrasies. Diversity is a term that doesn’t include just you, or me – but all influences, both unique and combined.
There is the variety and change, the sharing of ideas, thoughts, and dreams that gives us all individual meaning. Diversity births competition and edge. Through progress, evolution, and gradualism, the term “diversity” has come to a new profound meaning. Those before us through great trials, facing tribulations and opposition whom continued to fight laid stepping stones to lead to this new diversified dynamic world.
Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, Mary Wollstonecraft was the founder of feminism, Rosa Parks committed the simple act of defiance against segregation, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream of an equal and just society, in 1872 Victoria Claflin Woodhull was the first woman in history to run for president, and currently we have an African American president. America is "The land of the free, and the home of the brave”; also “land of opportunity”. Our society is one that prides itself on cultivating and welcoming diversity. The Declaration of Independence promotes individual independence, Mary Wollstonecraft advocated equality of the sexes, and Rosa Parks and Dr.Martin Luther King have both paved the way to desegregation. These past acts of defiance have allowed all of these present day cultures to blend.
Figures such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who took a stand against inequality, have allowed me to reap the benefits of the “security of justice” and touch the riches of freedom. Because Rosa Parks was defiant against segregation, I am allowed to sit anywhere on a bus when I take public transportation. There are many world figures and acts of defiance that have contributed to and cultivated this multi-colored world that we live in today. In this present day, I am presented with multiple opportunities because of our diverse culture: I am entitled to receive an equal education, while working part time for the county, I have met people from other countries, I am bilingual, I can marry whomever I desire, and I can claim myself as an independent woman. Not a slave, nor a house wife, or living under any other stereotype or with any ball and chain.
Diversity will only increase over time in correlation to the population increasing, as well as the increased ability to share and converse with a broader audience. The Native Americans were here uninfluenced until the Europeans hit the shores, and now we continue to have mass immigration of Hispanics, as well as other ethnic groups. We are all immigrants in a sense, or at least our ancestors were. Asians, Africans, Hispanics, and Europeans – they all contribute to immigration and the variety of culture, religion, food, language that are quilted into American society.
With diversity there comes a mixture of new ways of expression, and a different atmosphere. Not all places are diverse as America – that is what makes us unique. It’s an etched quilt that echoes all voices to be heard. Peace and harmony shall be embraced among such a variety of shades of people. Together we shall join hands as a community, one tribe - all brothers and sisters. We shall try to accept, acknowledge, and understand those who may be different from us. Diversity is a growing focal point of American culture that is expressed globally in different volumes.