Through the course of the semester, talk with five people, each significantly different from you in one aspect of human diversity–age, gender, sexual orientation, degree of physical ability, ethnicity, class, or geographic location. These can be people you know or don’t know. I suggest you get started early in the semester identifying folks with whom you might talk. In the interviews, have the people:
Describe one situation where this aspect of diversity affected their lives
2. Discuss whether they have ever felt discriminated against on the basis of this difference, how they felt and how they reacted.
Record your learning in your journal, with brief descriptions of what the people told you (protect confidentiality by disguising the identity from me, and assure them you will do this). Focus your writing on your reactions to hearing their stories:
What did you learn about the effects of diversity on this person’s development and behavior?
Was it difficult or easy to talk with/listen to this person? Why?
Did this person describe any policies in place that have affected her or him in some direct way? How might those policies be changed?
What might be your next steps to learn about diversity and/or address your own discomfort or ignorance?