Different Kinds of Difference

Recently our Executive Vice President, Joyce Dubensky, and I were interviewed by Rose Garrett, a writer for Education.com on the issue of religious diversity among young people.  One of the thoughts I had, and mentioned in the interview, is that there are different kinds of difference.  Having gone to a prep school here in New York, the first difference that I generally recognized was being one of a few Black students in the school.  I might also notice class depending on where we decided to have lunch that day.  So, from my high school years I would identify diversity with where I was different.  At Tanenbaum, we look through the particular lens of the difference of religion as it applies to diversity.  We don’t discount the other factors.  We can’t!  Yet I think there is value for all of us to continue to peel back the layers of what we call diversity and be critical about who’s different at any point in time.  Occasionally, someone will mention my ability to speak in front of people as something that makes me unique, different.  I have to wonder in those moments if I’m different from other Trainer/Educators? Different from other Black people?  Different from other Brooklynites?  Exactly how am I different?  And if I am different, where is the diversity?