First Place: Chaynge.org Contest
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Over 25 applications were received for the 2nd annual chaynge.org contest and the $1000 winning entry below was written by Temitope Oguntana.
At first glance, the diversity vs. reality sketch seems all too familiar. The diversity portion of the sketch showcases the reality of how most people would view the American society, an intermingling of cultures and a melting pot of colors. However, the reality portion of the sketch portrays our everyday reality, what most of us are familiar with, and what we choose to live.
An important issue to tackle in the problem of improving diversity in today’s society, would be defining what exactly diversity means today. How does the diversity that needs improving today differ from the diversity that was tirelessly worked towards in the 1960s? A more in depth second glance at the reality portion of the sketch shows differences within each group of “people”. It is glaringly obvious that once the subject of color is looked passed, that is where the similarities seemingly end. Each “person” has their own diversities within the
color group. Some are tall and others short; some have even “legs” and others uneven “legs”. The reason behind showcasing the differences within each respective color group is to show that even people of the same race have diversities. Ultimately, these diversities make them different from their fellow red or orange brother. The realization of this is another important step in improving the diversity of today. Once people find other things in common with a person
other than color, diversity can be more of a reality.
Affluence is also a factor in the issue of diversity. Two people of the same race but of different statuses share limited realities. We as human beings, though shaped by race, are also shaped by different life situations. For example, a black child raised in an affluent neighborhood may have more in common with a white child raised in that same neighborhood, compared to a black child raised in the “inner city”. Though both “Black”, their struggles in today’s ever progressing world differ. To improve diversity the “playing field” would need to be leveled. This way everyone is living around people of different races, and not in communities exclusive to one race. A leveled “playing field” would mean diversity is readily accessible to all. However, this can only be truly done by an individual. Outside forces can only do so much. It is up to individuals to level their own “playing fields” and to create diversity for themselves. Improvement of diversity in today’s society seems beyond society, and to be more of a personal issue. Society continuously implements actions to make diversity more of a reality for the sake of what is “right”. It is often times people who choose not to utilize these actions.
Bottom line is improvement of diversity in today’s society would take people making a conscious choice to accept diversity in their personal lives. When people realize the power they have together as well as the similarities they share irregardless of color, reality is sure to change for the better. Diversity will be improved and welcomed.
Temitope Oguntona is currently a senior at Sam Houston State University where she is majoring in Food Science and Nutrition. She aspires to eventually become a registered dietitian and work in the medical field as well as in public health. In her free time she enjoys photography, photo editing, reading, cooking, and listening to music.
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