Why Diversity Matters

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Shareen Blair Brysac and Karl E. Meyer, the co-authors of Pax Ethnica:  Where and How Diversity Succeeds, discuss where diversity works and why it matters.


Shareen Blair Brysac and Karl E. Meyer

Comments [18]

Maria from NJ

A German city one of the most tolerant cities in the world! Really.
I am sorry but I am a bit skeptic of that; not to say really upset about it. I have never lived in that particular city but I have lived many times in Germany. My opinion is that Germans have a lot of trouble accepting anyone who is different. and I am a white european. I think most Europeans are very intolerant not to say outright bigots including the ones from my own culture.
I am glad I was born and raised in Venezuela where we did not care about color or origins. I am glad we live in the US now and not in Germany.

Mar. 06 2012 12:09 PM
Raju from Jersey City

I hear the show on "Diversity Matters". It is great to learn the in the list of the country India is one of them. Unfortunately Gujarat is painted black sheep of the country. Gujarati are very peace loving people, more interested in business. We are so much sober people that, Gujarat is the only state which does not have historically do not single company serving Indian armed forces. 2002 riots were caused by the minority community by burning 68 people live! Such horrific crime will make any one's blood boil. The figures given out by media is exaggeration and away from the fact. The CM of the state was made sacrificial lamb by media and political corrupt rivals. I visit the state every year and talk to people from rickshaw man to business man. I came across Muslim man from Amdavad. This is his story.

"Before 2002, if I had Rs. 100,000 merchandise in warehouse it keep me worried, to day I have Rs. 2 Million worth merchandise I sleep with peace. Nothing to worry."

Muslim activism, political rivalry and control on the media of minority has helped false propaganda about the state. In this false propaganda other countries also have been misguided including US government! The Gujarat is enjoying industrial and social peace as current Government of Mr. Narendra Modi do not take sides.

Mar. 06 2012 11:45 AM
Joanna from NYC

I'm from France, living in New York. Marseille is a very diverse city, but I wouldn't say that the North Africans that live there and have lived there since the end of decolonization are completely accepted by the rest of the population. In fact, the National Front (far right wing party) earns many of its votes from Marseille's region-- Marine Le Pen, the far right wing candidate in the upcoming presidential election, just made a speech the other day about how Marseille had failed to integrate its Muslim population.

Mar. 06 2012 11:01 AM
Nora from Boerum Hill, Brooklyn

Maybe we're not Forest Hills High, but PS261 in Brooklyn is a wonderfully diverse community that works well. So many people are beautiful shades of toasty honey, but you have no idea how or why--are they from Yemen, or is one of their parents Japanese and the other Caribbean? And so on...

Mar. 06 2012 10:58 AM
ericf from Jersey City

Downtown Jersey has had a history of remarkable economic and ethnic diversity with no clear majority ethnic group and no starkly obvious ethic sub-neighborhoods, but that seems to be been changing a bit as the area gentrifies.

Mar. 06 2012 10:57 AM
Rosie Z. from Brooklyn, NY

A place (or rather two) where I feel diversity really worked were my own elementary public ool PS 11 in Queens (as your guests state - it is really a wonderful mix of cultures) and the school where I work now as a teacher in Brooklyn, PS 130. In fact, I chose PS 130 because I remember so well how much I enjoyed my time at PS 11 due to the beautiful mix of kids: there was no us vs. them, it was simply "we".

Mar. 06 2012 10:56 AM
Patricia from millburn

Silicon valley?

Mar. 06 2012 10:55 AM

Something seemingly overlooked in the diversity discussion... Diversity exists in nature due to Darwinian selection. Those on the far right can dismiss the value of diversity through religious doctrine. But, how do those on the far left weigh diversity, as a goal unto itself, against the effect on the ongoing evolution of humanity?

Mar. 06 2012 10:55 AM
Ana from NJ

I lived and worked in Jersey City which at some point was the most diverse city in the country. The perfect evidence of more diverse is better was the all boys high school that I worked at. There were more than 50 different backgrounds and more than 35 languages spoken and we rarely had serious discipline problems even with teenage boys.

Mar. 06 2012 10:54 AM

i lived in eritrea in '92-'92 and '05. because they all fought on the same side, catholics, orthodox, and muslims all got along. i have a great photo taken in front of the asmara cathedral, in which three men, one in a suit, one in a jalibya and one in a priest frock are all warmly shaking hands and hugging. can't imgine it elsewhere

Mar. 06 2012 10:54 AM
Carolyn Krouse from NYC

Between 1982 and 1986 our children went to the American School in Japan. 20% of the student body was Japanese. About 40% was from the US. The other 40% were from many nations, including Australia, Canada, Hong Kong (not China at the time), Denmark, Portugal, Israel, Germany,etc. I remember watching children from a school on an American military base as they got off a school bus one day on their way to play a basketball game. The boys slouched their way off the bus, swaggering like caracatures of actors in old Westerns. You just didn't see that kind of posture in the kids at ASIJ. At the most fundamental level, then, I could see how profound a difference there was between children going to an international school and children in the narrow confines of an American system.

Mar. 06 2012 10:54 AM

This report makes me proud to be a queens native! Diversity was actually an important factor in picking a daycare center for our daughter - we were sold on the center we chose because both the children and the staff represented just about every racial/ethnic/religious group you could think of. She's growing up side by side with White, Black, Asian, Latino, Christian, Jewish, Muslim and every other culture. I'm very thankful that she'll never grow up thinking that everyone else has to look and act just like her.

Mar. 06 2012 10:53 AM
David from Long Island City

I grew up in Hawaii, perhaps the most ethnically relaxed place in the country. It was a big shock to me when moving to the Mainland for college that ethnicity seemed to be such a big deal.

Mar. 06 2012 10:52 AM
Jay from Brooklyn

I vote for my neighborhood of Kennsington Brooklyn. At a local deli on Coney Island Avenue you can find on the magazine rack a number of Arab language newspapers and Jewish newspapers. My neighborhood has many orthodox Jews, Russians and Pakistanis and Afghans and one midwestern Methodist family living together peacefully!

Mar. 06 2012 10:52 AM

Oakland, California. In San Francisco's shadow, with a better climate.

Mar. 06 2012 10:50 AM
Anonymous from Brooklyn

FYI, populations are not "Islamic" because people are "Muslims". Art can be Islamic though, that's totally fair.

Mar. 06 2012 10:47 AM
Olin from Brooklyn/DC

Truly diverse? Not sure what that means. To me, diversity is a starting point. The end goal might be integration. While I have almost always been part of diverse communities, I do not know whether I have ever been part of a truly integrated community, where there is diversity within different levels of the systems that make up my communities. Talking about integration rather than diversity means looking at power sharing and structural disparities, as well as genuine interpersonal connections.

Mar. 06 2012 10:45 AM
Albert from Chelsea, NYC

Just had to weigh in! I could never afford a graduate degree in the US, so while living in Mexico City I began to investigate an online degree, which eventually led me to a brick and mortar campus: Alliant International University. With campuses in California, the Mexican campus is accredited by the western conference of colleges and universities.... and as a result many students from Latin America, students that couldn't afford the US (many European, US and Canadian students), and many students that could more easily get a visa to study in Mexico (such as African students) came... my International Relations degree was earned in a truly internationally diverse atmosphere, what's more many of the professors were people involved in politics or in the various embassies of that capital city.
I learned more in this atmosphere, about the world and how we all view each other, possible solutions, etc, than I could have anywhere else... a great experience that I value highly.

Mar. 06 2012 10:13 AM

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