Many people struggle to understand the true meaning of accepting the differences of ethnic backgrounds, and how others might perceive situations in contrast to their own situation.
These issues opened up discussion at the multicultural club event, “Walking in Others’ Shoes,” on socioeconomics Monday.
“The problem is that we see others’ differences as deficits in their character,” John Gruenewald, assistant professor of education, said. “We can have the ability to co-exist and have differences.”
The event was carried out by Adonay Montes, assistant professor of education, and Gruenewald.
When the event was planned, it was supposed to be a simulation where students were broken into different groups and asked to interact with each other based on their assigned roles.
Due to the low turnout of students, however, the activity was not able to go out as planned, but rather an in depth and personal conversation about diversity was able to take place.
“I was hoping for more students but our hope is to give people an opportunity to engage in conversation on these issues that they might not otherwise learned about,” Daniel Loera, multicultural affairs director, said.
During the discussion many different aspects of diversity were brought up.
It was truly an enlightening experience to see the different ways that people define diversity and what stories each person had that shaped how they viewed the issue.
Assistant of Multicultural Affairs Lili Gradilla talked to the group about her experience growing up in an area that was predominantly one ethnic background.
She said that she was not exposed to different cultures until she came to the University of La Verne.
“One of the diversity issues that people battle is that we as a society are viewing things inaccurately and through bias eyes,” Gradilla said.
There was a consensus that a large part of understanding other people starts with understanding ourselves.
“It all begins with you. We are the core values of understanding others,” Montes said.
Alexandria Orozco can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.