Take one look at the George Mason University student body and it is immediately apparent how incredibly diverse our student body is. Scattered around the campus and in our classrooms are people of all different skin colors, wearing all different kinds of clothing and accessories, speaking all different kinds of languages, and discussing a wide range of topics with very different opinions. It is a beautiful and welcoming environment to walk into.
It is also a place of opportunity. We come to college not only to learn about our various fields of study, but also to grow and develop as individuals. This development occurs when we meet new people, have new experiences, and confront challenging situations. Those opportunities become more abundant and available to us when we are surrounded by diversity. They allow us to broaden our worldviews, challenge our present beliefs, and develop the capacity to understand the perspectives of others. It also allows us to find the underlying similarities among all of us that aren’t apparent on the surface.
It can be challenging, however, to extract all of the benefits that such a high volume of diversity presents. We’ve all had that moment at the beginning of the semester when we’re unsure of how to even talk to the person right next to us. It can be difficult to reach out to new people, no matter what their background is.
This is why we have created #EmbraceDiversity. The purpose of this independent group is to create a space in which people of all backgrounds, whether they identify by a certain ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, can come together to share their stories and perspectives, to learn from one another, and to create a lasting dialogue that strengthens the Mason community. We hope to be an organization that facilitates the creation of connections between the various members of the Mason community on the fundamental basis that we are all humans navigating the complexities of the world around us. Every person is unique, with a unique story and view of the world. We are a more beautiful community when we come together to share our perspectives, and to empower and embrace one another. We hope that #EmbraceDiversity will become an integral member of Mason’s community and become its own community, consisting of a unified group of diverse students who want to be a part of creating a space for positive dialogue and lasting connections.