Diversity and differences can be what makes the human population so amazing and beautiful. Embracing these differences is the most important part of inclusion and SEL. Although diversity and inclusion sound like they are at opposite sides of the spectrum, they are more related than one might assume. Diversity focuses on representation of different people and inclusion focuses on making everyone feel welcome, these aspects are interconnected in SEL, in the classroom, and in our community as we continue to celebrate diversity by being inclusive. This article from Very Well Mind does a very thorough job explaining inclusion, its importance, and how you can be more inclusive in your classroom, community, and personal life.
The Kaleidoscope Group has prepared a short video for adults to better understand how to embrace differences. It provides information on the importance of embracing differences, what that means, the different levels of embracing differences, and how you can better include this in your life and community. The non-profit organization Embracing Our Differences from Florida uses art education to help students expand their “consciousness and open the heart to celebrate the diversity of the human family.” The organization presents a yearly art show that embraces diversity and love – click here for their virtual gallery.
This brief article by the Sandy Hook Promise discusses the importance of celebrating diversity and beginning this discussion early in education. Bright Horizons notes a few ways on how to embrace diversity in and outside of your community. One thing that they suggest is reading a broad range of books – this is a great idea for inclusive classrooms, everyone wants to see themselves in book characters. Click here for a list of inclusive children’s books (elementary) here (elementary/middle), here or here (high school or older) and here (general ages). It can be a great place to start your classroom’s journey!