I guess "diversity" means, first and foremost, what it means to most people in the U.S. using it.
- people of different ethnic, racial, religious, cultural, age, gender and sexual preference, and class backgrounds -- AND, all these people being involved in an effort, activity, working situation, or educational or living community together.
- people who are differently abeled, such as "disabled" people, both mentally and physically: so this would include people with spinal cord injuries, people who are deaf, or who can't speak, or are developmentally disabled, or are alcoholics, or bi-polar, or schizophrenic, or in any way mentally ill, or chronically ill people in bad pain, people with genetic disorders, and all other kinds of disorders or disabilities. -- AND the idea of these people mixing and mingling and working with and living with each other, as well as the people above.
- this is the third group of people I would say will always contribute to a group to make it diverse, though these differences are sometimes not often acknowledged: professionals/non-professionals; skilled workers/ non-skilled workers; day laborers/ union laborers; poor/working poor/working class/middle class/upper middle class/ upper class/ ; ruling class vs working class; immigrants; natives; indigenous; settlers; children/teens/young adults/older adults/ seniors; academics/non-academics; corporate/non-corporate; etc.
Hope this shows that there are many ways to have a diverse setting in a workplace, hospital, university classroom, bus, swimming pool, prison, etc. One lack of diversity that bothers me the most is always having to be with people the same age as me, and people not being willing to mix the ages up more. We are very "ageist" in the U.S. Another thing is, many people pretend that there is no class system in the U.S., but there very much is -- Americans have just been taught that there is not. I never realized it much until I left home and went to college.
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