Ashley Hansack ’15
Los Angeles, CA
Cultivating diversity begins with understanding and valuing differences. Whether the issues revolve around race, class, sexuality or other variables, differences help foster a greater sense of community, where people are comfortable in expressing their own views and opinions. Having the opportunity to pinpoint differences and use those differences to bring people together, rather than draw them apart, will lead us to a fruitful future filled with positive energy to produce change.
Gabie Brosas ’ 15
To me, diversity means bringing a lot to the table, and then taking the next step to open up the table. Diversity means that there is a space to disagree and to challenge and engage with one another, within the context of helping one another grow. I do not think that diversity is labeling or categorizing people. I reject conventional labels by living as a biracial, lower-middle class college student and consider myself to be a liberal Catholic. Valuing my diversity means not letting labels define me, but instead challenging them. By allowing for varied perspectives, I believe that we can use diversity to help understand each other and bring more love and unity.
Thabo Liphoto ’14
Diversity to me comes in different forms: race, socioeconomic backgrounds, language, cultural differences, religious views, personal values and practices, sexual orientation, and more. Having had the privilege to go to one of the most diverse high schools on the planet, I was exposed to many forms of diversity. My experience prepared me well for future interactions with different people. I have since learned to accept people for who they are, not who I wish them to be. I have come to embrace and celebrate the differences I have with people. I have also come to realize how important it is that I strive to share this experience for other people to understand and appreciate diversity.
Alisha Agard ’15
I went to a high school where I was one of a very few African Americans. Coming from a West Indian family background I also held different values than most students. I didn't realize how important diversity and the knowledge of diversity is until I was faced with adversity. Some did not realize the importance of diversity and the lack of education sometimes translated into ignorance. It is because of that experience that I am passionate about educating others on issues of diversity, both racial and ideological on Whitman's campus. .
Sean Mulloy ’14
To me, diversity denotes a variety of opinions, perspectives, experiences, ideologies, and backgrounds. It means cultivating a community that resists homogeneity and instead fosters an appreciation and celebration of the differences between us all. Diversity is not simple; it cannot be captured by checking a box on a form. But it can be nurtured through challenging each other to think differently and through looking at the world through a different lens.
Evan Griffis ’15
The world around us is soaked in diversity. No two cultures are alike, and as hard as we may try to standardize what it means to be a student, a citizen, or a person of the world, our diverse makeups ensure that our perceptions are unique and that our perspectives are malleable with our changing experiences. Diversity is the only universal, and for that reason diversity is something to celebrate with, understand from, and preserve within others. For me, diversity is the lens from which I observe, and without the help of those around me I would be blind to the beauty of the world.