On Diversity Literacy

Melissa Steyn’s (2010) concept of diversity literacy is very useful for describing the skills that are crucial if we are to genuinely value diversity.  Individuals who are diversity literate value difference, recognize the concrete impact that difference makes in people’s lives, and understand how to intervene to reduce the impact of structural barriers that stand in the way of inclusion and social equity.  Achieving a competency in diversity literacy means one is able to “read” the social landscape in terms of social difference and the impacts of those differences on intersubjective and group interactions.  Such a skill set provides both a critical understanding of diversity and how to put that understanding into practice.