Why does a DIV:INQ process support a culture of acceptance of difference and diversity?
Through a ‘gently socratic’ process – young people can engage with each other and ideas about diversity without a need for personal disclosure or need to justify their curiosity. The concept of identity and limiting beliefs assumptions and practices are what is explored through DIVINQ.
Helping young people feel comfortable with difference of all kinds means when they encounter someone in their lives at whatever stage that might be then they will hopefully hold a more open and fear-less understanding of what that could mean in terms of relating to them. We place a lot of emphasis on cultural diversity within schools and often overlook some of the more socially hidden forms of diversity thereby protecting young people from the complexities of life and this is allows assumptions to grow unchallenged.
How is DIV:INQ facilitated?
A co-facilitation arrangement has currently served to support ensuring representation of diversity is present. It is run during lunch times and after school but is flexible to meet the needs of students and the school community. An online process enables conversations to be ongoing (facebook and DIV:INQ blog) but most of the important and meaningful work is done in meeting face to face. Groups size does make a difference – the ideal number is between 10-20 max (up to 15 seems optimum)
Who could benefit from DIV:INQ?
So far DIV:INQ has been facilitated with senior students aged 16 and above. Students interested in ethics and human rights might enjoy participating in a Diversity Inquiry. Inviting students who have a personal connection or experience with LGBTI or disabilities either personally or within their family can feel isolated and ‘boxed in’ by labels and their associated meanings and assumptions in our communities. Senior health or philosophy classes might benefit from a short term involvement with DIV:INQ.