Is Diversity the Goal?

What are we aiming for in the work of reconciliation?

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2 minutes

Oct 1, 2021

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When people talk about diversity, they are often thinking specifically about racial and ethnic diversity.

As a leader, your team may look at your organization and conclude that your demographic numbers are pretty well-distributed and you’ve done a pretty good job of meeting your diversity metric.

Or you might look at your community and see a pretty homogenous group in terms of race and ethnicity and feel discouraged that diversity doesn’t really seem possible for your space and place. You might be considering a new initiative or even a new location in order to bring in more diversity to your organization.

But is diversity the goal?

When people talk about diversity, they are often thinking specifically about racial and ethnic diversity.”

Arrabon

Arrabon’s answer to that question may surprise you: No, diversity is not the goal.

In fact, the one thing diversity is guaranteed to bring with it is conflict.

At Arrabon, we believe a more comprehensive conversation is needed, one that includes racial and ethnic diversity, but goes beyond percentages and demographics to get at the core practices of reconciliation that reveal the true unity we have in Christ.

The divisions in our society extend well beyond race and ethnicity— our fractures reveal themselves in socio-economic divides, varying levels of access to opportunities, generational gaps, cultural differences, and all sorts of ways that we measure status. In Matthew 25, Jesus names some of these divisions when he calls us to consider “the least of these” —the hungry, the stranger, the sick, the prisoner.

In fact, the one thing diversity is guaranteed to bring with it is conflict.”

Arrabon

As Christians, we are called to join in the work of Christ in reconciling all things, in bringing wholeness and flourishing—shalom—to the places we live and the people around us. In order to fully experience the beauty of diversity, Christian communities must immerse themselves in the work of becoming a reconciling community, not just a diverse one.

When people talk about diversity, they are often thinking specifically about racial and ethnic diversity.

As a leader, your team may look at your organization and conclude that your demographic numbers are pretty well-distributed and you’ve done a pretty good job of meeting your diversity metric.

Or you might look at your community and see a pretty homogenous group in terms of race and ethnicity and feel discouraged that diversity doesn’t really seem possible for your space and place. You might be considering a new initiative or even a new location in order to bring in more diversity to your organization.

But is diversity the goal?

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