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Diversity Appreciation. Cultural Awareness. Iowa Civil Rights Commission. The state administrative agency which enforces the Iowa Civil Rights Act of 1965 (Chapter 216 of the Iowa Code). Our Mission & Our Vision. Vision: A state free from Discrimination

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Diversity Appreciation

Cultural Awareness

iowa civil rights commission
Iowa Civil Rights Commission

The state administrative agency which enforces the Iowa Civil Rights Act of 1965 (Chapter 216 of the Iowa Code)

our mission our vision
Our Mission & Our Vision
  • Vision: A state free from Discrimination
  • Mission: To enforce Civil Rights through Compliance, Mediation, Advocacy, and Education
protected personal characteristics



National Origin



Sexual Orientation

Gender Identity

Physical Disability

Mental Disability (not in Credit)

Age (Employment and Credit only)

Familial Status (Housing and Credit only)

Marital Status (Credit only)


Protected Personal Characteristics
  • The meaning and implications of Diversity
  • Factors which interfere with the appreciation of Diversity
  • The importance of appreciating Diversity
what is diversity
What is Diversity?
  • The differences which make us each unique
  • Recognizing the differences until the differences don’t make a difference anymore
  • All of our differences and similarities
diversity defined
Diversity Defined

Diversity is the mosaic of people who bring a variety of backgrounds, styles, perspectives, values, and beliefs as assets to the groups and organizations with which they interact.

what is workforce diversity
What is Workforce Diversity?

Diversity is the variation of social and cultural identities among people existing together in a defined employment or market setting.

Taylor Cox Jr.

what is culture
What is Culture?

Culture is a shared set of belief systems, values, practices and assumptions which determine how people interact with each other and interpret the world.

what is culture10
What is Culture?

The learned behavior, customs and way of life of a group of people

cultural differences
Cultural Differences

Concrete (visual)











Identity Triangle

Individual Uniqueness

Group Identity

Common Humanity


Identity Triangle “A”

-ism Example


Denies Individual Uniqueness

Places Negative Meaning on Group Identification

Denies Common Humanity

Group Identity



Identity Triangle “B”

Color-blind Example “I don’t see differences”


Denies Individual Uniqueness

Denies Differences Based Group Identification

Overemphasizes Commonalities


Common Humanity


Identity Triangle “C”

Excessive Individualism Example

Overemphasizes Individual Uniqueness

Denies the Impact of Group Identification

Denies Areas of Commonality

Individual Uniqueness



first thoughts
First Thoughts

Caucasians are...

Gays are…

Lesbians are…

Native Americans are…

Teenagers are...

Police Officers are…

Men Are...

Women are…

African-Americans are…

Latinos are…

Asians are…

attitudes towards differences
Attitudes towards differences

Where do they come from ?

Personal Experience




Television, Films and other media

factors which interfere with diversity appreciation
Factors Which Interfere With Diversity Appreciation
  • Stereotypes
  • Prejudice
  • Discrimination

A misconception about an individual or group based on the belief that all people in a given group will act in the same way.

Example: “All …………………….are lazy”.

  • An irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion
  • Making up your mind about what a person or group is like before you get to know them

The act of giving unequal treatment to an individual or group of people because they are members of a certain culture or race, or because of other differences. People are denied equal opportunities because of their differences.


“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences.”

Audre Lorde

the tolerance scale
The Tolerance Scale

This scale is based on five different ratings of how people respond to others in terms of their attitudes toward differences:

1. Repulsion

2. Avoidance

3. Tolerance

4. Acceptance

5. Appreciation ( Goal )

1 repulsion
1. Repulsion

You believe that people with a particular difference are not normal and they do not belong in your workplace or community. Working with them, or being around them causes you a lot of discomfort.

(Lowest Rating)

2 avoidance
2. Avoidance

You do not understand or are not familiar with people with a particular difference. They make you uncomfortable. You try to avoid them and don’t want to work with them or be around them.

3 tolerance
3. Tolerance

You don’t appreciate people with a particular difference, but you can work with them. You don’t feel completely comfortable around them, but you believe that they have a right to be treated respectfully. However, if you had your choice, you would not have them as co-workers or neighbors.

4 acceptance
4. Acceptance

You are comfortable around people with a particular difference, and value them in your workplace or community. You listen to them and interact well with them. This rating indicates that this difference does not really matter to you.

5 appreciation
5. Appreciation

You consider people with a particular difference as smart and talented, or possessing traits, skills and attitudes you admire. At work or in the community, you enjoy being around people with this difference. In fact, you choose to be around them. This rating means that you see this particular difference as positive.

(Highest Rating)

living diversity
Living Diversity

Living Diversity is the recognition, acceptance, appreciation and utilization of all Human Potential.

what you can do
What you can do…
  • Know yourself and your own culture.
  • Examine your own attitudes towards people who are different from you.
  • Try to identify the origin of your negative reaction toward differences.
what you can do32
What you can do…
  • Decide if your biases are getting in the way.
  • Be willing to talk, listen and learn.
  • Speak out against insensitive remarks and discriminatory behavior.
what you can do33
What you can do…
  • Take action when appropriate and address discriminatory behavior.
  • Continue to respect, accept and appreciate differences.
  • Promote diversity appreciation in your community.
what you can do34
What you can do…
  • Be aware of the subtleties of discrimination.
  • Be aware of how discrimination hurts and whom it hurts.
  • Act as a role model.
approaches to diversity
Approaches to Diversity

The Golden Rule

1960’s, assimilation, “stop treating people badly”

Right the Wrongs

1970’s, affirmative action, created “us versus them”

Value All Differences

Beyond 2000, diversity is an asset, “Platinum Rule”

iowa civil rights commission36
Iowa Civil Rights Commission

Grimes State Office Building

Des Moines, Iowa 50319



FAX 515-242-5840