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Diversity Work

Sun, August 13, 10:30am to 12:10pm, Palais des congrès de Montréal, Floor: Level 5, 517B


In this era of colorblindness and focus on diversity, the concept of Diversity Work has emerged for those doing the diversifying of white spaces. Diversity Work is defined as the physical, mental and emotional work required of persons of color to provide diversity to, or integrate, a majority white space. It is the act of being called upon to share one’s experience with others not like you in a formal or informal way under the auspices of building a more “diverse and welcoming” environment. This paper examines the historical development of racial integration particularly of African Americans in the United States that has led to the era of diversity. The theoretical underpinnings of Diversity Work are examined as well as how Diversity Work is situated in the discussion of microaggressions. Examples of how Diversity Work is enacted in everyday life at the macro, meso and micro levels are also examined.