Made available on Serendip
In association with Making Sense of Diversity: An Exploration, a world wide conversation

Making Sense of Diversity:
A Conversation at Bryn Mawr College

Cosponsored by
the Dean's Office, the Office of Institutional Diversity,
the Center for Science in Society,
the Center for Ethnicities, Communities, and Social Policy,
and the Feminist and Gender Studies Program

Image by Rachel Grobstein
Click on image to enlarge
CALENDAR - Spring, 2004
calendar - Fall, 2003
Conversation Resources


  • Are there real differences among people?

  • Can we acknowledge and talk about differences?

  • What are the differences?

  • What produces differences?

  • How important are the differences? For what?

  • What problems/opportunities are created by the differences?

  • What can we learn from the differences, the problems, the opportunities?

  • What are the implications of the differences/problems/opportunities for maintaining/creating communities?
Skin color is an obvious characteristic which differs among people, one that has played and continues to play a significant role in human life, culture, and cultural change. But people differ in lots of other ways as well, including ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic background, sexual orientation and gender identity, abilities and disabilities of various sorts, and a variety of other personal characteristics.

Differences between people can be a source of satisfaction and pride. But, depending on the person and the community, they can also be the grounds for misunderstanding, discomfort, pain, and oppression. For this and other reasons, people are often reluctant to openly acknowledge and talk about differences.

"Bryn Mawr's commitment to building a diverse, multicultural community is crucial to the Colllege's educational mission". It is a commitment that cannot be fully satisfied unless and until we are all able to talk freely about and share both the ways that we are similar to one another and the ways in which we are different. "Making Sense of Diversity: A Conversation at Bryn Mawr College" is aimed at moving us closer to this objective.

Join the conversation. See links above for a calendar of events, resource lists, and an on-line forum for you to contribute your ideas and thoughts and read those of others.

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