Solutions April 2019 | Page 16

APPROACHING DIVERSITY: practical strategies By David Goetsch America is populated by people of every race, religion, nationality, worldview, sexual identity, and culture in the world. As a result, it is one of the most diverse countries on the planet. If handled well, human diversity can be an asset to organizations, communities, and our country. But if handled poorly, diversity can divide people into feuding factions based on race, gender, age, education, culture, religion, politics, worldviews, sexual orientation, and other factors. Unfortunately, diversity is not always handled well. This has resulted in a growing sense of tribalism in America, where people view each other in terms of “us” versus “them.” This mentality was once seen most prominently in racial 16 • Solutions clashes. Those clashes, of course, still happen. But in recent years the “us- versus-them” mentality has manifested itself more often in discord between Christians and the LGBTQ community over the issue of sexual identity. One thing is certain in this clash of values— as it is anytime diversity is the issue: Until people on both sides are willing to stop the outrage and start to engage, no progress will be made. I cannot speak for LGBTQ advocates, but for Christians, there is one diversity-related question we must ask: Do we want to make progress or just make noise? As Christians, we have a chance to honor God and make progress at the same time