There are many different ways in which you can find people of different backgrounds to interact with - the key is to put yourself out there and be open to experience the world through a different lens..
Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen, Habitat for Humanity, or another organization which reaches out to disadvantaged people or people with a different life journey than yourself.
Participate in a Hackathon to explore new solutions within a “move fast” / “ask why and why not?” framework.
Offer to mentor a young person in your office or join a mentorship group program.
Join a new club to explore a new interest. Websites like https://www.meetup.com/ can make it very easy to find a diverse group of people interested in a similar topic.
Attend a local multicultural event, parade, or rally that you normally would not go to. Ask a few participants to share with you why the event or cause is important to them.
Why it is important:
In today’s digital world, social media is designed to keep us looking at topics that we already like and agree with. This creates a sheltered bubble which perpetuates unconscious biases that we have towards other people. This bubble is also a factor of where we live and how we were raised. Reaching out to new people helps to break these unconscious biases and enables us to develop empathy and understanding about others’ perspectives and cultures. By making it a goal to share experiences, learn together, and “walk a mile” in the shoes of people from different backgrounds, we can begin to eliminate the biases which inform our decisions about others or issues, and begin to create a more compassionate and equitable society.
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Description of difficulty levels:
Very Easy - Takes no more than a couple of minutes, requires almost no effort
Easy - Takes no more than fifteen to thirty minutes, requires little effort
Medium - Takes no more than an hour, moderate effort required, might have to put yourself out there a bit
Hard - Takes a couple of hours, effort required, will have to put yourself out there.
Very Hard - Takes more than a couple of hours, may be a recurring commitment. Requires a solid amount of effort. Challenge yourself!