What Organizations Get Wrong About Diversity

An Academic Of Color Reflects On The Perils Of Being Reduced To A Symbol Of Diversity

October 18, 2015

When it really comes down to it, talking about privilege is just one approach to having a meaningful conversation about difference and race. Talking about diversity is not always easy, but poet and writer Sofia Samatar believes it's crucial. A few weeks ago she published an essay called "Skin Feeling" about what it’s like being an academic of color in a largely white university. In it, she talks about feeling exposed, self-conscious, and uneasy with the idea of being reduced to a symbol of diversity. She sat down with her friend Charles Monroe-Kane to talk about what organizations get wrong about diversity. She believes institutions should focus less on meeting quotas, and instead have open and nuanced conversations about difference.