As communities (both online and in real life) continue to polarize and become more insular, I think it’s important to be aware of HOW to access people and groups that don’t share your particular background. Forget about getting to know a diversity of people if you don’t even know WHERE you can realistically connect. And I say “realistically” because everyone knows where “the other side of the tracks” are in their cities. Everyone knows which schools/churches/neighborhoods are unlike their own. But very few people will ever go to those other spaces and get to know them and the people in them. It doesn’t really work that way. In my city, the downtown YMCA is diversity central. The cars in the parking lot range from beat up to brand new. The bumper stickers on those cars promote Dems and the GOP alike. The people inside are black, white, brown… Some people are ripped as they walk out of the weight room. Some people are out of shape as they walk onto the pool deck. And routines are such that you end up crossing paths and conversing with the same handful of people every week. This provides real opportunity to encounter someone vastly unlike yourself and strike up a friendship. Not everywhere is like this. What comes to mind for your life and your city? And how could you spend more time there?
Source: WBQ Original inspired by Maxeme Tuchman’s observations about the Wynwood Art Walk in her city of Miami
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