OC12: Embrace Diversity
Prior to the opening session at the Orange Conference last night, Reggie Joiner (and team) revealed a few simple facts by highlighting the most diverse zip code in the US.
Zip 98118 in Seattle, WA is a 6 square mile area that accounts for 40,000 people, 59 languages and 60 nationalities.
In effect, the message was clear: more communities are becoming diverse / more people want to live in diverse communities.
In fact, 25% want to live in a culture that is diverse, while 60% don’t want to live in one that’s diverse.
As a father to multi-racial children (Dutch, Spanish, Filipino, Black = yes, we are the world, indeed!), this topic was one that piqued my interest. How do I (someone who is “white” [I say that because my appearance looks like that even though my mom is Dutch and my dad is Spanish]) communicate diversity and tolerance to my children?
Stats show that people are embracing diversity and rejecting those who show signs of intolerance. How do I align with a church (or my church, rather) that embraces all peoples of all different backgrounds?
What does “embracing diversity” look like? How do I do that in an almost 90%-white suburb of ATL? How do I do that in a multi-racial family/household?
In the end, no matter where my family “lives”, I want this message clearly and effectively communicated to my children. I want them to experience different cultures, cherish their heritage, and accept people simply because they are human.
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:31)
Simple enough. When we get granular, we are all broken people in need of a Savior. No matter our color, background, family history, income, political stance, etc, etc, etc. All of us, yes all of us, are called to embrace people. Because that’s what Jesus did.