Actively Seeking Diversity

May 14, 2014

beautyofdifferent1

By Gabrielle.

My friend Karen Walrond wrote an excellent post yesterday titled These People Are Nothing Like Me. It’s about her habit of seeking out and actively reading the blogs of people who are different from her. I love the post! I love finding names of people I respect on her list, and I love finding lots of new names to discover as well. Karen’s post had me reflecting on the state of diversity among the blogs I read, and in my own social media streams.

My question for you: How diverse is your media? If you consider yourself a member of the Tea Party, do you also follow people like John Stewart? If you’re an ardent Democrat, do conservative voices ever cross your screen? If you’re religious, do you read columns of any atheists, or scholars from other religions? When hot-button news is happening, is your Facebook feed a mess of differing opinions?  Do you follow people who are living all over the world? Are the faces and races you see in your Instagram feed diverse?

Is diversity important to you? Or do you simply consider it a nice bonus when it stumbles into your life now and again? For those of you who find yourselves with very diverse media around you, did it happen accidentally? Did it happen naturally? Or did you do something in particular to seek it out? And feel free to share links if there’s a blogger who is different than you that you want to recommend!

P.S. — Karen also wrote an excellent book called The Beauty of Different.

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Pooja May 14, 2014 at 6:22 pm

I’m a woman and mother of color. Do you consider my consumption of Design Mom as an exercise in “diversity?” The question you ask–whether diversity is important or a “nice bonus” (!!!!)–is not a question that people of color have the luxury of not thinking about. And this, in and of itself, is white privilege.

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2 Design Mom May 14, 2014 at 6:48 pm

Hi Pooja. I am white and I know I see the world through white privilege, though I try to change my thinking when people point it out to me. I’m truly sorry if this post was upsetting to you.

I can tell you I was only considering skin color as one factor of many when I was writing this post. I apologize if that wasn’t clear. I was thinking about differing political opinions, age, geography, talents, limitations, sex and gender, religions and budgets. I was thinking about married and single, thinking of parents and those who are childless by choice. I was considering style and taste and opinion. And yes, I was also considering race.

I don’t know you and don’t know how similar we are, so I can’t tell you if reading Design Mom is an exercise in diversity for you. If we have very similar thoughts and feelings and interests, but we simply have different skin colors, I’m thinking that’s not very diverse at all. Karen and I don’t share the same skin color, but when I read Karen’s blog, I certainly don’t think of it as an exercise in diversity. I think Karen and I see the world quite similarly.

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3 Pooja May 14, 2014 at 10:35 pm

I apologize if I read your post incorrectly, Gabrielle. There is much discussion online about “diverse” books for children (under the hashtag #weneeddiversebooks), and, while encouraging, is not addressing the elephant in the room–from whose gaze is this conversation is being conducted? I suppose I’m frustrated that the conversation about “diversity” (and all that that word implies) is still largely centered around education and consumption.

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4 Design Mom May 14, 2014 at 10:39 pm

You’re right, of course — the word “diversity” is so over-used and has so much baggage at the moment that it’s not as useful as it could be. And as you mention, it’s used in manipulative ways (often consumption related).

I need to go look up some synonyms because I’m coming up short!

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5 Amy May 14, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Diversity is more than one’s racial/ethnic background. I am a liberal democrat and love listening to conservative talk radio shows!

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6 Design Mom May 14, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Agreed. Did my words make it seem like I thought diversity is only racial/ethnic background?

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7 Linda K May 14, 2014 at 9:15 pm

No, your post did not imply in any way that you were referring exclusively, or even mainly, to racial/ethnic diversity. Not at all.

Interesting post. I do consume some “diverse” opinions via thought pieces (print and online), though they inevitably leave me with higher blood pressure and I almost always regret the investment of my time. Which means I’m narrow-minded, I suppose despite my stated attachment to being “open.”

My Facebook feed is a bland monument to liberal values, so very little political or ideological diversity there. The only exceptions are relatives (and truth be told, I often hide their posts from my feed…just hid another in-law today after seeing a post that defined family in a very, very, very narrow way.)

I had a funny experience once that sort of points to the fact that diversity is in the eye of the beholder. I once told a neighbour that I really liked our street because it exposed my kids to ‘diversity.’ I was referring mostly to socio-economic diversity when I made the comment. I later found out that he thought I was referring to him when I spoke of ‘diversity’ because he is gay. (In my mind, he and his partner are the beacon of mainstream on my street!)

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8 Design Mom May 14, 2014 at 10:13 pm

“My Facebook feed is a bland monument to liberal values”

Hah! That made me laugh.

The posts that get my blood boiling are any that I perceive as anti-feminist or anti-woman or anti-girl. I swear, sometimes I have to practice my birth breathing to make it through certain conversations.

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9 Amy May 14, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Nope. My comment was directed to Pooja.

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10 Design Mom May 14, 2014 at 9:26 pm

Ah. Got it.

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11 Pooja May 14, 2014 at 10:35 pm

Got it! Thanks! See my comment above.

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12 Amy May 14, 2014 at 7:18 pm

Well, I’m a white lesbian Unitarian stay-at-home mom who grew up in a a very racially diverse town south of Chicago – and many of the blogs I read are written by Mormon women. I live in a town on the California coast that has odd diversity – many old hippies, lots of Silicon Valley money, many immigrants from Mexico and South American countries, huge homeless population, very active conservative religious communities – it doesn’t seem very diverse when you just think black and white, but the diversity is there. I actively seek diverse friends for myself and my children here – but have had moms of color tell me they feel like white, upper class moms try to “collect” them and they feel like tokens, in more than one sense of the word . I try to keep my Facebook page as diverse as I can stand, but this year I unfriended an acquaintance who used Facebook to publicly shamed a co-worker for not being completely supportive of gay marriage and I hid the posts of another because I was reacting too much to her vitriolic anti-vax posts.

It’s a very interesting question and I love that you keep bringing it up and keeping it in the forefront for everyone.

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13 Design Mom May 14, 2014 at 7:26 pm

I really enjoyed your description of “odd diversity” in your community.

I feel like the diversity missing most from my life is people in the 70+ category. In the 8 years that have passed since I started this blog, all 3 of my grandmothers have died, and I realized the other day that I rarely if ever have conversations with my elders. The exception is maybe church — I do get opportunities to hear from the 70+ crowd there.

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14 Giulia May 15, 2014 at 8:29 am

I like this part. My grandparents live down the street from us, they are 86 and 90 years old. We have dinner with them every Sunday and my kids have had the rare opportunity to spend so much time with their great-grandparents. Every other year we also go on vacation together, with my mom coming from Switzerland. They are both firecrackers, live independently, are renoing a house they just bought, just published another book and are teaching my children so much, which I really appreciate.
I also lived with them for a year while my parents were divorcing – it was perfect for my teenage self.

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15 Amy May 15, 2014 at 10:49 am

Even though I have relationships with elderly neighbors, my parents and in-laws (and 100 year old grandmother!) all live far away and I think it’s very easy for me to only focus on other people my age. I think I do this purposefully because I live next door to a large university and often have a hard time appreciating age diversity in the younger direction – living near lots of people in their late teens and early 20s makes me acutely aware that I am no longer the target demographic!

Also, since I don’t work, the only place I “see” friends without kids is on Facebook.

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16 Emily May 15, 2014 at 10:52 am

Giulia, what an awesome opportunity for your kids!! I was only able to meet one of my great-grandparents and she passed when I was young so I hardly remember her. This is so cool that not only are your grandparents super awesome (renoing a house in their 80s and 90s?!?!) but that your children get to experience so many generations of their family together!

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17 Elizabeth May 14, 2014 at 8:57 pm

This question is interesting and I enjoyed reading the responses so far. I am a very conservative, Catholic, white woman. I don’t know that we have the same views, Gabrielle, but I very much enjoy reading your blog. I don’t necessarily agree with everything I read here but I like getting your pov on things because you seem to be an open-minded person. And to Pooja, I am a white woman and I can tell you, without a doubt, I am discriminated against on a very regular basis for my religion, my large family, as well as our life choices. So I most certainly do think about it.

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18 Design Mom May 14, 2014 at 10:21 pm

Your comment has me thinking about religious discrimination. Since Mormons make up such a small portion of the population (and have such a reputation for being odd), it seems likely that I would have experienced frequent religious discrimination, but as I think back, I only have vague memories of negative reactions.

I wonder if it’s a geography based thing — I don’t think I’ve ever lived somewhere that has a strong anti-Mormon bias.

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19 Isabelle May 14, 2014 at 9:27 pm

What an interesting question. I want to believe I’m open-minded and read all kinds of opinions, but some of them make my blood boil (especially mainstream media). I have a few Facebook friends who don’t share my values but they rarely elicit more than an eye roll from me. I like blogs because although some of the bloggers don’t share my background or values, we share common interests – food, home decor, fashion, whatever. So it’s a “gentler” way to find some diversity, because I’m drawn to them, then read their opinions on other stuff, too.

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20 Design Mom May 14, 2014 at 10:09 pm

Your comment about Facebook reminded me about some Twitter news I heard today. Are you by chance on Twitter? They have a new feature where you can “mute” someone you are following without having to “unfollow” them. Twitter users are thinking this will come in handy during elections — or if they have a friend who is attending a conference and hashtagging the event like crazy (I’ve been guilty of that!).

In the same vein, I know there are people who “hide” certain friends on Facebook during certain news cycles. I’m impressed you can make it through with only eyerolls. : )

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21 Heidi May 14, 2014 at 10:47 pm

I do enjoy other people’s points of view, but to constantly be challenged with different ideas is just too exhausting for me when I lead such a busy life. I also think that it is possible to be tolerant without agreeing with people. This doesn’t mean that I agree with these other points of view, but I do respect people’s right to have them. (I just don’t want to debate things all the time like I did when I was 20 – and knew so much more than I do now at 48!)

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22 Christine May 15, 2014 at 2:31 pm

I hear you! I like to hear others’ view and respect their right to it and I don’t aggressively attempt to change another’s view. I find it difficult to manage others not respecting my right to my view (eg. long-term vegetarian that people still feel they can tell me it’s wrong, we’re meant to eat meat, but if a vegetarian attempts to challenge a meat eater…
I’m often told: ”I’m a good vegetarian, as I don’t try to change meat eaters”. I’m sure this is a positive comment, but I sure dislike it).
My brother also struggles to allow others to have their own political views and as another commenter said I had to hide my facebook posts from him ;)

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23 Brimful May 14, 2014 at 10:56 pm

Very interesting post! I’m half Chinese, grew up in the excellently liberal city of Portland, but had a conservative upbringing. Because I have always been confronted with the “what are you?” question from a very young age, I’ve naturally been drawn to other people, articles, films, and blogs that circle around that same question. The ideas in your post are perhaps too complicated to answer in just a comment…I could write an entire essay in response :). But I’m very glad you’re blogging about diversity. That is why you are, afterall, one of my favorite female bloggers :). xoxo, Annie

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24 Emilie May 14, 2014 at 11:02 pm

Hi there,

It is a great question but I don’t think it is the right question. What is diversity in media sources? Do you mean diverse opinions? My current problem is that it is becoming really difficult to find objective, opinion-free, facts-only, news. Everyone has something to say about what they think about the daily news. And most of the opinions are turned a specific way to create drama and wao effect. The Daily Show and The Colbert Report excel in that their reason to exist is to criticize the media sources in general. Even though it creates an excellent counter point hence balance with all the bullcr_p that we hear all the time, they also are fully opinionated.
For that reason at home, we have cancelled our TV subscription, we just couldn’t watch many local programs/news with so much opinion pushing blah blah blah.
As a general rule, we keep our ears open, we listen to what everyone has to say, we research topics we do not know enough about and we always try to be considerate when it comes time to form our own opinions. By nature our family is diverse. I am French, my husband is Ukrainian, we live in America. Both my husband and I watch and read daily media sources from our original countries.
I think that’s the main thing here. You can read and watch all kinds of media and still miss major points. A lot of people do that but have their opinion formed and won’t change their minds. They just watch the opposite side to comfort into their original ideas…
Anyway, that’s my two cents on this.

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25 Jenny also May 15, 2014 at 12:01 am

I love reading things from moms around my same stage in life rhat make very different choices/or have very different perspectives. For example, I’m still thinking about the fact that you, as a mom of 6, bought a house without considering the public schools. Unheard of in my circle (including different races, religions, and sexual orientations) where we all think schools first when buying a house. This may not be the kind of thing that springs to mind when one thinks “diversity” but it really was eye opening to me. Kind of like when I speak to my boss about her and her husband’s decision not to have kids.

I do find the one issue where I cannot stand “diversity of opinion” is with anti-vaccine posts. That issue really makes kinda crazy.

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26 Mary May 15, 2014 at 6:03 am

Interesting topic. I don’t actively seek diverse opinions or perspectives in my blog reading, although I do enjoy seeing many different parts of the world. I love getting an understanding of what life is like in rural England or Sydney or Sarasota or Portland. Mostly, I am seeking kindred spirits in the blog world. That said, I do follow many blogs that have different religious beliefs, family structures, etc. But I need for there to be enough in common for me to relate. I will admit that there are certain hot-button issues that will drive me away if our thinking is different, especially if it is one that they are very outspoken about.

I do actively seek diverse opinions when it comes to politics/economics/international affairs. I live near Boston, and let’s just say my political views are in line with my region. Jon Stewart is a fave. However, I will choose to watch FoxNews and other conservative shows in order to hear a different voice and understand a different viewpoint. I think it’s important that everyone do that in order to fully understand an issue.

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27 Siobhan May 15, 2014 at 7:04 am

I adore your blog and I found this question very interesting! When I read your question I did not think of diversity in just the black/white context but diversity as it relates to religion, language, special needs, family configuration (blended, adoptive, single/two parent, large vs. small) and sexual orientation. I am a liberal atheist raised by Catholic parents who were new to this country- so the idea of diversity- and also finding a place to fit in- has interested me from an early age. I love to read about people who experience amazing things I can only imagine- like moving my family to a cottage in France and learning a new language!- but I also read blogs of people whose ideas of the world don’t match my own as closely. I have a friend from childhood who is now an Evangelical minister in Texas. I listen to his sermons when he posts them on Facebook so I can more fully appreciate his view of life. I may not agree but I listen quietly and try to see things from his perspective since he is coming from a positive place of what he truly believes.

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28 Tanya May 15, 2014 at 7:35 am

Thank you, Gabrielle, for posting these questions – I find that on your blog I’m more likely to actually post a comment than on majority others. Not sure why, but it’s true.

Diversity is a loaded word for me, as well – mostly because it’s been such a buzz word in US, and because it’s often used to excuse entitlement problems – everyone’s such a special snowflake these days. I rather prefer finding things in common that I have with people/cultures/things rather than define things in terms of diversity.

I’m a Jewish Russian/Ukrainian married to a German-Jamaican living in US. So there’s that.
Diversity was kind of built-in my childhood in USSR (yes, I know, most Westerners are shocked when I say that). I grew up on knowledge that only together, through many different experiences and perspectives, through blending as many different strands can there be strength, wisdom, and beauty (I know that USSR leaders did not tend to practice what they preached, but boy, was this preached A LOT!)

I find the Western brand of diversity to be different from the one I know – here it’s more “We’re different, you’re this, they’re that” and I’m used to “let’s each bring our own things, and I bet together it will be awesome!” kind of mentality.
There’s a cartoon that springs to mind: a girl needed some paints to paint a picture, and so up sprang 6 Johns-6 Captains (named Ivan, Juan, Jean, Ian, etc.) and took her in their ship to Yellow River, Black Sea, Orange River, etc.) to get her colors for her palette. So, we learned about all these different places but never in a isolating, framed-out kind of way.

I’m friends with people who have radically different political/choice/religious views from me, but the reason we’re friends is because we all respect the other’s opinion (even if my friends may secretly mourn the fact that I’m going to hell ^_^ )

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29 Elisabeth May 15, 2014 at 8:19 am

This is an interesting topic. I grew up in a town where there isn’t really much diversity- the majority of people are white, Christian, and Republicans. However, my parents are on opposite sides of the political spectrum, and my town does have a lot of rednecks (I say that with all the love in the world) and uneducated people, whereas my family was the opposite of that. Now, in college, my experiences have changed. The majority of my college friends are extremely conservative, evangelical Christians whereas I am about as liberal as you can get and still be a Christian (United Church of Christ denomination). The only problems that have come up has been when they don’t accept that my religious views are very different (it is also difficult when you can’t talk about things you are very passionate about with your close friends- particularly gay rights). As far as blogs and media, I read a lot of blogs by bloggers that are at a very different place in life than I am (this blog, for example- I’m 20 and don’t have kids and am not married, and other mom blogs) and try to read news from a variety of sources. I read blogs by bloggers that are atheist, Mormon, Catholic, Presbyterian, etc.

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30 Rachel May 15, 2014 at 8:59 am

Interesting discussion! I’ve never really thought about diversity in my social media/online life–more so in my daily interactions. In my daily life I’m very open to different perspectives and can handle conflict well, but I tend to shy away from it online, particularly when it deals with politics.

I once heard a very well-known city planner speak, and he stressed the importance of pedestrian-friendly cities due to the fact that we aren’t “good citizens” in the car (For example, you would never flip someone off if they accidentally got in your way in person). Though there are many exceptions, I tend to think of online interactions about politics similarly–we aren’t very good citizens online, so I don’t always think it’s always the best forum for broadening your perspective. I prefer person-to-person interactions that allow an actual discussion to take place.

That being said, in terms of religion, I definitely seek out diverse perspectives in person and online (though your post is making me reconsider what “diverse” means). One of my friends started a blog (www.practicingvariously.com) that seeks to bring together varying religious voices through interviews and visits to places of worship. She is Jewish and has a particular interest in Islam, so it’s definitely “diverse” in the blog world.

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31 bryssy May 15, 2014 at 9:29 am

We are super careful about what outside influences we let into our home. Quite frankly, we are so over being marketed to. Everything just seems like some way to get at our money, heads and hearts. We are not for sale. I get that it pretty counter cultural. I read very few blogs – the ones I subscribe to are just a glance over, mostly. We have friends from different ethnicities but I generally see the most diversity from those in different socioeconomic areas and we don’t do a ton of interacting with them. This is mostly because our activities draw us toward those who are similar to us. Now, I do read classics from every single background – always something to learn there.

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32 Elizabeth May 15, 2014 at 10:13 am

I love stumbling on a blog that resonates, only to find out later that its author is someone way outside my usual (liberal, white, suburban, democrat) bubble. It’s so clichéd, but truly, we all have more similarities than differences. Viva the internets!

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33 Jo May 15, 2014 at 10:19 am

What an interesting topic! I could talk on this for hours but I only have a minute to write so let me limit my comments to these two points:
1. I actively seek diversity in both my on and off-line life. I’m not offended in the least by different opinions and only get upset but strong opinions when people are unwilling to listen to other opinions. After all – we control our emotions! We see/hear an opinion. We make a judgment about that opinion. We then feel something based on that judgment. We subsequently act out based on that feeling. If you don’t want to be upset, work on mastering how you judge what you see/hear.
2. Your question was certainly not limited to race but it reminded me of this really interesting article I read in (GQ) of all places about a million years ago. It has explicit language and is a bit long but its about a white author who took out a craigslist ad seeking a “black friend”. Very interesting view of seeking diversity in his circle of friends. http://www.gq.com/news-politics/mens-lives/200810/devin-friedman-craiglist-oprah-black-white-friends-obama.

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34 Emily May 15, 2014 at 10:56 am

What an interesting post. To be honest when I read the title I thought the post was going to be in reference to hanging out with people of other races (clearly I relate the word diversity to race first) but upon reading your post I immediately understood that you meant diversity in the broadest sense of the word.

As far as my Instagram and blog roll, I think I follow/read people who have similar ‘taste’ but often times I don’t know what (if any) religion they relate to, their political leanings, their socioeconomic status (although sometimes this can be implied). For Facebook, I have unfollower pretty much anyone (from either side of issues) who is alarmist, posts things they haven’t fact checked, or who bullies the other side. My Facebook feed is fairly boring!

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35 JananW May 15, 2014 at 11:07 am

A friend recently taught a lesson in church about the need to knock down the self-imposed barriers we build. Age, marital status, kids or not, fitness or health junkie, outdoorsy, shy or outgoing, military, homeschooling, employment etc…Interesting topic.
News wise- I am fairly conservative, but I enjoy listening to mostly liberal news. I like hearing the generaly-opposite opinion on things. I think it gives me a more rounded opinion in the end.
In my experience most people have a lot more in common than they may first realize.

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36 Mary May 15, 2014 at 11:38 am

I find it funny how many Mormon bloggers I follow having never known a Mormon in my actual life! …and also one of my absolute favorites is a blog called Soulemama.com and it’s written my a farmsteading, hmeschooling, mother of 5 in rural Maine. Very, very far from my daily life – a Catholic Bostonian who works at a very lucrative financial firm, nonetheless — I look forward to her wonderful point of view. I have found myself less interested in blogs written by authors who have similar demographics to me. Those tend to be so heavily skewed toward consumption and competition. Sigh.

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37 Christine May 15, 2014 at 2:38 pm

I found reading the comments as interesting as the post. On reflection I don’t have a great deal of diversity in my life, and I’m not sure why. Although my children’s community centre is diverse of race, religion, education and income and we meet there once a week during the play sessions

I’m politcally liberal minded, but the thought of seeking out conservative media makes my brain freeze and my blood pressure rise.

I remember reading a comment on last week’s LWK post about featuring more financially diverse homes. I’d forgotten until reading this post, although I can’t see it now :/

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38 Nina May 15, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Great topic today! There are times when I have to force myself to look/ read something different from my usual media outlets, particularly with politics. During elections, I try to listen to the other side, just to make sure I’m keeping an open mind and really hearing both sides.
When it comes to culture, I naturally seek out blogs, artists, writers, that are different than me. They’re diverse racially, socio-economically, nationality, etc. I try to open myself to everything, culturally. Maybe I should try it more with politics!
Always so many great discussions on Design Mom!

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39 Lori May 15, 2014 at 5:51 pm

I love reading blogs of those with a different life from my own. There’s always a difference (sometimes major!) but there’s always a common thread. I read cooking blogs often, and I love reading ones from other countries and even other parts of the United States. Interestingly, I find it hardest to find blogs of food I grew up with in Appalachia. Kilt lettuce, fried taters, and breaded cube steak, anyone? Perhaps we already have diversity as long as we are looking around ourselves as well as within ourselves.

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40 Gayle May 15, 2014 at 8:01 pm

I love your blog Grabrielle, and that you raise so many challenging and interesting ideas. I was reading your blog for almost a year when I discovered you were Mormon, and was surprised. I was raised Jewish in Phoenix, where there was a fair amount of anti-semitism. Mostly now, I love the teachings of the Buddha because he teaches about our commonalities. I got really tired of being part of the “chosen people”. I think religions and ideologies that create the “other” are problematical at best. I know we live in a racist and sexist society, and I have tried to understand my own subtle forms of discriminating,as well as my white skin privilege, as well as all sorts of ways that oppression or just unfairness is perpetrated institutionally or individually. I am almost 67, long-divorced. My daughter is 36, and lives on the other side of the country. I like to be around kids and old people and every age in-between. I’m a retired nurse, and volunteer with developmentally disabled adults (at Creativity Explored. Do come visit there! it’s Extraordinary!) and with first graders in Oakland, teaching mindfulness meditation. I’m about to start tutoring 6-18 year olds in writing at 826 Valencia St. (Dave Eggers amazing writing place). I love Colbert and Stewart, and I don’t think that Creationism and Evolution are two equal sides of a discussion. I don’t think that makes me intolerant, but more prone to scientific explanations. At one point I felt the need to be around older women,so that we could learn from each other, and not forget about having fun, not get TOO serious, so I started an older women’s group. It’s been great. Thank you so much Gabrielle for always inspiring and sharing so generously and graciously.

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41 Zoe - SlowMama May 15, 2014 at 8:59 pm

Super important to me. I have, for a long time, subscribed to a wide range of media, across the political spectrum — and international news is a priority. I don’t watch American cable news of any kind anymore, though — not a place for any real news, in my view.

I also read a range of bloggers, but I need to connect with them on some level… their writing, content, style, wit, something. If they’re in my face with political, moral, or religious views it can be a turn off — just depends on how it’s done. That said, I love debate and discussion and tough subjects; I’m just turned off by disrespect and ignorance.

I have friends and family from around the world and across political and religious spectrums, and I’m now mom to two daughters born in East Africa, which has made us a wonderful pink and brown family. My circle of closest friends is a little homogenous, but I refuse to select new friends simply for “diversity” sake.

The biggest gap in my life is people from different socio-economic backgrounds. I have some very wealthy friends, but only a few who are truly materially poor, and those are through our church. In my experience, socio-economic status is the greatest divider for most people, which makes sense since we tend to live around, work, and socialize with people who are more or less similar economically.

Great topic for discussion — thanks, Gabrielle!

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42 Amy3 May 16, 2014 at 11:06 am

I have to be honest that there isn’t a whole lot of diversity in my social media world, particularly around political opinions. As others said, though, with the little time I do have to indulge, I’d rather not raise my blood pressure! (I’m glad others mentioned anti-vax proponents; that’s one issue I have lots of trouble with!)

What I do work on individually and also try to model for my daughter is that we can be open to hearing others’ opinions and to respecting their experiences. Just because I don’t agree with someone doesn’t make me right or them wrong. There are loads of different ways to reach the same point and everyone’s looking for the right path for them.

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43 Erica May 16, 2014 at 11:23 am

The blogs that I visit and my instagram feed are all creative and positive people because I have set it up that way. It’s diverse in that I follow fashion blogs, whole eating blogs, DIY-ers, and inspirational fitness women on IG. I am interested in all these things. I don’t care what ethnicity or religion they are, just like-minded people who inspire me and make me want to be better. I don’t like getting steamed up over controversial topics so I avoid those blogs/IG accounts. These virtual “friends” that I have chosen are my escape, my 15 minutes of reading here and there that rejuvenates me and gets my creative juices flowing. An “escape” so to speak. My Facebook is much more diverse because you don’t get to choose all of your facebook friends, right? Friends from my husband’s work, old friends from high school, casual acquaintances, neighbors–my FB friends are very diverse in backgrounds, socioeconomic status, religion, political views, etc. A lot of differing opinions–some obnoxious, some thought provoking and some completely crazy! But in my daily life I choose my friends wisely. My friends are uplifting and positive (I live in India and it’s important to be positive because it’s hard here sometimes). Drama-free is a must!
Thanks for the post!! Loved it.

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44 teresa May 16, 2014 at 2:51 pm

I do follow many blogs who have very different life styles than I do. As long as they are kind, honest and no name calling…there is much to learn.
…I think it just happened naturally- but from time to time I tend to hunt out creative types. When I think about it…I don’t know if I follow one blog that has my type of life.
Grammer of 10, empty nest, 5 kids, LDS, small-town, Nut progressing lady.
=)

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45 Quiana May 17, 2014 at 8:32 pm

This captured my sentiments exactly, “What has stayed with me, however, is that the film (as of the time of shooting, anyway) seems to highlight an apparent disinterest on his (or his wife’s) part to follow blogs created by people who are different from them.” I wrote a post a couple years ago called Not Like Us about this topic and how it’s so important for me and my family to associate with people not like us. When we get our group of not like us people all together from time to time they exclaim how much they love the diversity of our friends. From religion, race, life-stage, sexuality, income level etc. it’s so much more interesting to have a mix of diversity around us. I grew up in a very non-diverse place and was well-aware at a young age (thanks to Sesame Street especially!) that I wanted to be somewhere more colorful. At the age of 11 my parents let me leave Ohio and go to NYC and I was bitten by the bug! I’ve lived in NYC now as an adult for 7 years and love being able to raise my kids in such a city rich in diversity.

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46 bh May 19, 2014 at 11:02 am

Well, I read your blog which is pretty much my opposite so I guess There is some diversity for me. However, since you blocked my 2nd comment on adoption, as it didn’t go with the cliché, I also guess that diversity doesn’t work the other way round. Pity!

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47 Design Mom May 19, 2014 at 1:45 pm

BH, I didn’t block your comment because “it didn’t go with the cliché”. I deleted it because it was really, really rude.

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48 bh May 20, 2014 at 4:02 am

Not, it wasn’t, unless you believe that drawing people’s attention on their lack of sense is rude, no matter what. But I’d argue that the comment I was replying to was, if not rude (how could it be, since it’s in line with the roses and unicorns adoption clichés), insensitive and cruel.

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49 Design Mom May 20, 2014 at 10:54 am

It was rude. I’m sure you know that it’s possible to share your opinion and point of view without attacking someone else’s opinion or point of view. And it’s possible to do it sans sarcasm. You are welcome to leave comments about adoption, but you need to do so respectfully and without assuming the person you are responding to is stupid or evil. If you can’t do that, it would be best to observe the conversation without participating in it.

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50 artlyn mali'o May 20, 2014 at 10:26 am

I really enjoy that you brought this topic up Gabrielle! It’s a very relevant and East Bay topic.. I’m a former Oakland resident, now live in Berkeley( for the schools ) and I come across so much of this lately. Maybe it’s because I spent my entire design life as the diversity chip at pretty much every job I’ve had. I am sooo joyous about finding a blog that focuses on being both a designer and mom that I’ve been reading all the posts and catching up with what’s going on here… that said, to me as a black, southern, new world creole,living , working, raising my son and husband (sometimes) I encounter pseudo-diversity constantly. So, I think I know where you are coming from with your post. (i think) It’s not enough to be different, but to look different, sound different, think differently and cross pollinate ideas.
I have a design sensibility that is definitely not cookie-cutter or what you see plastered in every cute design magazine/blog/pinterest board and like all of my art, my style is rooted in my ancestry/background/being. My antique&vintage is sensitive, it likes to be specific to a vernacular I understand or can visualize. For instance, I love Victorian interiors but I need a paired-down, tropical Victorian space to suit my island roots. I find a couple Australian designers that do a good job of this. I enjoy perusing FRANKIE. It’s very inspiring.
I’m always on the look out for people who are like me in different ways. YES, I’m always looking for POC because I am a POC. I have met many amazing friends across the globe from Aotearoa ( New Zealand ) to Chile to Senegal doing some really cool things with the re-use, sustainability as well as upholding traditional arts&crafts.
I’m always on the look-out for alternative (gothy/industrial/steampunkish) feeling things because I have a penchant for the dark-side. This subculture is sorely mis-represented in the design (interior/home goods) world. My endeavor is to fix that with my work. I have always been a bridge between communities, only the internet has allowed me to span multitudes. So, I guess YES, I actively seek out diversity because I am diverse. I wish others were so inclined to. We are alike yet different in many ways. Here’s are some folks I dig checking-in with :
Now this is a motley crew if ever.
1. Blood Milk – http://bloodmilkjewelry.blogspot.com/
2. The New Victorian Ruralist – http://finderskeepersmarketinc.blogspot.com/
3. Virlova Style – http://virlova75.blogspot.com/
4. Amanda Jones of Bajan Scent – http://bajan-scent.blogspot.com/2010/03/leather-and-lace-antique-inspired.html

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