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Diversity and inclusion

At the most basic level, diversity is about differences. Inclusion is what we do with those differences. There are all kinds of differences among people. There are things you can see, such as race, gender, and physical ability. Additionally, there is a whole host of things that you cannot see, such as learning style, sexual orientation, mental health, religious beliefs, personal values, and more. Given this understanding, it’s safe to say that diversity is just a natural part of our organizational life. Diversity is all around us, in the people we teach, work with, provide services to, and share a community with. 

Recognizing and appreciating diversity is a critical component of fostering wellbeing. Being a member of a community wherein people feel valued, respected, and supported by others has a positive impact on physical and psychological health, and creates a buffer against stress. Conversely, the experience of exclusion, harassment, and discrimination produces physical and mental health risks to individuals and harms the health of the organization as a whole. In this light, it is in the best interest of every member of our community that we work together to create a healthy workplace culture that is inclusive of everyone. 

Healthy for Life is dedicated to fostering an environment of inclusion where all people can live their healthiest and most fulfilling lives. To support your efforts in developing the knowledge, awareness, and skills to work effectively with all coworkers, students, and other constituents, we have pulled together a wide variety of activities to meet all types of interests and learning styles.


Report your progress

Report how you've embraced diversity, advocated for inclusion, and cultivated awareness and openness in support of greater equity. You'll earn 10 Wellness Incentive points for participating in immersive learning experiences and activities that make our university community more inclusive, for a maximum of 100 points.

NOTE: You can earn even more points for workshops, classes, events, and other wellness activities. Find additional information on the Wellness Incentive webpage.


Find diversity and inclusion activities

Activity ideas

Although not a comprehensive list, use the following ideas to get started:

  • Try a new recipe: Try a new recipe from another culture. Allrecipes.com and Epicurious offer a wide selection of recipes, or check out a new cook­book from your local library.
  • Read an unfamiliar book: Read a book about a person, culture, country, and/or experience. Check out the following resources for suggestions:
  • Listen to new music: Listen to a new genre of music, or local, regional, or international music. Free international radio stations are available online, or stop by your local library for free tunes.
  • Familiarize yourself with another language: Challenge yourself to learn ten new words in another language. Check with your local library, try the BBC's online language lessons, or look into apps such as Duolingo and Memrise.
  • Watch a new movie: Rent a movie from around the world and learn about different cultures and experiences through film. The movie guide at Culturosity can help get you started.
  • Explore your heritage: Learn about your own heritage and family history. Local libraries or historical societies often offer free access to genealogy databases like Ancestry.com, or check out Cyndi’s List of free genealogy web resources.
  • Visit a museum or cultural center. If your community doesn’t have a local museum, consider a day trip to a larger city in your region to take in the museums, cultural centers, and cultural festivals.
  • Learn about cultural holidays and events: Pay attention to the religious calen­dar, note when religious holidays are occur­ring, and take the time to research a holiday, festival, or religious event you're not familiar with. Take a look at the MU's Guide to Religions Holiday Calendar, or UMKC's Religious Holidays calendar for more information.
  • Join an organization: Join a council, committee, or organization that connects you with people from across diverse organizations.
  • Learn about gender inequalities: Read up on gender inequalities in Missouri so you can help encourage inclusive behavior.
  • Educate yourself: Educate yourself on generational differences, and make yourself aware of generational diversity in the workplace.
  • Be an ally: Visit a LGBTQ resource center on your campus or access resources in your area to deepen your knowledge of LGBTQ life and support your community. See below for campus-specific resources.
  • Refer to the diversity toolbox: Refer to the MU Extension Diversity Toolbox to discover ways to help others feel included.

Have an event or resource you would like to add to the list? Contact Healthy for Life at wellness@umsystem.edu.


Find campus and community-specific activities

While not a comprehensive list, find ideas to enhance your knowledge of diversity and inclusion on campus and in your community:

Campus Diversity and inclusion resources
Columbia
Kansas City
Rolla
St. Louis

Easy action steps

Deepen your knowledge of others and start enriching your daily experiences by taking small steps. In addition to reviewing the activities above, visit our easy action steps webpage for more helpful tips.

Steps adapted from the Division of Inclusion, Diversity & Equity, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO.

Reviewed November 21, 2016.