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Oct 3, 2018

"Diversity" is a simultaneously important and buzzword-y term beloved by the media, corporations, real estate agents and elite universities. It’s something to strive for and take pride in, a symbol of inclusion and tolerance.

While diversity is a noble feature – and something all large systems should strive for – it originally was not supposed to be an ends in-and-of-itself. Diversity, in this vein, has morphed under capitalism into a PR industry, supplanting notions of equity, decolonization and desegregation for something much more sanitized.

The term is now often used as a catch-all for making white people feel better about the schools they go to, businesses they run, neighborhoods they gentrify. It largely exists, in its current iteration, to ameliorate whiteness rather than confront it, allowing for the commodification of the idea while giving existing power structures a glossy patina of liberal race-awareness.

We are joined this week by journalist and author Jeff Chang, Vice President of Narrative, Arts, and Culture at Race Forward.