Long before “diversity” became a trendy term in business environments, New Yorkers, in particular people in New York City, knew that diversity was all we have ever known. It is what has historically drawn immigrants to the city. We used to refer to it as our “melting pot.” This is because it is common for New Yorkers to have crossed paths with multiple groups of people representing the globe before we clock in at work and have our first cup of coffee. It is not until you leave the urban county lines that you then begin to realize that “diversity” is not as widespread as you thought. This is not to imply that New York City does not have its racial challenges or complexities, but rather that it represents a melting pot where the globe is well represented.
New York City is an amazing place to live, and, yes, it can also be expensive. However, it is a place where with a short subway ride you can transport yourself into a different community and find that you are experiencing a different culture. The beauty, some do not see, is the richness of diversity among different racial and ethnic groups. Some have assumptions based on implicit bias that has largely been influenced by negative images portrayed in the media. Others, for simplistic purposes, attempt to lump people into singular groups not realizing the cultural differences and diversity of languages among them. Groups such as: Hispanics, Asians, whites, blacks and Native Americans, etc. When we generalize about different groups we do a disservice to the beauty that exists among them. There are cultural customs and historical differences we should seek to understand. Each cultural can provide us with lessons and different ways of viewing the world if we stop and listen. We only need to step outside of our daily norms to experience another culture and do so with an open mind and an open heart. There can be opportunities to learn if we challenge ourselves to go beyond what we think we know.
The beauty of New York City is within a short distance you can feel like you’re in another country. It’s beautiful when you see the people, the colors and listen to the beat of the streets. In the five boroughs of New York City, I’ve identified 20, and there are more “micro communities,” which refer to the diverse groups largely represented in the city offering a cultural experience. The borough of Queens is well known for its diverse mix of rich cultures. Some of these micro-communities are fondly referred to as; Little Guyana, Little Columbia, Little Greece, Little India, Little Manila, Little Tibet, and in Flushing Queens there is a large community of Taiwanese, Chinese and Koreans.
In Manhattan, the melting pot continues providing different experiences equally as valuable. Harlem is well known historically as an African-American community, but there…