As a peace and conflict scholar, I embraced a notion of an intellectual community enriched and enhanced by diversity along the dimensions of race, class, sexuality, gender, ethnicity, and religion. I teach a cohort of students who represent diverse ethnic, religious and gender identities including Caucasians, Africans, Latinos, Asians, Native Canadians, Native Americans, Europeans, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Mennonites, Atheists, and LGBTQ and bring valuable experiences and perspectives to enrich the learning community.
Some of my students have lived through the unimaginable horrors of war in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East while others have experienced abuse and culture-related violence. I realized that while some students might show intellectual promise, they struggle emotionally due to traumatic experiences, personal challenges, language barriers, and cultural differences. I promote an inclusive and respectful learning environment where students can express their opinions freely while maintaining sensitivity to diversity.