Here’s what’s up in the Spooniverse, according to our members.

How to Create Inclusive and Diverse Communities

Everyone can do it!

Spoon strives to help our community members build their confidence in becoming a real adult and that includes tackling real world issues like diversity. Diversity is a complex issue because it has so much history with racism and privilege.

We get it. This can be a tricky topic to navigate and many groups and companies fear that it'll be too difficult to find diverse people to join their teams. Because of this, they miss out on some incredible talent, so we're here to break down some myths about diversity to help you build an open and welcoming community.

Myth: No one cares if our Spoon chapter is diverse.

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This could not be more wrong. In our most recent Spoon survey, we found that 98% of members say that it's important that their chapter is open and welcoming to all cultures, and 90% of members say it's important that their chapter has a diverse group of members. That's a lot of people who think having a diverse, inclusive chapter does matter.

Diversity is also important because it brings varying perspectives to chapter meetings and discussions. People with different backgrounds think and focus in different ways. Having that variety will make brainstorms and conversations much more vibrant and fulfilling.

Myth: My campus is homogenous, so I can't have a diverse Spoon chapter.

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People are unique and diverse in a number of ways, not just by race and ethnicity. Even if everyone at your school is of the same race (which is highly unlikely), your peers still come from different backgrounds.

Have you ever sat in a busy location and just people-watched? You'll quickly notice that every person acts and looks a bit differently. Diversity can still take shape through different socioeconomic backgrounds, religious beliefs, sexualities, or even majors.

Every person has a unique life story. Look for and embrace those differences.

Myth: Recruiting diverse members narrows the pool of potential new members.

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Actually, the opposite is true. By recruiting diverse members, you're actually widening the pool of potential new members because you're including folks you might have previously overlooked. 

People typically tend to look toward their own friend groups when recruiting for their chapter, which limits the number of people they can reach. By recruiting members with diverse backgrounds, you're reaching out to people you likely don't talk to on a daily basis.

You can do this by getting out of your comfort zone and sharing your recruitment message more widely. For example, instead of only sharing the application link on your personal Facebook page, look into different groups on campus and share the application with each of them.

Myth: I can't create content about topics outside of my own culture.

Jocelyn Hsu

93% of members say it's important their chapter produces content that highlights a wide range of cultures, but some members believe that they aren't allowed to create content about other cultures. You absolutely can! If you experience the world around you and create content from a place of learning and celebration, people will appreciate and respond to that.

In fact, there are so many ways you can learn about a different culture and you don't even have to travel to another country. Take a look at the different cultural events or diverse restaurants around your campus and go participate or visit. Afterwards, you can share what you learned by writing about your experience.

Be authentic and transparent and share how and where you learned about a topic. When possible, chat with people from that culture to hear their perspective and double check your understanding of the topic. If you're not sure where you heard something, don't include it; that "fact" could very well be speculation or assumptions. 

Creating inclusive and diverse communities is totally possible, regardless of where you go to school. Back-to-school is right around the corner, so now is the perfect time to start reaching out and recruiting diverse members to join your team.

Think about these big picture questions to get the juices flowing: Who do you want to be part of your community? How can you ensure your chapter is welcoming and inclusive to all students at your school? How can you reach a more diverse group of students on campus? 

Share your recruitment materials widely and don't limit yourself!