1.1. DIVERSITY: AN EVOLVING CONCEPT

The concept of diversity is not a static one—or a new one. The word was first used in the twelfth century to mean "difference, oddness, wickedness, perversity." That origin may help explain the negative perception of diversity that lingers today. Some organizations now avoid the word altogether, using words like "inclusion" instead. By the late nineteenth century, "diversity" had taken on a meaning more consistent with modern political and corporate initiatives. The Oxford English Dictionary defines diversity as "the condition or quality of being diverse, different, or varied; variety, unlikeness." Even today we must continually reiterate that, contrary to our cousins in the twelfth century, "different" does ...

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