A myriad of cultural groups, ethnicities, and religions contribute to and shape the city's strength, vitality, and prosperity. Based off the 2011 census, Vancouver's racial and ethnic makeup, which includes sizable Aboriginal communities, looks like:
- European Canadian: 46.2%
- Chinese: 27.7%
- South Asian: 6%
- Filipino: 6%
- Southeast Asian: 3%
- Japanese: 1.7%
- Latin American: 1.6%
- Mixed visible minority: 1.5%
- Korean: 1.5%
- Aboriginal: 2% (1.3% First Nations, 0.6% Metis)
- West Asian: 1.2%
- Black: 1%
- Arab: 0.5%
Recognized internationally as a welcoming and accepting country, the measure of diversity addresses more categories than just ethnicity, including but not limited to: languages, religious beliefs, political parties, sexual orientation, and personal freedoms.
Current events in the last few weeks have highlighted issues that have long needed to be seriously addressed, from the discrimination displayed internationally towards the Asian community stemming from Covid-19, to the intense Black Lives Matter movement circulating around George Floyd's death. The undercurrent that has magnified these two events, as well as many that have preceded them, is a lack of acceptance and access to information. Although it's easy and comfortable to be drawn to people, environments, and situations that are similar to what you've always encountered, there are several reasons why a diverse and inclusive community is increasingly important.
Even if you had all the time and resources in the world at your hands, it would be impossible for you to learn everything from scratch. Some of the most meaningful lessons and takeaways you'll receive come from communicating and collaborating with the people around you. Sharing experiences, whether they be struggles, priorities, or goals can deliver insight that you'd never have stumbled across otherwise or even present breakthroughs to challenges.
INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY AND EFFICIENCY
We will each have our strengths and weaknesses no matter how much training or effort we are willing to dedicate towards making improvements. By perfecting our strong suits and being humble enough to ask for help when it's needed, problems, projects, and tasks are quickly completed by maximizing resources and skillsets. Different backgrounds, experiences and attitudes generally can't be fostered in the same environment, but an inclusive mindset can make any scenario plausible.
GOOD FEELINGS ALL AROUND
A smile is contagious and a kind word can do wonders. If you walk into a completely new room, your behaviour and mood is affected by a mixture of conscious thoughts and subconscious beliefs. The perception that you'll have to fight every person who disagrees with you forces you to put up a protective wall, but the belief that everyone will be open-minded as a basic minimum breaks down barriers and strengthens relationships even as they're just being formed.
While many of us may not have directly experienced the implications of discrimination in its many forms, it's completely possible to purposely remain an open-minded and curious learner.