Karl Reid

Mills College Foundational Lectures
Tuesday, September 27, 2022 | 7:00 PM PDT
Presented by First Year Foundational Classes, Mills College at Northeastern University

Can Our Differences Make Us Stronger? A Discussion About How We Can Celebrate and Leverage Our Distinctive and Shared Identities 

Click image to view recording:
The Mills College and Northeastern Universtiy logos overlaid on a picture of the Holland Theater in Lisser Hall, with seat seating and arches along a row of windows.

Thomas Kochman made popular the notion of "Structural Pluralism", where assimilation into a norm was the coin of the realm since the founding of the United States. Unfortunately, this cultural norm, which is built around wealthy white, cisgender, straight males, and reinforced in the media, created an "otherness" that structurally marginalized those who fell outside of these identities. Over the past two years especially, Kochman's alternative notion of "Cultural Pluralism" is emerging as a new cultural norm, where the diversity of our individual identities contribute to a broader ecosystem that Scott Page calls "The Diversity Bonus", even in the midst of political headwinds. This talk, and the subsequent discussion, explores the opportunities and challenges of embracing our differences, how Northeastern is seeking to operationalize a shared sense of belonging, and how we can collectively and positively impact our university, our communities, and our world.