What kind of “shoes”, or cultural identities, are worn in the US today, and what will be worn in the future?
The US is moving from a White majority to a plurality of racial and ethnic groups. Even though the non-Hispanic White population currently accounts for more than 50% of the population, this is projected to drop to 44% between 2030 and 2043. At this point the US essentially becomes a “majority minority” nation, with no single group dominating the racial and ethnic makeup.
The “multi-racial” group is projected to be the fastest growing – 2.5% in 2014 to 6.2% in 2044, followed by the Asian population at 5.4%-9.3%, and the Hispanic population at 17.9%-29%.
We have already seen this shift in our public schools. In our schools and in our workplaces, we are challenged to expand our empathy and learn how to live and work better together as a more diverse community and nation.
We have the opportunity to change shoes on a daily basis with strangers, friends, coworkers, students, employees, and peers. We need the skills to move from awareness, to understanding, to competence in intercultural communication – with more urgency than ever.
Think about your ways of learning about other shoes – what works? We plan to share some tips, and would like to hear from you!
Melinda and Sarah