• Awareness of racial diversity in interracial communication : the voice of supporters for social acceptance

      Nguyen, Anh Tuan
      The United States is becoming a more racially diverse society mainly due to demographics. By 2025, foreign-born citizens and ethnic native-born children will make up one third of the United States' population. In the higher education context, this demographic shift will offer significant opportunities and challenges in accommodating a multiracial learning environment. The question that arises is, how can universities respond to this social change, and how can they prepare to better adapt to racial diversity? One solution that presents itself is a more directed emphasis on effective communication skills in the interracial context and awareness of racial diversity to promote an inclusive environment where people from different backgrounds can thrive. The purpose of this qualitative research is to investigate how racial diversity is perceived at the University of Southern Indiana (USI), a comprehensive university in the Midwest. To understand how USI students conceptualize racial diversity, attention is given to their actual experiences and stories related to social acceptance on campus. Twelve students who identified themselves as members of the Living Learning Communities (LLCs) and Cultural Awareness Training class (CAT) voluntarily participated in the interviews with the researcher to share their opinions on racial diversity on campus. The findings of this study indicate the respondents consider racial diversity to be a global multicultural issue rather than a racial issue of inclusiveness. Furthermore, this study contributes to the literature on how universities can engage students in a racial diversity-based curriculum and interracial activities to raise their awareness of racial acceptance and social justice.