What it means to be a GEDI

So I think the time has come to use the GEDI metaphor in more depth.  When it comes to diversity, accepting people from all cultural backgrounds, this is clearly a GEDI (Jedi) trait.  We can see Anakin specifying how unconditional acceptance in the form of compassion is essential.

Diversity is a major part of the GEDI light sabers.  Our allies could be blue, green, even purple!  The dark side… always red!  Now that’s not very inclusive is it!?

We can also see that once Darth Vader emerges, the influence of How Diversity Makes Us Smarter was apparently no longer affecting him.  His ability to consider alternatives appears to have left him.  By this point, the entire galaxy is no longer a safe space and social justice has become a concept of the past.

So if we can embrace the spirit of being a GEDI, then accepting and learning from diversity (even though it may come with its challenges) allows us to grow and help our students to be “smarter.”  Seeing the world in absolutes (black and white, all or nothing, etc.) leads down dangerous paths.  Everyone that you encounter has something to offer in terms of diversity of race, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, upbringing, etc.  It leads to a lot of aspects of culture to be aware of, but by showing inclusivity to diversity, we can all grow as a result.

Last semester in PFP class, I shared some of my personal encounters with diversity, and I am still open to anyone reading about how my journey of becoming a counselor has come with its challenges but an amazing amount of awareness, my story.

9 thoughts on “What it means to be a GEDI”

  1. Dark side is the new orange ahah <3 In the brave-new-world where being a dark side-er is okay, and even cool-er, it is our ethical responsibility to fight as hokie-GEDIs for diversity. Thanks for beautiful metaphors, much appreciated!
    yesim, all-time-gedi :p

  2. I am glad to read about how you take the GEDI metaphor to a deeper level, especially the lightsaber part. I have never noticed in the movies that “The dark side… always red” and “diversity is a major part of the GEDI lightsabers. ” That is definitely a very creative interpretation. I agree that seeing the world in absolutes will lead us to darkness, the inclusive thinking is the bright path. We need to have more gray areas in our perspectives and teaching. People are always seeking for “correct answers” and “absolutes”, but we need to admit that in a diversity world, difference and gray areas are allowed and even encouraged. Great job on this blog! I like your creative thinking.

    1. Thanks Dan! I completely agree that gray is good for learning and when it comes to education (and diversity in particular), there are no absolute answers. Getting ourselves and our students more comfortable or aware of the gray is such an important part of being inclusive.

  3. Diversity a buzzword is. Consider civility we must. Then be discussing a social behavior we will and not a social structure. Agree I will, on diversity-awareness importance.

  4. I like that you included mentions of self-work in your post! A lot of the circles I run in will talk about the work diversity does for other people, or “helping” other people lean, and tend to skip over the fact that we are learners in the process as well and learning more about ourselves, and from those we instruct, in these projects and conversations.

    I have two things I’m curious about wrt/ your post and I’d like to invite you to discuss further. First, does “acceptance” do the work we need it to do in the project of creating an inclusive environment where people can grow into their full potential? Does acceptance settle to early?

    Second, would you mind expanding on what you mean by “incivility towards diversity”?

    1. Great questions! Thanks! So first, “incivility” was supposed to be “inclusivity” so I just went and fixed that. In terms of creating an inclusive environment, I would suggest that there is no one way to do that. The use of acceptance can be an important aspect of that, but I agree that it could lead people to settle too early. It seems to me that many of our posts on this topic could go on and on about the many ways to allow for better inclusiveness, so I decided to keep this post a little more succinct. So yes, there are many approaches to keep in mind for inclusion, acceptance often included.

      1. Ahhhhhh, that makes sense! I was sitting there wrestling with what it could mean. And yeah, I hear you about keeping is succinct and including elements that can be included even if they aren’t necessarily/always the ending point.

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