Evidence That It Works
Human beings “categorize” each other into identity groups based on many different features, such as race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and economic status; however, this process can easily lead to stereotyping and other forms of discrimination.
Numerous studies have found that when we re-categorize people who are not part of our identity group based on things that we have in common, we increase our acceptance of others and see them as part of “us.”
Why Does It Matter?
In our diverse schools, society, and world, getting along with people who appear different from us is imperative to creating safe and equitable communities in which all people thrive.
According to research, one of the most effective ways to break down barriers of prejudice, racism, and “othering” is the cultivation of cross-group friendships. By teaching students to look beyond their peers’ outward-facing identities and to get to know each other on a more personal, human level, teachers can make great strides in creating a world where everyone is valued.