New York Diversity


Rhea Brown, Sophomore Staff Writers

As said by the great Alicia Keys, in the modern masterpiece “Empire State of Mind,” “Concrete jungles where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do now you’re in New York! These streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you. Now you’re in New York.” After the recent GIS field trip to the big city, it has been made very clear that on the surface, the Big Apple is in fact all of these things. However, there is one thing that is especially unique to New York. This is the astonishing amount of diversity among its citizens. From Lady Liberty shining above the horizon greeting newcomers, to the streets of Chinatown and Little Italy, it is clear that New York is in fact one of the richest melting pots in all of the United States. In fact, according to Data USA, “3.86M of New York, NY citizens are speakers of a non-English language, which is higher than the national average of 21.6%.”

When reflecting on the sheer amount of cultural diversity in New York, it poses the question; what exactly does this diversity do? In the big city’s case, it truly brings color to the usually industrial, gray environment. After all, NYC is known for being a city built by immigrants assimilating to American culture themselves. This was showcased on Ellis Island, the small island on which millions of people from all around the world have entered America. In the exhibits, all built inside the original immigration center, you can find not just information but personal anecdotes themselves. One of these particularly stuck out. It was the story of a little Italian girl that had to take a mental screening, and was discovered to be extremely intelligent by American doctors despite speaking no English. This is a prime example of the benefits of diversity in action. Diversity allows the formation of new perspectives and creates a deeper understanding of the world around us.

From the multitude of languages being shouted across the city streets, the little bodegas on every corner, to Chinatown and Little Italy, New York is no ordinary place. We as humans tend to form bubbles around ourselves filled with our own familiarities. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this, but in a place like the city, that bubble is forcibly popped. After experiencing this popping of the bubble firsthand, it has been made very clear that life is much more interesting with diversity, than without.