Robert Powers

Communities of Acceptance: The Next Generation by Robert Powers

All generations have their strengths and weaknesses. Some generations see themselves as the best, but others see them as weaker. Some older generations see the newest as the weakest, but are they? Having talked to older friends and family members, they have provided, yes weaknesses, but also some strengths of my generation currently coined Generation Z or the Centennials. One specific quality stands out for the current generation above many: The Centennials embrace diversity. I agree with this statement as I see how my peers handle diversity in my school and in the media every day. 

Centennials give ample recognition to all sorts of people no matter what the ethnicity, gender claim, ability or disability. We do this more than any generation in the past. We enjoy creating friendships and participation in social activities with all types of people. Many of today's students are even celebrated for diversity. Often differences go unnoticed because in this generation's mind, everyone is equal. In fact, diversity is the norm. The social consciousness of this generation proves to be a way all people can find commonalities. I believe that updated school curriculums have provided a push for diversity in my generation. 

Today school systems are a melting pot. People are much less seen as different in a negative way. Schools promote diversity much more than before. At Brighton High School in Michigan, there are programs for every kind of personality and need. For example, the LGBTQ community has a program called the Gay Straight Alliance to promote the well-being of students of different gender and sexual identities to improve the social connections between everyone. Also, students fight for equality not just for themselves, but others as well. In my own school, some students may make racial comments or negative remarks towards others based on disability or character and other students will stick up for them, even kids who aren't the victim's friends. In second grade, we had a student with Asperger syndrome and our teacher brought in a book to explain the difficulty of having Asperger's. This way, the class understood what he was going through as a student, and had compassion for him. Also, being an above the knee amputee, I have plenty of room on my emotional dinner plate for "you bum" and "Loser" and "Sir-Hops-a-Lot," but never do I receive remarks like that. Students just see me as another kid in the hall who they'll high five on occasion. They don't see me as an outsider. 

Centennials have proved to be a much more inclusive generation compared to any other generation. However, as those last several generations have done, one would assume the new goal of Centennials would be to improve upon the outlook of the next generation. My generation needs to continue their love for all people of all kinds, and teach their children and grandchildren the same in hopes to create an accepting community for all.