An interesting study. If correct (it’s a study, and we know they aren’t always right), I’m not entirely surprised. I’ve been through a few rounds of this and a lot of it was rather generic and often poorly thought through. Live on the North side of Minneapolis or in PG county, and you experience diversity whether trained for it or not. There still may be some value in some training, but at least there are empirical reasons to question the assumption that it is automatically valuable.
One anecdote. In a training session discussing the three powers of diversity (diversity to the third power – it’s exponential!), one participant (a minority participant of course, because normally only they feel free to ask a hard question) asked for an explanation of how that worked. The presenter stuttered and stumbled around for a minute or two and never gave a real answer. It was a slogan that sounded cool, not a real content statement. I’m sure the presenter was well-intentioned and I know the institution I was at was committed to diversity and all that, but the question exposed for me the shallowness of much of what goes on under the name of diversity training.
There is value (even theologically) in being culturally sensitive and aware, so I would hate for us to pretend differences don’t exist. But perhaps a different path is needed.