Lessons from the Watering Hole: Celebrate Diversity

The BCC Compass – April 2023


A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to go on safari in South Africa. I was in awe of the beauty of the sub-Saharan terrain and the wonders of all the pack animals wandering the plains.  I was also able to see most of the big five game animals: lions, hippos, elephants, etc. But what I found the most fascinating was the watering hole. There I was able to see all kinds of animals—both predator and prey—gather to quench their thirst.  Zebras, hippos, antelopes, warthog, and other species of animals were gathered to have a drink.

What can we learn from this? We see different species of animals gathered for a drink at the same spot and yet as humans it can be difficult to say “hello” or get to know someone who might not look like us.

In the United States, desegregation was less than a century ago—yet we are the same species!

Since 2004, April has been a month designated to celebrate and honor the diversity in the world around us.

It is a time where we can intentionally appreciate our similarities and differences. It is a time to understand and recognize our differences and honor the essence of humanity. This month we aim to foster a deeper understanding of others, regardless of who they are or how they live. We encourage a deeper understanding of others through conversation and sharing.

Diversity is crucial.

Diversity helps us become better people because it increases our understanding of human nature, and it keeps us open to the fact that the world does not revolve around just one set of beliefs.

At BCC, we embrace diversity, and it is important for us to include different perspectives and ideas when making decisions and during everyday operations. Leadership understands that doing this will not only help us overall but can help nurture employees to develop strong interpersonal skills. Engaging with facets of other cultures, perspectives, and lifestyles can help us understand how the world works.

The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) committee helps ensure that we look through a diverse lens so that we are able to open up our horizons. The EDI committee intentionally highlights our diverse workforce by helping our campuses celebrate different cultures, and they also bring a new lens when it comes to our policies and procedures to ensure that they encompass the diverse needs of our staff.

Diversity makes us stronger.

It is natural for humans to fear what we don’t know. I believe that if we continue to learn more about each other and appreciate each other, we can solve a lot of problems. Let us continue to celebrate our diversity and strive to build a world that builds longer tables to share a drink, not higher walls to keep the unfamiliar out.

Rev. Amor Del Rosario
Director of Spiritual Life, BCC Baltimore