Managing Diverse Communities Living Under the Same Roof

New Jersey is one of the most diverse areas in the United States. Its proximity to two melting pot cities, New York and Philadelphia, only magnifies what is already a diverse mix of people.

In any sizable community, people from a broad array of ethnic and sociological backgrounds live in close proximity, sometimes under the same co-op roof. Managing a co-op or condo that’s home to a diverse population poses some distinct challenges—and offers profound rewards for administrators and residents alike.

What is Diversity?

The word diversity has come to be shorthand for racial differences, but true diversity extends far beyond that narrow definition.

“As important as it is to have women executives and people of all races in our neighborhoods, diversity is way, way bigger than that,” says diversity expert Tom Atlee of the Co-Intelligence Institute, a non-profit organization that strives to promote diversity. “Our use of the word ‘diversity’ primarily to address issues of racism, classism, sexism, and other oppressive 'isms' has blinded us to the fact that diversity is a vast fact of life, deeply embedded not only in humanity but in natural systems and in the very fabric of the universe.”

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