The Utility of Diversity


I was recently featured in a short article discussing neuropsychology and autism. In the article, I spoke about how my cofounders and I began the Society for Black Neuropsychology (SBN) because we didn’t see many folks who looked like us. Moreover, an emphasis on cultural understanding is important to adequately assess and diagnose patients. When Will McBride, Kendra Anderson, Valencia Montgomery, and I launched SBN, there were many supporters and a few detractors. Most often, the discouraging remarks came from people who weren’t in our field and didn’t understand why culture was relevant to what we do. I recall one person who left a comment on our YouTube channel stating that a focus on Black neuropsychology is inherently racist. It’s an unsurprising perspective from individuals who don’t recognize the need for cultural consideration or from the well-meaning folks who insist that “everyone is human,” so things like culture and background “don’t matter.” They fail to realize that cultural competency is not just a buzzy trend. Diversity and inclusion are not merely incidental add-ons. This is part and parcel of doing what we do.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

when the question of culture is laid out clearly, as it is in this article, one wonders how it could ever have been overlooked as integral to an understanding of anything we confront…obviously we are all products of our culture, which means an understanding of any of us, and what we consume and produce, depends on an understanding of that culture…

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So well done! Clear, persuasive and insightful!!

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It seems that the Gospel - the story of Jesus, from beginning to the end should be able to reach all these various cultures. It’s really a simple story, not simple as in shallow, but, as a story, easily understood. The depths of meaning come from the reader and his/her background. Des Ford wrote a small book The Kaleidoscope of Diamonds that somewhat speaks to that - the brilliance of the Gospel resembling the many facets of the simple pieces of glass.

Years ago, in SS, the story was told of a Muslim who wasn’t responding to “Jesus on the cross” but when he heard about Jesus washing the disciples’ feet he was deeply impacted and ready for more. In order for the Gospel to do its work, it needs freedom of expression. When I initially saw some of the mission stories, showing the different people within their cultures worshipping, I was somewhat put off by hearing hymns and some contemporary Christians tunes sung in various native languages. There seemed to be a cultural dissonance. Shouldn’t they have their own songs to sing… Shouldn’t we all have our own songs to sing?


I couldn’t agree more with the strategic points of Courtney Ray’s credible conscientious patience.
As messengers of God’s Last Day Message to the world, the SDA Church has never excluded Missionaries from utilizing the native language to reach out & teach others about the love & mercy of the Savior—Jesus Christ. At my last check, neither have we eliminated the color variations from the learned kindergarten song, ‘…red & yellow, black & white, all are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.’

If we suddenly have a desire to mettle— in changing the strategy of our mission service because we don’t realistically understand how to be of service ministering to other cultures, are we in danger of excluding others? This so describes both the racial & religious mindset of the Jewish Leadership in Christ’s day; anyone not Jewish was racially excluded, period.

If I’m not a mechanic, I have no business trying to instruct one how to properly fix a broken engine. If I’m not specifically trained in a speciality, what authority do I draw from if my own household refuses to listen & daily runs amuck?
Although in todays world we are capable of ‘Googling’ nearly any sort of symptom— yet, this ability doesn’t provide me a degree nor wisdom to diagnose my neighbors ailments effectively as a Medical Doctor. If we are not trained in any given specific service, we should learn to stay in our lanes of practice, no matter how much an expert we may believe we are.

Christ gave His last Biblical Command to His 12 disciples & those following the call of Holy Spirits to take the appeal of God’s love & mercy— “Unto all the world.” If we feel compelled to change His Great Commission now, when Christ’s coming is now so much sooner… who is behind the change in the command?
If today we feel compelled to change Christ’s Command, perhaps we feel our heritage is in danger; but then, doesn’t every single heritage perhaps feel the same tempting fate? So were is our safe zone?

Learning from the teachings of Jesus— our Lord and Savior, we can wisely use His path as a guide to His Will.

John the Beloved disciple reminds us of Christ’s love: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful & just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us of all unrighteousness" 1 John 1:9.

If we sincerely plead to Christ Himself, He will reveal Himself to us. By asking Him to enter our heart to abide, He will send His Spirit to teach us His Will. As little children sitting at His feet (not following our own pre-conceived notions); learning directly from the Spirit of His Will— will become evident to others, as He begins to change our characters from within—into His likeness.

Amen! Homogeneity is a disservice to ourselves. The best ideas come about through varied perspectives and talents, as leading companies are recognising and embracing.

I guess everyone will get on board eventually… when we’re with people “from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages”. Heaven will be multicultural!!

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