So, I Learned About Diversity. And while there was some obvious stuff about how hearing diverse voices makes our product better, it was relatively non-patronizing. They were very into us tapping the very-quickly-growing hispanic market. And by "us" I mean the other, bigger magazine that shares its office with ours. There was only one instance where a co-worker said, "I mean, when I was a little kid my best friend was black. I didn't care what color she was!" Which is just such a cliche. Everyone has had that experience -- well, maybe not the people who grew up in Whitey Hills, where I live how. But still, it doesn't mean you are more open-minded or special.
There was one activity where we broke into five groups, each one being a different station on the "scale of tolerance." We could pick where we went, so of course I raced right over to number 5, Repulsion. Then the leaders read out scenarios about a fictional co-worker, and we were to write down a response to match the level of tolerance we were at. All of the old-timer cynical snarksters had run over to Repulsion with me, so our responses were pretty awesome. We hated this fictional co-worker so much that when he'd say something in a meeting, we'd start shaking our heads in disagreement as soon as he started to speak, and once he was finished we'd cut in with a "That would never, ever work." At the end the leaders had us rate this fictional co-worker's chances of success in the company, and of course we were supposed to say "0-10%" or something. But the members of the Repulsion team are so jaded and bitter that we ended up answering "50%, because obviously someone liked him enough to hire him in the first place, so there's a good chance he'll get promoted to management."
I'm not sure what the point of the exercise was.
All in all it was pretty painless. And now I can say I've been trained in diversity!