Encouraging Racial and Ethnic Stereotypes to Combat Prejudice:

Somehow, I don't think this is the best way to encourage tolerance and understanding:

To start the role-play, participants were handed coded index cards that indicated their race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Participants were then told to visit different "life stations" and create their "perfect life."

The stations included booths for housing, banking, church, jail, transportation and employment.

At each stop, Visconti said he was given scripted responses based on his gay Hispanic identity. He was told he could be a landscaper and live in a ghetto apartment or be unemployed and homeless. Meanwhile, students assigned white identities were encouraged to be business executives.

Which raises the obvious questions: do the "diversity trainers" at ASU really believe that Hispanics in the U.S. are relegated, at best, to working as landscapers and living in a ghetto? [And would it be actionable discrimination if a Hispanic student had been tapped to play the Hispanic character, and was told repeatedly during the exercise that this was considered by society to be his natural station in life?]

Done properly, "diversity training" at universities could help contribute to a a vast improvement over the days when "out groups" were relegated to the margins of university life. Done foolishly, it reinforces stereotypes, relies on caricatures of reality, and encourages both a victim mentality among some, and resentment for being tagged as "the enemy" based solely on immutable status among others. Unfortunately, it seems to be done foolishly quite often.