As the percentage of nonwhite students in the United States continues to grow, so does the body of research on the educational and socioemotional benefits of diverse learning environments. Many of the nation’s schoolchildren, particularly those in private and independent schools, are denied these benefits because their classrooms remain largely homogenous when it comes to ethnicity, race, and sociocultural background. A recent study by University of California, Los Angeles researchers found that White students “are the most isolated group in terms of intergroup contact,” and that those who attend non-Catholic religious schools have the least exposure to diverse peers.
Mariah Bohanon is the associate editor of DiversityIS. This article ran in the fall 2019 issue.