DIVERSITY in AMERICA | Thomas Nelson Community College




The United States Constitution guarantees that all people are to be treated as equals under the law. People are protected by a wide range of anti-discrimination laws. These laws include specific provisions against discrimination based on: age, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, military service or unfavorable discharge from military service.

Americans can be proud that our equal rights laws and recognition of diversity serve as examples to other countries. These laws extend protections to everyone in our increasingly diverse nation. One of the most effective ways promote awareness of issues relating to diversity is through film.

Movies that promote diversity (Please note: some may have adult content)

A Day without a Mexican

Akeelah and the Bee



Beauty and the Beast

Bend it Like Beckham

Billy Elliot

Birth of a Nation(2016)

Boys Don’t Cry

Boyz 'N the Hood

Dances with Wolves

David and Lisa

Do the Right Thing

Rain Man

Real Women Have Curves

Remember the Titans

Save the Last Dance

Schindler’s List


Snow White

Sophie’s Choice


The Color Purple

The Gods Must Be Crazy

The Hiding Place

The Joy Luck Club


To Kill a Mockingbird


West Side Story

Wizard of Oz



Watch for themes that reflect diversity.

What themes did you notice?

Did the film address:

  • cultural differences
  • issues of race
  • gender issues
  • religious issues
  • age discrimination
  • physical or mental ability
  • other differences

How did the movie make you feel? Were you angry, sad, sympathetic or amused?

Do you think the movie meant to make you feel these feelings?

Think about the message you believe the movie was supposed to make.

Was there an obvious conflict?

What was the resolution?

Was a problem solved in a way that satisfied all parties?

Was there violence depicted? If so, were there better ways of resolving the conflict?

Could you imagine yourself in a situation like the one depicted in the film?

How would you have reacted?


What is even more interesting is watching the movies with others and then discussing each point. It will be interesting to see the similarities and differences on each point.


Now that you have viewed films that promote diversity take the next step and view films that are actually diverse.


For reliable information about the law, it’s role in society and legal issues, check out the American Bar Association Division for Public Education web page: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/