100 Days of Diversity: a retrospective

On Saturday 14th September at The Nathan Room in downtown Auckland, 100 Days of Diversity was finally on show!

If you’re a regular reader, you will know that unfortunately due to an unscheduled bout of pneumonia, I was unable to make it to the exhibition.  Our other lovely project manager Anna Nelson is also currently travelling overseas.

Anna and I have been working on our 100 Days Project since November last  year, when we first called for volunteers to send in their photo’s and quotes.  In June this year we began posting one a day and over the next three months we kept up the momentum, until we’d featured all 100 participants.

When we decided last year to undertake a 100 Days project, I don’t think either of us realised quite how long 100 days really is!  But I know we both really enjoyed the challenge of finding and exploring the unique perspectives of 100 different people, as well as the richness of the outcome.  The 100 Days project is truly aligned with Diversityworks mission to inspire inquiry into the nature of diversity, creativity and social change.

We were pleasantly surprised by the range of people who participated in the project, and the range of answers we got to our question: “What makes you unique?”  People interpreted the question is such different ways – from talking about what foods they liked, to their job descriptions, relationships, and how they view themselves in the world.  But this only added to the diversity!

We also found it significant to be able to feature two people in the project who have since passed away.  Mabel, who was 94 years old, was one of only three children ever to stay on White Island.  Mabel’s photo was submitted with permission by her daughter Grace, who thought that her mum’s experience was very unique.  Mabel passed away before she was featured on Day 90.

We also featured Peter Taylor on Day 83.  Pete was an inaugural participant of the Be. Leadership programme, and they summed up Pete’s farewell perfectly:

“It’s with great sadness that we must farewell our dear friend and Be. Leader, Pete Taylor. Earlier this month, after a very long battle with Leishmania disease, he chose to stop all medical treatment and so died peacefully on Sunday 15th September.

Through his books and blog, Pete taught us not to postpone joy and gave his readers a unique insight into living long past the expected survival rate of Leishmania.

In many ways Pete’s life and the wonderful things he achieved as a leader, reinforce the importance of continuing to support and nurture leadership in our access citizens.”

We feel privileged to have contributed to Mabel and Pete’s legacy.

While Anna and I were sad that we couldn’t make it to see the cumulation of our efforts on show, we heard great feedback from the event and from those who participated in the project.  The DPSN blog also had some of the highest hit rates ever during the 100 days, so we’ll take that as a sign we should do more of the same!

If you love the idea, don’t forget you can visit their Facebook page and sign up to do your own 100 Days project!  If you take part next year, get in touch with us.  We’d love to feature your work to a wider audience.

We hope you enjoyed our showcase of diversity, we had a great time putting the project together and engaging with our diverse community and audience.  Until next year!

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