In an environment as interconnected and socially aware as today’s, it has never been more vital to be able to understand the nuances of interacting with those of different races, sexualities, and genders – not only so that we can grow closer as a society, but to prevent the very real fallout of discrimination, intentional or otherwise. Take Starbucks and Sephora (click on article below if you’re just learning about the Sephora incident) , for instance; both companies had incidents where a person of color was racially profiled by employees – two black men by Starbucks, the singer SZA by Sephora. In both cases, numerous others shared their stories of discrimination on social media and thousands of stores had to close to hold diversity training. If there was ever a question as to whether or not there’s a societal need for discussion, open spaces, and diversity education, these examples illustrate why there is. Not only were the incidents that took place awful for the people involved – two men got the police called on them for nothing other than their skin tone – they caused lasting damage to the brands associated with them. Having diverse spaces and discussions around identity won’t solve the problem entirely; there will always be bigots, and there will always be incidents. However, they will provide the chance for a deeper understanding of our backgrounds, our cultures, our identities – of each other – and that’s something that benefits everyone.