“Diversity Asset Model” (Project Acabado, 2017)

“Adopting and building on Yosso’s (2005) work on “community cultural wealth” model, this ‘Diversity Asset’ model expands the body of literature, by focusing on valorizing the diverse and multiple assets that learners possess that may already be in use and/or that are yet to be discovered.

The term “diversity” in this model is not only limited to the unique aspects of individuals based on race, culture, language, ethnicity, and gender, but it acknowledges the diversity in disciplines, spaces, experiences, and cognition (e.g., diverse perspectives and interpretations, as well as different styles of learning and information processing).

The Diversity Asset framework theoretically strays away from a deficit viewpoint of learners (e.g., lacking or in need of), but instead captures and validates learners’ strengths and rich sociocultural and sociolinguistic resources from within and surrounding areas.

The diversity assets included in this framework can also be used to understand systems and programs within organizations to assess the overall sustainability and efforts for innovation and creativity, as well as capacity building and problem solving. While acknowledging diversity may require some compromising and adjusting due to differences, valorizing assets of diversity will lead to fundamental improvements in individuals, community, and systems.

For example, with Resiliency capital, instead of simply identifying support by asking,

What programs or systems are there in my organization to support learners to adapt, adjust, and restore when faced with challenges?”

this framework focuses on,

How can programs draw, capture, and strengthen learners ability and vitality to adapt, adjust, and restore when faced with challenges?”

In addition to the six capitals of Yosso’s (2005) cultural wealth model (Aspirational, Linguistic, Familial, Social, Navigational, and Resistance), in this expanded Diversity Asset model, the following two assets are included and defined:

Resiliency asset:

    • The grit and vitality to bounce back, adjust, and restore” (Project Acabado, 2017)

Reflective asset:

the power to think back and learn” (Project Acabado, 2017)