Diversity is the concept of recognizing individuals as unique and celebrating the differences that make them so. While there is an infinite number of visible and invisible differences amongst humans, most people subconsciously define diversity by a few social categories, such as gender, race, and colour.
Crayola introduced the controversial “flesh tint” colour in 1903. It was renamed “flesh” in 1948, and “pink beige” in 1956, before finally settling on “peach” in 1962. For many years, this represented a very limited perspective on what “normal” was and made anyone who had a different skin tone, “other”.
Inclusion refers to the behaviours and social norms that ensure people feel welcome. It embraces, respects, and values diversity.
In 1992, Crayola introduced their « Multicultural » crayon set, including eight colours loosely spanning the expanse of human skin tones. In 2020, Crayola came out with its « Colours of the World » crayon set which includes 24 to 32 “flesh coloured” crayons in a greater variety of tints, tones, and shades which more accurately represent the composition of our communities.
The Colours of the World Project aims to celebrate diversity by having elementary school students create paper dolls representing the different aspects of themselves, including race, using the expanded colouring set. The project promotes the idea of embracing one another in a circle of community and is aimed at sensitizing students to the ties that bind us together rather than the lines along which we are often divided.