The 10 Lenses Calculator

Welcome to the 10 Lenses Quick Calculator. The quick assessment lets you to select your preferences for the 10 Lenses. Please keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers and that most people utilize two or three primary lenses depending on the context they're operating within.

Also remember that each lens has strengths, weaknesses and developmental goals. Therefore by increasing your awareness about the lenses you prefer, you will be better positioned to track your behavior to ensure that you are coming from the "strengths" of your preferred lenses.

Remember when you operate out of your "strengths" you will be more effective in critical relationships, better able to connect and foster inclusiveness.

Why This Matters

Competing lenses lead to conflict. Each lens believes it is right, so becoming more aware of which of the 10 Lenses are operating with your stakeholders including colleagues, customers, community members can help you bridge cultural divides, solve disagreements and make better decisions.

To get started simply rank in descending rank the following 10 statements, from the statement that is "most like what you believe" (#1) to the statement that is "least like what you believe" (#10), by clicking and dragging the statement to the boxes with the numbers.

When you've finished, you can read introductory information about the lenses and begin to think about how remain in the strengths of each lens.

The 10 Lenses Personal Calculator

Our primary allegiance should be to our nation, not our ethnic and cultural identities.
Personality, character and values are the most important aspect of who we are.
Assimilation into the dominant culture weakens the ability of ethnic and cultural minorities to control their destiny.
I believe we should recruit from the Ivy Leagues or other elite institutions to get the best talent
I believe that people of different races should be forced, if necessary, to live, work and play side by side.
Merit should be the only criterion used to award opportunity.
I believe that history should be taught from the perspective of all cultures, to be fair and honest.
I believe that different races, cultures and ethnicities should live among their own kind.
I believe that love is more powerful than our racial and cultural differences.
I cannot overcome discrimination easily because that force is too powerful.

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as·sim·i·la·tion (?-si-m'?-lash?n)noun

    1. The act or process of assimilating.
    2. The state of being assimilated.
  1. The process whereby a minority group gradually adopts the customs and attitudes of the prevailing culture.

SUMMARY DEFINITION:

Assimilationists want individuals to submerge their individual and cultural identities in favor of nationalistic and patriotic ideals. They believe that our primary allegiance should be to the welfare and unity of our nation.

MOTTO:

"When in Rome, do as the Romans."

QUOTE:

"It is one thing to offer guests a welcome; quite another to have them take over one's house, lock, stock, and barrel. This is especially true when the guests have entirely different ideas about housekeeping. The thought in back of the original invitation was the new races would become 'Americanized' - not that America would be made over in the image of the new races."

- Carleton Putnam, Race and Reason: A Yankee View

BELIEF SYSTEM:

Immigrants and other subcultures should adopt the lifestyles, values, customs, and language of the dominant/majority culture.

col·or-blind ('kül?r-blind)adjective

  1. Partially or totally unable to distinguish certain colors.
    1. Not subject to racial prejudices.
    2. Not recognizing racial or class distinctions: "Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens" (John M. Harlan).

SUMMARY DEFINITION:

The Colorblind see people as individuals and ignore race, color, ethnicity, and other external cultural factors. They look at a person's individual qualities and character. They believe that ignoring race and color will have an equalizing effect.

MOTTO:

"When I see you, I see a person, not your color."

QUOTE:

"To ignore race and treat as an individual is the spring of justice and the river of hope."

- Leigh Van Valen, "On discussing Human Races," The Evolution of Racism

BELIEF SYSTEM:

All men and women are created equal.

STRENGTHS:

  • Recognize and value each person's individuality
  • Are more interested in a person's character and personality traits than in skin color, dress, appearance, or other surface attributes
  • See each new interaction as an opportunity to begin a positive relationship, based on the merits of the interaction
  • Make up their own minds about a person rather than rely on stereotypes from the society at large identity and be treated as themselves rather than one of "them"
  • Encourage all people to come together, discover their similarities, and let go of divisive factors
  • Help build inclusive organizations

cul·tur·al ('külch?r-?l)adjective

  1. Of or relating ot culture or cultivation.
  2. cen·trist (sën'trïst)noun

    • One who takes a position in the political center; a moderate.

SUMMARY DEFINITION:

Culturalcentrists seek to improve the welfare of their cultural group by accentuating their history and identity. They argue that institutions that are detached from the mainstream are an important ingredient to the success of their culture because they encourage cultural pride and create a support network and a safe environment where intolerance and prejudice are not daily issues.

MOTTO:

"My culture is central to my personal and public identity."

QUOTE:

"My culture is central to my personal and public identity."

- Bill Ong Hing, To Be An American: Cultural Pluralism and the Rhetoric of Assimilation.

BELIEF SYSTEM:

Racial minorities and ethnic groups should detach from the dominant culture to survive, rebuild and/or maintain their cultural norms, customs, and traditions.

STRENGTHS:

  • Inspire people to become self-reliant by stressing self-determination and the need to rise above oppressive forces
  • Are sensitive and respond to the important need for ethnic cultures to feel safe and secure
  • Help maintain cultural traditions and gifts that could disappear through assimilation or integration
  • Have keen interest in recognizing and celebrating the traditions and practices of their cultural group
  • Establish bonds with and support those of their own group, creating a sense of community and solidarity within the larger organizational setting
  • Make organizations more aware of the ways in which they may unintentionally discriminate against minority groups
  • Contribute significantly to their own communities

e·lite (ï-lët') noun

  1. A group or class of persons or a member of such a group or class, enjoying superior intellectual, social, or economic status: "In addition to notions of social equality there was much emphasis on the role of elites and of heroes within them" (Times Literary Supplement).

SUMMARY DEFINITION:

Elitists believe in the superiority of the upper class and embrace the importance of family roots, wealth, and social status. They believe that it is their destiny to perpetuate their advantages through inheritance or social ties.

MOTTO:

"Membership has its privileges."

QUOTE:

"Elitism - meaning a disproportionate role in government and society by small groups - inevitable. The question for any society is not whether elites shall rule, but which elites shall rule. The problem for any democracy is to achieve consent to rule by suitable elites."

- George Will, The Leveling Wind: Politics, the Culture and Other News

BELIEF SYSTEM:

Lineage and innate qualities and abilities entitle some members of the culture to be advantaged within society.

STRENGTHS:

  • Are deeply imbued with the sense of "noblesse oblige" and carry a sense of responsibility about taking care of those "less fortunate" than they are
  • Are interested in bringing socially conscious programs to their organizations and communities
  • Dedicate much of their time, energy and financial resources to cause in which they believe
  • Have strong desire to establish and maintain high standards and will challenge the system and its leaders to do so
  • Can bring prominence and positive public-relations benefits to the organizations with which they work or are affiliated

in·te·gra·tion (ïntï-grä'sh?n)noun

    1. The act or process of integrating.
    2. The state of becoming integrated.
  1. The bringing of people of different racial or ethnic groups into unrestircted and equal association, as in society or an organization; desegregation.

SUMMARY DEFINITION:

Integrationists support breaking down all barriers between racial groups by merging people of different cultures together in communities and in the workplace. They believe that we can replace our ignorance of each other's culture with a greater understanding and knowledge if we live and work together. Integrationists want our nation's laws to reinforce this idea.

MOTTO:

"Ebony and ivory live together on my piano keys... shouldn't we?"

- "Ebony and Ivory," lyrics by Paul McCartney

QUOTE:

"Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they do not know each other; they do not know each other because they cannot communicate; they cannot communicate because they are separated."

- Martin Luther King Jr., "Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story."

BELIEF SYSTEM:

We can achieve greater racial and cultural equality, understanding and harmony through working, living and socializing side by side.

STRENGTHS:

  • Remind us of the importance of cross-cultural interactions and dialogue
  • Demonstrate that vocal and active support for integration can help to break down stereotypes and improve the quality of interactions among people of different races
  • Show their dedication to a just society through legal battles, legislation and local responsibility
  • Challenge us to go beyond our comfort zone and use social strategies to turn caution and skepticism into tolerance
  • Want to change the system by working within it
  • Help to create an organizational culture which recognizes and values differences within a united whole

mer·i·toc·ra·cy (meri-tök'r?-se)noun

  1. A system in which advancement is based on individual ability or achievement.
    1. A group of leaders or officeholders selected on the basis of individual ability or achievement.
    2. Leadership by such a group.

SUMMARY DEFINITION:

Meritocratists believe in the individualist credo of America: If you have the abilities and work hard enough, you can compete with anyone to make your dreams come true. Meritocratists disapprove of programs that use race, culture, ethnicity, class, gender or any cultural identity dimensions as criteria for an opportunity, believing instead in personal merit.

MOTTO:

"Cream rises to the top."

QUOTE:

"I want it repeated because I hope it will give inspiration to young African Americans coming along, but beyond that, all young Americans coming along, that no matter where you began in this society, with hardwork and with dedication and with the opportunities that are presented by this society, there are no limitations upon you."

- Colin Powell, Secretary of State Acceptance Speech, January 2001

BELIEF SYSTEM:

Opportunity should be based only on an individual's initiative, competence and accomplishments.

STRENGTHS:

  • Are self-reliant and strong individuals
  • Believe fervently in the American credo: if you have the ability and work hard enough, you can make your dreams come true, regardless of your race, gender, national origin or other differences
  • Insist that hard work, individual initiative, self-sacrifice to meet or exceed given standards should be the only criteria used to determine opportunity in society and organizations
  • Advocate for high standards of excellence in our institutions of education, commerce and government
  • Serve as guardians of fairness to ensure that organizational systems are applied fairly and evenly
  • Believe every person counts
  • Acknowledge and show support for the individual initiatives, competencies and accomplishments demonstrated by others

mul·ti·cul·tur·al (mül-te-'kül'ch?r-?l)adjective

  1. Of relating to, or including several cultures.
  2. Of or relating to a social or educational theory that encourages interest in many cultures within a society rather than in only a mainstream culture.

SUMMARY DEFINITION:

Multiculturalists celebrate the diversity of cultures in the United States and the contributions they make to our national character and history. They want to ensure that customs, languages, and ideas of people that originate in other culture are retained and celebrated, not submerged into one dominant culture. Instead of the United States as a melting pot, they like to use the metaphor of a colorful and appealing fruit salad containing many different distinct cultural characteristics.

MOTTO:

"The more cultural diversity, the better."

QUOTE:

"...a real and vital multiculturalism requires a mutual commitment to the constant search for common ground in the midst of our diversity... For without genuine and substantive respect for diversity, there can only continuing oppression."

- Maulana Karenga, "Black and Latino Relations: Context, Challenge, and Possibilities," Multi-America: Essays on Cultural Wars and Cultural Peace

BELIEF SYSTEM:

We are enriched by the diversity of races and cultures in our country. Our future success is based on allowing each of our cultures to contribute to the mosaic.

STRENGTHS:

  • Cherish and encourage an America that includes and respects all cultures without emphasizing the importance of one over the other
  • Understand that, in the words of poet Andre Lorde, "it is not our difference that divide us; it is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences"
  • Remind us that America has been pluralist from the start and that it would not have prospered and developed its rich heritage without the contributions of all ethnicities
  • Help the rest of us beyond our narrow perspectives and develop a more expansive worldview
  • Know how to create inclusive work teams that incorporate all perspectives and experiences
  • Help create and sustain organizational cultures that value diversity and understand how to use diversity as a competitive advantage in the global marketplace

se·clu·sion (si-kloo'zh?n)noun

    1. The act of secluding.
    2. The state of being secluded.
  1. The state of being secluded.

SUMMARY DEFINITION:

Seclusionists feel strongly that they should protect themselves from racial, cultural, and/or ethnic groups that diminish the character and quality of their group's experiences within society. They believe that the only viable solution to our societal challenges related to race and culture is for different groups to live and work apart.

MOTTO:

"Birds of the same feather flock together."

QUOTE:

"We are a nation of professional, religious, ethnic and racial tribes - the tribes of America - who maintain fragile truce, easily and often broken... We were able to conquer our atavistic hatreds, to accept our widely diverse past, to transcend them, to live together as a single people."

- Paul Cowen, The Tribes of America

BELIEF SYSTEM:

It is best for our race to remain separate from other racial groups to preserve our position and control.

STRENGTHS:

  • Exemplify one of our most precious rights as Americans: freedom of thought and speech
  • Hold a simple and very certain worldview about diversity, eliminating the need for any self-doubts or complexity of thought on the subject
  • Are extremely loyal to their "own kind

tran·scen·dent (tran-sen'd?nt)adjective

  1. Surpassing others; preeminent or supreme.
  2. Lying beyond the ordinary range of perception.
  3. Being above and independent of the material universe.

SUMMARY DEFINITION:

The Transcendent Lens focuses on the human spirit, our universal connection, and our shared humanity. The Transcendent Lens sees race, ethnicity and nationality as part of God's or the universe's plan to create richness and variety in the human condition. We need to look beyond these differences and recognize our divine connection with each other.

MOTTO:

"There’s really only one race, the human race."

QUOTE:

"Who can separate his faith from his actions, or his belief from his occupations? Who can spread his hours before him, saying, 'This for God and this for myself; This is my soul, and this other for my body?"

- Kahil Gibran, The Prophet

BELIEF SYSTEM:

Our common divine origin transcends racial, national, ethnic, or cultural identity.

STRENGTHS:

  • Promote and model love and tolerance and acceptance of all beings
  • Focus on the opportunities and possibilities of today and tomorrow rather than on the grievances of yesterday
  • Can inspire us to forgive the history between us which includes hurtful and harmful actions, misunderstandings and grudges.
  • Help us heal ourselves and our relationships.
  • Remind us of the connections that bind us together most deeply.
  • Help create organizational cultures which emphasize social responsibility and global community.

vic·tim (vïk'tïm)noun

  1. One who is harmed by or made to suffer from an act, circumstance, agency, or condition.
  2. care·tak·er (kâr'tak?r)noun

    • One that is employed to look after or take charge of goods, property, or a person; a custodian.

SUMMARY DEFINITION:

People who see through the Victim/Caretaker Lens see their liberation as a crucial goal. Victim/Caretaker feels that they are still suffering from the generational impact of oppression. Therefore, they continue to deserve justice and compensation from society as a whole and the dominant culture. Victim/Caretaker see oppression as not only historical but also contemporary, still producing overwhelming odds for their identity group’s survival and prosperity.

MOTTO:

"We shall overcome."

QUOTE:

"It is unnecessary in 20th Century America to have individual Negroes demonstrate that they have been victims of racial discrimination; the racism of our society has been so pervasive that none, regardless of wealth or position, has managed to escape its impact."

- Justice Thurgood Marshall, in Kimberle Crenshaw, Critical Race Theory. (New York: The New Press, 1995)

BELIEF SYSTEM:

The Victim/Caretaker Lens believes that people of color and ethnic minorities are systematically victimized by the dominant culture and exploited in ways that have crippled their ability and opportunity to be successful.

STRENGTHS:

Victims:
  • Help us to focus on issues of social injustice
  • Inform us of the inequities that still exist today in our workplaces and communities
  • Encourage us to move out of complacency and take a proactive stance to eliminate all forms of exploitation and discrimination
Caretaker:
  • Demonstrate genuine concern and caring for other human beings
  • Inspire deeper levels of understanding of, and interest in, the collective welfare of society
  • Help us rise above self-interest to support those who do not have the opportunities and resources that everyone deserves