May 2017 Diversity Calendar

May 2017 Diversity Calendar

The month of May brings more than just flowers. It also offers a unique opportunity to increase awareness and celebrate a colorful bouquet of diversity events. Below is a partial list of events from our May 2017 Diversity Calendar.

For a complete list of upcoming diversity events, please see our online diversity calendar.

Older, Jewish and Asian Americans

The month of May has an abundance of monthly diversity themes. These include:
Older Americans Month
Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month
Jewish American Heritage Month

Another area that’s increasingly receiving recognition as a facet of diversity is mental illness and learning disabilities. With that in mind, May is also Mental Health Awareness Month.

Black Americans

May provides a number of multicultural opportunities to celebrate the accomplishments of Black Americans. Some notable birthdays include:

Malcolm X
Malcolm X

May 19 – Malcolm X – civil rights leader and activist

May 3 – James Brown – the Godfather of Soul, one of the greatest black musicians of all time

Further, May 17 marks the anniversary of the watershed in desegregation, with the landmark court decision Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka (1954).

 

Hispanics Americans

May 5 – Cinco de Mayo – marking the defeat of French invaders by Mexico, this multicultural holidays is celebrated widely by Americans and the Mexican-American community. It’s important to note it’s not a major holiday its country of origin, Mexico.

 

Religious Observances

May 25 – Ascension Day, Christianity: marks the anniversary of the day Christians believe that Jesus rose to heaven.  Christianity is the world’s most-practiced religion.

Ramadan
Ramadan

May 26 (sundown) – Ramadan begins, Islam – this month-long observance includes fasting from sunrise to sunset. It’s one of the most important events in Islam, the world’s second largest religion.

May 30 (sundown) – Shavout, Judaism – also known as the Festival of Weeks, it celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.  Judaism is the second largest religion in the United States.

 

LBGT

Finally, the month of May includes a number of important events in the LGBT community. These include these notable birthdays:

Keith Haring
Keith Haring

May 4 – Keith Harring – one of the most famous and iconic gay artists of the 20th century
May 22 – Harvey Milk – murdered politician, and considered a martyr and icon for the gay rights movement

Our May 2017 Diversity Calendar includes more than 150 diversity events. For great diversity awareness, please see our online diversity calendar for a complete list of upcoming diversity events.

Diversity Heritage Months

 

Diversity Awareness Month

Diversity and inclusion professionals face many challenges, from insufficient budget to C-suite support. But one of the greatest challenges of all is fostering awareness, respect and inclusion on an ongoing, daily basis.

Traditional diversity training can be highly effective and useful. But when given quarterly or annually – or perhaps just for new hires – inclusive concepts and behaviors often fade from memory, especially as time goes on.

In my conversations with diversity and inclusion leaders, one of the best ways to instill ongoing awareness and respect is through the promotion of diversity heritage months.

Over the course of year, there are hundreds of heritage months. Dozens of these are specific to diversity; for a complete list please view our online diversity calendar.

Some of the key diversity heritage months include:

  • African-American History Month – February
  • National Women’s History Month – March
  • Older Americans Month – May
  • Jewish-American Heritage Month – May
  • Pacific-American Heritage – May
  • LGBT Pride Month – June
  • National Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month – Sept. 15-Oct. 15
  • Diversity Awareness Month – October Diversity Calendar
  • National Disability Employment Awareness Month –
    October
  • National Italian American Heritage Month – October
  • National American Indian Heritage Month – November

There are powerful benefits to celebrating these heritage months in your workplace. First, it helps promote diversity an inclusion on an ongoing basis, throughout the year. Furthermore, heritage months helps recognize individual diversity groups, and specifically celebrate them, rather than simply promoting general diversity awareness.

So how do you celebrate heritage months, and leverage them to create more awareness and inclusion?

Diversity Calendar – first, be sure to offer a diversity calendar throughout you are organization. These calendars are available either online, or printed. Typically, a diversity calendar will feature a specific heritage as its monthly theme.

Employee Newsletters – in your newsletters to employees, be sure to feature these heritage months, as banners or graphics, and link to additional information on the topic.

Email Signature – every month, you’re likely sending thousands of emails. Each email is a great opportunity to foster awareness. In your email signature, include a link to this month’s featured heritage month.

D&I Portal – if your organization has a D&I portal on its website, add a banner celebrating the monthly diversity theme. If your organization does not have a portal, you need to add one…

Employee Events – at company events, you can feature the monthly diversity theme. A popular way to do this is with food recipes that might celebrate a particular culture. Our online diversity calendar features such recipes.

Printed Materials – in your office, have banners, posters and more that also highlight a particular diversity theme. Any piece of paper that is distributed to your employees – from memos to paychecks – provides an opportunity to instill awareness.

Training for diversity and inclusion is essential for a harmonious, productive workplace in the 21st century. And inclusion is most effective when instilled throughout the year, rather than just at on-off trainings.

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