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August 2021 Diversity Calendar

Our August 2021 diversity calendar highlights a variety of religious, ethnic, and cultural events taking place throughout the month. As the summer ends, look for ways to celebrate these events, whether learning about a diversity leader, or exploring a culture different from your own. August diversity days are some of the best ways to learn about diversity and be more inclusive.

Note: below is a small sampling of diversity events. To enjoy all 100+ events, inclusion tips and more, see our Diversity Calendar Suite

 8/4: Barack Obama’s Birthday

Our August diversity month begins with the birthday of President #44 of the United States. During his eight years as president, Barack Obama focused on LGBT rights and healthcare reform. He has left a lasting legacy as being the first Black American to assume the presidency, and now runs the Obama Foundation with his wife and former First Lady, Michelle Obama. Diversity training is a great way to celebrate Obama’s efforts to create a more equitable and inclusive society.

8/9: International Day of the World’s Indigenous People

Indigenous people are among our August diversity topics. In 1994, the UN General Assembly declared that August 9 would be International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The UN stated that on this day “people from around the world are encouraged to spread the UN’s message on the protection and promotion of the rights of indigenous peoples.”

8/10: Al-Hijri (New Year)

Our August multicultural calendar includes the Islamic New Year (also called the Arabic New Year or the Hijiri New Year). As a day in the Islamic calendar is defined as beginning at sunset, it begins the prior evening. Help your employees be more inclusive of Muslims and others with our online diversity training.

8/15: Feast of the Assumption

The Feast of the Assumption is included in our August multicultural holidays. It’s the feast day Roman Catholics use to celebrate the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, being assumed (both body and soul) into Heaven.

8/24: Marlee Matlin’s Birthday

August diversity days include the birthday of Marlee Matlin. She’s the first hearing-impaired actor to win the Oscar for Best Actor/Actress. She won the Academy Award at the age of 21, which also makes her the youngest winner in that category, for her performance in Children of a Lesser God.

8/26: Women’s Equality Day

Women’s Equality Day is intended to commemorate the passage of the 19th Amendment, which grants women the right to vote. To celebrate this August diversity event, consider…

  • Donating to causes that support women’s equality
  • Paying homage to significant women in your community
  • Signing petitions to make it a federal holiday
  • Making sure schools and libraries in your area have the history of women’s suffrage on their shelves

8/30: Janmashtami

Our August diversity celebrations conclude with Janmashtami, the Hindu festival celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna. God Krishna was born on the eighth day of the dark fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada. This is why it is celebrated in August-September.

Final thoughts

Thus concludes our August 2021 diversity calendar, complete with inspiring diversity topics and events. Whether you’re striving to make your workplace more inclusive or to expand your own understanding of diversity, thinking about diversity in terms of daily events can be a powerful way to connect with cultures far different from your own.

Ready to discover more? Explore next month with our September 2021 Diversity Calendar. Or Get a head start on the rest of the year with our 2021 Diversity Calendar.

May 2021 Diversity Calendar

Our May 2021 diversity calendar celebrates a colorful variety of different groups in the United States.

From the Jewish community to older Americans to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, our May multicultural calendar provides many opportunities for inclusion. Keep reading to discover more about May diversity events and how you can celebrate them in your workplace.

Note: below is a small sampling of diversity events. To enjoy all 100+ events, inclusion tips and more, see our Diversity Calendar Suite

Mental Health Awareness Month

Our May diversity month includes Mental Health Awareness Month. The observances raises awareness of people living with mental or behavioral issues, and seeks to reduce the stigma they experience. To honor it, get informed about mental health, develop support networks, and reach out to associates you might be struggling. Discover more about mental health and diversity.

Older Americans Month

Seniors are also recognized during our May diversity events. The Administration for Community Living leads the observance of Older Americans Month, which celebrates the accomplishments of older citizens. This year’s theme is “Communities of Strength” as older adults have built resilience and strength throughout their lives. If you want to celebrate, connect with or share a meal (COVID-19 permitting) with some older associates.

Jewish American Heritage Month

Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM) is among our May diversity celebrations. This annual recognition honors American Jews and their valuable contributions to society. To celebrate this holiday this year, make a new Jewish food, go on a virtual museum tour, or learn a new Hebrew word. For Jewish and other religious observances, see our 2021 Interfaith Calendar.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Our May multicultural calendar pays tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’s history and ensured its future success. To celebrate this month, give a shout out to this group in your workplace. And to support the Stop Asian Hate movement, you can create a more inclusive workplace with our microaggressions training online.

5/5: Cinco de Mayo

You’ve likely heard of this holiday before…but do you know what it means? May multicultural holidays include Cinco de Mayo. It’s a celebration of Mexican heritage, and commemorates the date of the Mexican army’s defeat of the French army. It is primarily observed by Mexican Americans, and it may be celebrated by parades, parties, mariachi music, or traditional Mexican foods.

5/17: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia

May diversity topics include this event, which aims to coordinate international efforts to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ rights. It is commemorated in more than 132 countries. The date was chosen to honor the decision to remove homosexuality from the International Classifications of Diseases of the WHO in 1990. Help reduce LGBTQ+ discrimination and increase inclusion with our LGBT sensitivity training.

5/19: Birthday of Malcolm X

Malcolm X concludes our May diversity days. He was a civil rights leader and prominent figure in the Nation of Islam. He articulated concepts of race pride and Black nationalism in the early 1960s. May 19th is his birthday and an American commemorative event (“Malcolm X Day”).

Final thoughts

That concludes our May 2021 diversity calendar, which will keep inclusion at the forefront of your mind all month. It’s important to not only engage with these topics, but to change how you and your co-workers view and interact with others.

Preview next month with our June 2021 Diversity Calendar. Or get a head start on the rest of the year with our 2021 Diversity and Inclusion Calendar.

August 2020 Diversity Calendar

Below you’ll find a small sampling of this month’s diversity events. To view all 100+ events and religious observances, see our Diversity Calendar suite.

Summer is hot – and so is diversity and inclusion! Our August 2020 diversity calendar features a variety of cultural diversity and religious events to keep you and your employees aware and inclusive throughout the month. Even simple observances of these celebrations can help expand awareness, inclusion and equality.

8/4 – Black Americans – Barack Obama

We start our August diversity events by wishing a Happy Birthday to the POTUS #44! Barack Obama quickly rose to fame with his Hope campaign during the 2008 presidential election, and was the first Black American elected president. As president, he was champion of LGBT rights and healthcare reform. He left office in January 2017 with a 60 percent approval rating. He and former First Lady Michelle Obama now run the Obama Foundation, which aims to inspire, empower, and connect young people to promote change in the world. Help promote equity and inclusion in your workplace with our Online Diversity Training.

8/15- Roman Catholicism: Feast of the Assumption

August multicultural holidays include this feast day. It marks the date that Roman Catholics celebrate the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, being assumed (body and soul) into Heaven. This was the end of her earthly life. It’s not a holy day of obligation within the Catholic Church, meaning mass is not obligatory.

8/20 – Islam: Islamic New Year

Our August multicultural calendar includes Hijri New Year or Arabic New Year. The Hijri is the era used in the Islamic lunar calendar, which was created during the reign of Khalifa Umar ibn al-Khattab. Hijri itself marks the new year, which starts the previous event. This year begins 1440. Discover more holy days with our 2020 Interfaith Calendar.

8/22 – Hinduism: Ganesh Chaturthi

One of the top August diversity celebrations, Hindus celebrate the start of the festival honoring the elephant-headed God. A 10-day festival of the god of prosperity and wisdom, it always begins on the fourth day of the month of Bhadrapada (the sixth month of the Hindu calendar). A worldwide celebration, and you can celebrate it at home. Check out this article for ideas on ways that you can join in.

8/24 – People With Disabilities: Marlee Matlin

Our August diversity topics also celebrate those with disabilities. Born on this day in 1965, Marlee Matlin became deaf at 18 months old, after an illness with high fevers. Matlin is a strong advocate for the rights of deaf people. In 1987, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Children of a Lesser God. To date, she is the only deaf performer to win the award. She is also the youngest winner in the category at the age of 21.

8/25 – Jewish-Americans: Leonard Bernstein

Our August diversity month also includes a Happy Birthday to Leonard Bernstein! As a composer, conductor, and performer, he’s considered one of the “greats” in the music industry. His first big break was conducting the New York Philharmonic in 1943, and he became one of the first American-born conductors to lead world-class orchestras. He was also of Ukrainian-Jewish heritage, and this was reflected in his music.

8/26 –  Women’s Equality Day

This August diversity day was created to commemorate the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. Today, organizations, workplaces, libraries, and other public places have begun to participate by holding events and programs. Be on the lookout for ways you can take part in your community. At the very least, do something special for a woman in your life today! And help build respect in your workplace with our Online Harassment Prevention Training

Final thoughts

Our August 2020 diversity calendar offers a little something for everyone. Even if one of these events doesn’t apply specifically to a group you’re a part of, you can learn about something new or engage with someone in your life or community. Diversity is a mindset: never stop learning and growing! And get head start on the next month with our September 2020 Diversity Calendar – and the rest of the year with our 2020 Diversity Calendar.

May 2020 Diversity Calendar

Below you’ll find a small sampling of this month’s diversity events. To view all 100+ events and religious observances, see our Diversity Calendar suite.

May continues the changing of seasons from colder weather to warmer temperatures – so it’s also the start of new beginnings and changing mindsets.

To remember the importance of diversity, our May 2020 Diversity Calendar features holidays dedicated to inclusivity. Topics include religion, health, and identity. We’ve listed 6 multicultural events to help you schedule around these dates out of respect for this who practice, in addition to other dates that are great opportunities to celebrate these different groups alongside them.

1. Mental Health Awareness Month

May diversity topics include mental health. Starting in May of 1949 in the United States, Mental Health Awareness Month honors millions of people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness. This holiday is dedicated to destigmatizing the negativity of mental health and promotes support to those diagnosed, along with their families. To learn more about how you can help normalize mental health in the workplace, check out our workplace mental health videos.

2. Jewish American Heritage Month

Our May diversity month includes this heritage observance. Designated as a holiday on April 20, 2006, President George W. Bush dedicated May as Jewish American Heritage Month. It celebrates and honors the heritage of those who played integral roles in developing our current society. Throughout the month, there will be celebrations, art/history exhibits at local museums, teaching lessons and more. For more information, visit the official website here.

3. Older Americans Month

This holiday was created to honor older generations present in society who have impacted our country for generations. Choosing to celebrate those who have made an impact aids in understanding and appreciation. To learn more, the Older Americans Month website offers a plethora of information.

4. May 4 – LGBTQ+: Keith Haring (1959-1990)

Haring’s birthday is among our May diversity days. Best known for his “pop” art accentuating color and curvy details, Keith Haring created public work portraying people and connections for everyone to love. Using these motifs, he created work to support the AIDS awareness campaign, and soon thereafter, he started the Keith Haring Foundation. Learn more about how you, too, can be an ally with the Anyone Can Be an Ally video.

5. May 5 – Mexican American: Cinco de Mayo

Our May multicultural calendar includes this Mexican American holiday. This holiday honors the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, establishing the country’s independence. Celebrate by creating authentic cuisine, appreciate Mexican art, and attend local fiestas.

6. May 13 – Black American: Stevie Wonder

Our May diversity celebrations conclude with Stevie Wonder’s birthday. On this day in Black History, revolutionary and beloved blind musician Wonder was born. This day is celebrated to honor not only a Black icon, but also an American symbol who changed music as we know it.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our May 2020 Diversity Calendar. Get a head start on next month with our June 2020 Diversity Calendar. Or the rest of the year when you read our exclusive 2020 Diversity Calendar.

COVID-19 Anxiety: How to Deal With It – 7 Tips

We live in unprecedented times. COVID-19 anxiety is causing people to worry, ranging from their health and loved ones, to job security and money. Anxiety and stress have spiked tremendously.

I used to suffer from anxiety, all the time. At its low point, among other things, I was unable to fly due to fear.

But then I discovered tools for how to deal anxiety, which I’ll share below. And on a recent flight, we hit tremendous turbulence that caused many passengers to scream. I was totally calm, checked in with my partner, and then look around the cabin to help others.

Below you’ll find 7 tips, to help you overcome anxiety, stress and worry. All have worked for me. Any one of these will provide some relief, do all 7 and you’ll feel much better. And while they may not completely eliminate your anxiety and stress, you’ll definitely feel more calm.

1. Get Exercise  as little as 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise gets your blood moving and oxygenates you. But even better, exercise also releases endorphins, nature’s feel-good chemicals. And although your local gym may be closed, there are plenty of alternatives, ranging from going on a brisk walk, to doing yoga at home.

2. Eat Protein – now more than ever, it’s important to eat a healthy diet. It’s especially important to have protein at every meal, because protein provides the building blocks of neurotransmitters that help you feel more calm and cheerful. Also eat lots of whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits. And avoid simple carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, pastries) and sugars, which will pick you up but then make you crash.

3. Get Supplements – a number of wonderful vitamins will help you feel more calm. They’re safe, inexpensive, and have no side effects. These include GABA, l-theanine, inositol, kava kava and others. You can quickly order any of these on Amazon.com or most vitamin or health food website. Read the directions carefully, as most work best on an empty stomach.

4. Practice Meditation – as little as 10 minutes of meditation, especially early in the morning, will go a long way towards helping you feel calm. Among other benefits, meditation helps calm the mind, by switching your brain from high-beta waves (fight or flight) to delta (deep relaxation). And by focusing on your breath, you can more quickly learn to identify thoughts that cause anxiety, and dispel them.

5. Get Connected – as we practice social distancing, it’s more important than ever before to connect with others. Try reaching out to family and friends, and share your feelings: when you feel it, you begin to heal it. There are also plenty of free support groups offering phone meetings, such as Emotions Anonymous 

6. Challenge Thoughts – it’s said that fear stands for False Evidence Appearing Real, or Future Events Already Ruined. One thing that works for me, is remembering nothing I’ve ever feared has come true. While COVID-19 might bring challenging times ahead, chances are, your worst fears will not come true.

7. Practice Mindfulness – among other tasks, the human mind is designed to identify and provide solutions for danger. But there’s zero benefit to rumination, revisiting the same problems or worries over and over. Try instead focusing on the sound and the feel of your breath, looking clouds or trees, and just be in the moment. Allow your mind to rest.

Now more than ever, we are here to serve each other, to help our brothers and sisters worldwide. If you would like any more tips on how to deal with anxiety, or if you just need to reach out and connect with someone, please contact me. I will personally respond to each and every email.

And for more information, see this new employee training video Feel Calm at Work: Tools for Anxiety Video

Here’s wishing you the best of health, peace and prosperity, now and always.

Erich Toll
President, Diversity Resources

April 2020 Diversity Calendar

For the most current events, see our April 2021 Diversity Calendar

Below you’ll find a small sampling of this month’s diversity events. To view all 100+ events and religious observances, see our Diversity Calendar suite.

March can still be a bit chilly, but you can always count on April to bring more sunshine! The month brings the blooming of flowers – and the celebration of numerous religious holidays and recognition of diversity.

Our April 2020 diversity calendar focuses on a variety of significant religious holidays as well as some multicultural events. Here are some big dates to keep in mind.

Celebrate Diversity Month

One of the top April diversity celebrations! Our country would not be what it is if it weren’t for the diversity that defines us. The people all around you — your neighbors, best friends, classmates, fellow citizens, and coworkers — all come from various walks of life. April is the month to recognize and honor them. Looking for a good way to celebrate? Perhaps pick another holiday from the list below and learn more about it. And to help your employees be more aware and inclusive, check out our online diversity training.

4/4: Maya Angelou’s Birthday

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made the feel.” Our April diversity days including the birthday of a true diversity leader, Maya Angelou. She’s remembered for being a writer, poet, civil rights activist, Renaissance women, and winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. As a Black American, Angelou gained international recognition and acclaim for her work. In her honor, search online for a poem or two of hers (or check out one of her books from the library!).

4/8: The Birth of Buddha

April diversity topics include a number of religious observances. Around the world, more than 535 million people are Buddhist. Yet it all started with a single prince who turned into a monk. Named Siddhartha Gautama, he realized that peace could be found through spiritual discipline. Thus he renounced his worldly life and sought a spiritual quest. For more interfaith events, see our religious calendar 2020.

4/9: Passover Begins

April diversity events also include Passover, a Jewish holiday that lasts for eight days. It marks the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Passover begins the previous evening with a Seder, or a meal, where the Haggadah (the book of Exodus and related writings) are recited in order. During this holiday, it is forbidden to eat leavened food products (think bread, pasta, etc.). If you’ve never tried matzah, give it a try during this week to recognize Passover! This is an unleavened bread that Jewish families often eat during this time.

4/12: Easter

Christians (except Greek Orthodox) will celebrate Easter on this day. This is the most important Christian holiday in the world’s largest religion. Easter always falls on Sunday, with the preceding Friday the day Jesus was crucified. Then, according to scripture, “On the third day He rose again from the dead.” The third day is Easter Sunday, and Christians rejoice!

4/24: Ramadan

Our April multicultural calendar includes the first day of Ramadan, which is considered the holiest month of the Muslim year. During this month, no water or food may be taken from sunrise to sunset. It is during this month that the Quran was first revealed to the prophet Muhammad by Allah. If you are curious about the fasting process that Muslims undertake during Ramadan, try it for a day!

4/23: Native American Gathering of Nations

Our April multicultural month concludes with this event, at which over 500 tribes will gather for three days to honor the culture of Native Americans. It is an annual gathering, and tribes travel from both the United States and Canada to participate. There are different events like dance competitions, Miss Indian World, knowledge of tribal traditions, and Indian Traders Markets for different crafts and art.

April is absolutely blossoming with diversity days and events! Our April multicultural calendar speaks to the variety of different topics and celebrations occurring this month. Get a head start on next month, with our May 2020 Diversity Calendar. If you’re curious for what else is coming up, check out our 2020 Diversity Calendar.

Illinois Harassment Laws – 4 Must-Know Details

You may have heard about Illinois Senate Bill 75, the Illinois Workplace Transparency Act, Illinois SB75 or a number of other terms referencing a new Illinois sexual harassment law. Governor J.B. Pritzker recently signed this bill into law, mandating annual sexual harassment training for businesses.

Here are four must-know details about the law and how it’ll impact you in 2020 and beyond:

  1. Took Effect January 1, 2020

As of 2020, all employers in  Illinois are required to train their employees. The new Illinois workplace harassment laws require annual training, which must cover the following:

  • What is sexual harassment?
  • What is unlawful sexual harassment?
  • What are the federal and state statutory provisions (including the remedies available to the victims of sexual harassment)?
  • What are the responsibilities of the employers for prevention, investigation, and corrective measures of sexual harassment?

If employers don’t comply with the Illinois workplace bullying law, they will encounter penalties, including fines of up $1,000.

2. Mandates Leave of Absence for Victims

SB 75 Illinois aims to help those who are victims of gender-related violence to seek help as needed. This could apply to victims of domestic, sexual or gender violence and even workplace harassment to take unpaid leave to seek medical assistance, legal, help, safety planning, counseling or any other required assistance. If you ever have need to take time off work for this reason, know that you can do so under this law for your own health and well-being.

3. Prevents Unions from Representing Both Victim and Alleged Harasser

The Illinois harassment training law also looks out for how those involved in workplace harassment cases are represented. It prevents the victim and alleged harasser from being represented by the same body to prevent a conflict of interest.

4. Extends Harassment Protection to Contractors

Previously, the Illinois Human Rights Act only covered employees from harassment and discrimination. Now, under Illinois senate bill 75, independent contractors and consultants will also be protected from sexual harassment in the workplace. Regardless of the level of involvement in the workplace, Illinois sexual harassment law everyone deserves to have the same security against unwanted interactions.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it! Four must-knows about the Illinois harassment laws
that will impact your workplace in 2020 and beyond. Training is essential, so be sure to get sexual harassment prevention training now!

March 2020 Diversity Calendar

For the most current events, see our March 2021 Diversity Calendar

Below you’ll find a small sampling of this month’s diversity events. To view all 100+ events and religious observances, see our Diversity Calendar suite.

March marks the beginning of spring, bringing warmer weather, new growth, and a colorful variety of events celebrating diverse ethnicities, cultures and religions.

Our March 2020 Diversity Calendar commemorates influential individuals and multicultural festivities that make this month diverse and inclusive. Greater respect and inclusion is one of the benefits of diversity training in the workplace.

March – Women’s History Month

One of the key March diversity celebrations is Women’s History Month, honoring the powerful females that fought for equality, freedom and acceptance. Help ensure a respectful and safe workplace for women, with our online interactive harassment training.

March 3rd – Hispanic American/Women: Geisha Williams

March diversity topics highlight the accomplishments of women. Geisha Williams is the first Latina woman to run a Fortune 500 company. Immigrating from Cuba over 50 years ago, Williams received an engineering degree at the University of Miami, after which she climbed the ladder to success. She was named one of Fortune’s most powerful women in 2017 and, up until January of 2019, she was the CEO of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

March 6th – Black American/Muslim: Shaquille O’Neal

March diversity month includes the birthday of Shaquille O’Neal. An American NBA superstar, O’Neal revealed in 2010 that he’s a practicing Muslim, as was his step-father. He plans to to partake in the Hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. O’Neal played professionally for the NBA for 19 years, before announcing his retirement.

March 9th – Hindu: Holi

One of the most colorful of March multicultural holidays, Holi is a traditional Hindu festival. Referred to as the “Festival of Spring”, it’s celebrated widely in India. This social event marks the beginning of the spring harvest and is a time for forgiveness, friendship, love, and a commemoration of personal and seasonal growth. For more interfaith events, see our religious calendar 2020.

March 10th – Black American: Harriet Tubman

One of the key March diversity days. Born into slavery in the early 1800s, Tubman escaped her captors in 1849 and became one of America’s best-known heroes. She aided hundreds of slaves to freedom through the complex tunnels in the Underground Railroad. She later dedicated her life to aiding former plantation workers and the elderly.

March 14th – Jewish German American: Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein was a theoretical physicist. He created the theory of relativity and received the Nobel Peace Prize for Physics in 1921 for his involvement in the development of quantum theory. His contribution to science is legendary, allowing for generations of education and technological advancements.

March 17th – Irish: St Patrick’s Day

One the more beloved March diversity events, this celebration honors the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick. Traditionally it’s held on March 17th, the official day of his death. Although a festive occasion for many, St. Patrick’s Day celebrates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, and is a religious observance within many sects of Christianity and Catholicism.

March 31st – Mexican American: Cesar Chavez

Our March multicultural calendar concludes with Cesar Chavez.  A Latino American civil rights activist, Chavez fought for freedom and equality, and co-founded the “The United Farm Workers (UFW) Union.” His work within the community helped improve the lives of countless union labor workers.

March blossoms with celebrations, commemorating the people who made history and changed the world. Each diverse individual and holiday celebrated in March has shaped history and positively influenced generations that followed. Get a head start on next month, with our April 2020 Diversity Calendar. To discover more upcoming diversity events, see our 2020 Diversity Calendar

February 2020 Diversity Calendar

Get the most current information, with our February 2021 Diversity Calendar 

Growing up, you may have loved February for Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day or Presidents’ Day that rewarded you with a day off from work or school.

But our February 2020 Diversity Calendar holds much more than a few nationally recognized days of celebration. It’s a month packed full of opportunities for diversity shouts-out: women, Blacks, Christians, Buddhists, and LGBTQ+, which is essential for diversity training in the workplace. Here are the events you should mark on your calendar in February 2020.

Black History Month

Get ready to celebrate February diversity month – all month long! Black History Month is part of a greater history of recognition. The theme for 2020 is “African Americans and the Vote.” The observance began in 1915 when historian Carter G. Woodson and minister Jesse E. Moorland started the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. This group sponsored the very first “Negro Week.” It was held in February, coinciding with the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, the commemoration was expanded to a full month by President Ford. For more information, visit The Association for the Study of African American Life and History

2/11 –  LGBTQ+: Tammy Baldwin

Our February diversity days include Baldwin’s birthday. In 2012, Baldwin made headlines and history as she became the first openly LGBTQ+ politician elected to the U.S. Congress. She was also the first Wisconsin woman elected to the Senate. In an era when representation matters, she demonstrates to all the importance of diverse voices in government leadership. For more, check out our LGBTQ+ sensitivity training.

2/15 – Buddhist: Nirvana Day

February multicultural celebrations include Nirvana Day, or Parinirvana, an annual Buddhist festival. It commemorates Buddha’s death in 483 BC and his final nirvana. Many Buddhists celebrate Nirvana Day by visiting Buddhist temples or monasteries and meditating. Even if you’re not Buddhist, why not spend the day in reflection? The concept of nirvana speaks to death, rebirth, and spiritual enlightening until one is relieved of all suffering. For more religious holidays, see our 2020 Religious Holidays Calendar.

2/15 – Women: Susan B. Anthony Day

Happy Birthday to Susan B. Anthony – one of the key February diversity events! As one of the most revered women in the women’s suffrage movement, Anthony led the effort that enabled women play an active part in our government today. On this day, remember not only Anthony but the cause she stood for. Encourage those in your community (women or men!) to register to vote in the upcoming 2020 Presidential Election.

2/21 – Black, Women: Barbara Jordan

Our February diversity topics include firsts by Black women. Individuals like Barbara Jordan help us remember how far the U.S. has come in history. She was the first Black woman elected to the Texas State Senate and became known as an eloquent individual during the Watergate impeachment of President Nixon. Her emphasis on local issues illustrates to all of us that we can strive to make change in our communities on the issues that matter to us.

2/26 – Christian: Ash Wednesday

For Christians everywhere, Ash Wednesday is an important day that begins the Easter season. Our February multicultural celebrations include the start of this period: the 40 days (not including Sundays) of “Lenten” that lead up to Easter. You’ll often hear people refer to Ash Wednesday as the start of Lent. It’s customary for Christians to “give up” something during this time to show mourning and repentance for their sins. Why not do the same? Regardless of your belief system, perform random acts of kindness to others on this day. For more religious holidays, see our 2020 Interfaith Calendar.

And that wraps up the calendar for this month! Be sure to keep in mind each of these individuals and events, to reflect on how diversity has contributed to this country and your life. To plan out the coming year, see our 2020 Diversity Calendar

How to Improve Cultural Competence in Healthcare – 7 Tips

Diversity is a factor in every part of our society, and every workplace. But perhaps more than any other business, diversity impacts healthcare. First, not everyone needs every product. But everyone needs healthcare, whether white or of color, US-born or immigrant, English-speaking or not, straight or LGBTQ+, etc.

I am grateful to be partnered with a healthcare professional, Kelly. And she will tell you that for many healthcare customers, a visit to an urgent care or hospital might be one of the most intense days of their life – or perhaps their last. And thus religion is more likely to come into play, whether Christian, Jew, Muslim or atheist.

These factors highlight the importance of cultural diversity in healthcare. Perhaps more than any other industry, healthcare needs diversity training in the workplace.

Cultural Competency Training in Healthcare

A diversity awareness training program for health professionals has a clear objective. The goal is to provide the same standard of care to everyone,  regardless of religion, culture, language, gender identity and more. To do so, you must give your staff the tools they need to understand, effectively communicate, and interact with people across all cultures.

Let’s explore the key steps your healthcare organization can take on how to improve cultural competence in healthcare. Your staff should be educated, armed with resources, and have daily practices that foster a more culturally competent work environment.

Assess your team: Collect REAL (race, ethnicity, and language preference) information from your team to start a plan to include all team members and provide a work environment that fits their needs.

Cultural competence in healthcare training enables staff to be culturally competent. They’re also better prepared to understand the unique needs of other cultures. Through online diversity training, your healthcare professionals can learn and grow the appropriate skills. Other powerful tools include diversity training videos, and live diversity training services.

Evaluate current programs: If you already have diversity training in place, evaluate how effective your current training programs are for your medical staff. If you see gaps in the training, it may be time to look at a custom training. With a custom plan, you can focus on areas where your staff needs help, while celebrating the triumphs your organization has made to become more culturally competent.

Cultural Competence in Healthcare Examples

Dietary considerations: Healthcare staff should be trained in the dietary and religious needs of their patients. Many cultures have special dietary considerations that should be noted. For example, ensure your staff doesn’t offer pork or shellfish to Jewish for Muslim patients.

Religious considerations: If your workplace offers a chaplain, consider adding a rabbi, imam, and spiritual counselors of other religious affiliations to your on-call staff. Have the appropriate type of religious leader available for patients in crisis, and for your staff.

Prayer facilities: Many healthcare facilities are replacing chapels with inter-faith worship spaces to serve the needs of more religious preferences. A non-denominational prayer and meditation room can serve as an inclusive sacred space for staff and patients of all religious backgrounds.

How to Improve Cultural Competence in Healthcare: Daily Practice

Daily practice: Management needs to take an active role in daily building of an accepting and culturally competent workplace setting. Every day presents opportunities for growth, and your management team needs to understand how to teach cultural competence in healthcare.

Diversity calendar: cultural competency training in healthcare includes giving your management team the the tools they need for daily inclusion. A diversity calendar is essential for management and staff for both respectful scheduling and diversity celebrations.

Respectful scheduling: When your management staff is empowered with a diversity calendar, they’re able to respect the scheduling needs of all staff based on their culture. For example, your teams will know not to schedule Jewish healthcare team members during key holiday such as Passover or Rosh Hashanah.

Heritage celebrations: Celebrate the differences between your staff and patients by celebrating heritage. By following a diversity calendar, your staff can plan culturally appropriate celebrations for Black History Month, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and other inter-faith and religious celebrations.

To discover more, learn about the 5 key benefits of diversity training in the workplace


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