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How to Create a Diversity and Inclusion Council

Are you seeking to create a diversity and inclusion council to either launch your DEI program, or boost its progress? Leveraging a group of employees to act on behalf of the company – and guide the process – can help to propel your organization to the next level of inclusion and belonging. Here are the five steps that can help you create a diversity and inclusion council.

Understand Your Company’s Current Challenges

Before creating a diversity council, explore the existing challenges your organization is experiencing in terms of diversity, equity, and inclusion. For example, perhaps your company takes advantage of employee referrals. While referrals often have benefits, they can also create a homogenous workforce – and repel diverse candidates. Being aware of challenges from the outset can help give your diversity council a clear mission.

Establish a Framework

Create a plan for how your diversity and inclusion program will take shape, including the formation of your D&I council. If you already have a thriving D&I program, consider how your council will integrate into and benefit your existing program. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Define the roles and responsibilities of your diversity and inclusion council
  • Identify partners for key initiatives
  • Establish accurate representation
  • Determine membership expectations
  • Define meeting cadence
  • Track and communicate progress
  • Determine how to recruit new members for the council

Get Executive Support and a Budget

Your diversity and inclusion initiatives should come from the top down, while also being employee led. This will ensure you have the proper infrastructure (in other words, budget!) to support the commitments you make in the workplace to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

When you build a diversity and inclusion council, you create an avenue for employees to be directly involved in matters of diversity and inclusion. And when you bring in partners from the C-Suite – as well as HR, Legal, and Finance – you’ll be better able to implement council initiatives.

Identify Your Mission and Focus Areas

Write a mission for your diversity and inclusion council, ideally one that’s in sync with your company mission. You’ll want to make it broad enough to be inclusive and evolve with the company.

Here’s an example mission statement:

We believe every person has equal value, which is why we work hard to expand fair and transparent access to [insert services] and to welcome all kinds of people and their ideas. Our diversity and inclusion council combats discrimination. It promotes respect, inclusion, opportunity, and community in our workplace. It has four elements, including messaging and metrics, attraction and recruitment, inclusion and retention, and community and partnerships.

Build a Strategy and Set Goals for Your Council

Build a strategy for your team. If you follow the same structure as the mission statement above, here’s what each of the four teams will focus on:

  • Messaging and metrics: practicing inclusive messaging practices, and tracking employee demographic
  • Attraction and recruitment: sourcing diverse candidates from a variety of backgrounds and creating fair hiring processes
  • Inclusion and retention: raising awareness of identity in the workplace and cultivating an inclusive community
  • Community partnerships: engaging lower-income communities and underrepresented groups

Final Thoughts

Having a solid plan in place can help your diversity and inclusion program to gain traction within your organization. While it may take time to make progress and feel fully integrated with other elements of your DEI program, you’ll get there eventually! Stay humble, learn from experience, be open to feedback, and foster your passion.

And make sensitivity a part of your workplace, 365, with a Diversity and Inclusion Calendar

What Are Microaggressions?

Microaggressions

Microaggressions are one of the 4 essential types of diversity training in the workplace. They’re behaviors or statements that do not necessarily reflect malicious intent, but which nevertheless inflict insult or injury.

The term was first coined after the Civil Rights era – around the late 1960s or early 1970s. During this time, visible and violent expressions of racism were replaced by subtler manifestations. Today, “microaggression” has become a buzzword in the social justice arena, and now we’re breaking it down for you to understand.

What are some examples of microaggressions?

After reading the above definition, do you know what a microaggression is? Can you think of one you’ve witnessed?

If not, we don’t blame you. Unless you’ve learned about them before or been a victim yourself, microaggressions can be tricky to conceptualize. It’s not because they don’t exist – it’s because they’re like implicit biases. Microaggressions and implicit biases are often not “problems” to anyone who isn’t directly impacted by them.

As psychologist, author, and Columbia professor Derald Wing Sue, Ph.D., puts it, microaggressions are “the everyday slights, indignities, put-downs, and insults that people of color, women, LGBT populations, or those who are marginalized experience in their day-to-day interactions with people.”

Here are some examples. See if any of these are familiar to you!

ThemeMicroaggressionMessage
Alien in own land“So, where are you from?”You are a foreigner
A White person does not want to acknowledge race“When I look at you, I don’t see color.”Denying a person of color’s racial/ethnic experience
The notion that the values and communication styles of the dominant/White culture are the ideal/”norm”To an Asian, Latino, or Native American, “Why are you so quiet? We want to hear what you think. Speak up more!”Assimilate to the dominant culture
A statement made when bias is denied“I’m not racist. I have several Black friends!”I could never be racist because I have friends of color
Statements that assert that race or gender does not play a role in life successes“I believe the most qualified person should get the job!”People of color are given extra unfair benefits because of their race
White dominant society expect Black folks to be less competent“You’re so articulate or well-spoken.”This remark suggests that they assumed that the person would be less articulate and are surprised to find out that they aren’t

How do microaggressions actually harm people?

Dr. Sue writes that microaggressions cause frustration, self-doubt, anxiety, and cumulative emotional, psychic, and spiritual burden. Unlike macroaggressions – the large-scale, overt aggressions that mostly occur at the systems level – microaggressions are interpersonal. In fact, they commonly occur in academic and professional settings. This means that microaggressions are committed by people you know and in settings you should be comfortable and feel safe in.

How to disarm microaggressions

If you’re commonly on the receiving end of microaggressions, it can be an exhausting experience. How do you disarm them without exceeding your emotional bandwidth? Denise Evans, a certified facilitator of implicit bias and cultural intelligence workshops in West Michigan, suggests using wittiness. She, herself, is black. Here’s an example of how she “throws” microaggressions right back at the individual she’s speaking with.

If an individual tells her that she’s “well-spoken” or “articulate” – a known microaggression – Evans doesn’t miss a beat.

“I have said, ‘Thank you very much, so are you,’” says Evans. She then asks, with a smile, why they felt the need to say anything, including a list of possible reasons in her question: Is it because she’s a native New Yorker? A woman? Black?

And I literally wait for [an] answer,” she says. “I give people their microaggression and their implicit biases back in a pretty box with a nice bow on it. I hand it to you, and I wait for you to open it and tell me what you see.”

While you may find this awkward at first, as an educator, Evans says that these are teachable moments. Brains have made unconscious associations, and we have the power to undo the damaging ones (i.e. “African American and “uneducated or “women” and “assistant”).

Keep following our diversity and inclusion planning articles to learn more.

As well, keep up to date with our 2022 diversity calendar for the upcoming year.

Learn more about Interfaith with our 2022 Interfaith calendar for this year.

June 2022 Diversity Calendar

Below you’ll find a small sampling of diversity events – to see all 100+ events this year, see our interactive online DEI Calendar.

Many people believe that June is one of the best months of the year and that’s certainly true when it comes to diversity and inclusion events. If you love marching for what you believe in and celebrating those around you, this is your month! Here’s what you should keep in mind for the month of June.

LGBT Pride Month

If you’re a new ally to the LGBTQ+ community, welcome! June is Pride Month, and it’s you’ll be seeing rainbows to signify this all month long. June was selected in honor of the Stonewall Riots, which took place on June 28, 1969. During this event, the NYC police raided Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village. The police roughly hauled both employees and patrons from the bar, and the incident ended in violent protests and clashes in the streets for six days. It catalyzed the gay rights movement in the U.S. Create more inclusion with LGBT Sensitivity Training.

Caribbean American Heritage Month

June is also Caribbean American Heritage Month which recognizes the history and culture of Caribbean Americans in the United States. During this time, Caribbean Americans or individuals with Caribbean American heritage will come together to celebrate their history through a variety of activities including traditional meals, festivals, concerts, dancing, parades, etc.

June 2: Indian Citizenship Act of 1924

Congress enacted the Indian Citizenship Act on June 2, 1924, which granted citizenship to all Native Americans born in the U.S. Yet, while this was an important date in history for Native Americans, they were not permitted to vote in all states until 1957.

June 12: Loving Day

On this day in 1967, Loving v. Virginia struck down all anti-miscegenation laws in 16 states. This effectively ended bans on interracial marriage. Because interracial relationships are much more common today, many people forget that this was such a monumental win for love. Head to your local library to check out books about the civil rights movement and all it fought for.

June 12: Puerto Rican Day Parade

This parade is the largest demonstration of cultural pride in the United States. The goal of this event is to create awareness and appreciation of Puerto Rican culture and history. Due to COVID-19, the Puerto Rican Day Parade has been canceled in recent years. However, historically, you’ve been able to see it along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and on TV.

June 19: Juneteenth

Juneteenth took place on June 19, 1865, when all slaves in Texas were liberated. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was issued at the start of 1863, the news didn’t reach all states or slaves until over two years later. Today, 47 states and D.C. recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday or observance. Create more inclusion and belonging with racial sensitivity training.

June 27: Helen Keller’s Birthday

Happy Birthday, Helen Keller! Known for being both deaf and blind, Keller became a pioneer in advocacy for individuals with disabilities. She is one of the 20th century’s leading humanities, and she also co-founded the ACLU.

Final Thoughts

 Keep June colorful with lots of learning about diversity! Our multicultural calendar can help you know what’s coming up.

Get a head start on next month with our July 2022 Diversity Calendar. Or explore the rest of the year with our Equality and Diversity Calendar 2022.

May 2022 Diversity Calendar

Below you’ll find a small sampling of diversity events – to see all 100+ events this year, see our interactive online DEI Calendar.

Continue celebrating diversity in the month of May! If you want a full month of celebrating diversity, this is your time to shine. You’ll be able to recognize mental health awareness, older Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders all month along with sporadic diversity days that keep the month fun and exciting. Let’s see what the month has in store

Mental Health Awareness Month

This May diversity month theme raised awareness for individuals living with mental or behavioral issues and seeks to reduce the stigma that they experience. We suggest celebrating Mental Health Awareness month by understanding how stress impacts your body, developing your support network, and reaching out to friends or family members that you believe may be struggling.

Older Americans Month

May diversity celebrations: established in 1963, Older Americans Month is led by the Administration for Community Living. It seeks to celebrate the accomplishments of the elderly as well as raise awareness concerning elder abuse and neglect.

Jewish American Heritage Month

Jewish American Heritage Month is a May diversity celebrations. This yearly observance recognizes American Jews and their their importance to our nation. To celebrate this event, make a Jewish recipe, tour a museum, or pick up some Hebrew words!

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Our May multicultural calendar salutes Asian Americans and the Pacific Islands. They have long enriched America’s history and ensured its future success. To recognize this group, an entire month is dedicated to celebrating them. We suggest trying out a few of the following to truly appreciate their contributions. Make a positive impact, and help stop Asian Hate with online sensitivity training.

  • Try origami
  • Explore AAPI history
  • Make your own bubble tea at home
  • Support a local AAPI business in your community

5/5 – Cinco de Mayo

This May diversity holiday is a favorite, but its history is often overlooked. Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican Heritage as it commemorates the date that the Mexican army defeated the French army. You’ll often see it celebrated with parties, parades, traditional Mexican foods, and mariachi music.

5/8: Buddha’s Birthday

May diversity dates include Buddha’s birthday, a significant day of celebration for Buddhists around the world. Prince Siddhartha Gautama is the founder of one of the most popular religions in the world. The festival Vesak celebrates his birth and marks his Enlightenment for some Buddhists.

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

May diversity and inclusion topics – the 17th celebrates the date chosen to honor the decision to remove homosexuality from the International Classifications of Diseases of the WHO in 1990. On this day, 132 countries coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBT rights. You can celebrate by reading up on the terminology so you can talk about the issues confidently in the workplace.

5/19: Malcolm X’s Birthday

Happy Birthday to Malcolm X! In the 1960s, Malcolm X was a prominent civil rights leader and figure in the Nation of Islam. He was assassinated in 1965. His birthday is celebrated on May 19th, and it’s known as “Malcolm X Day.”

 Final Thoughts

Keep up to date with our 2022 Interfaith calendar for this year!

If following the calendar for each event or date becomes overwhelming to you, try to pick just one item from May’s multicultural calendar to learn about. Small and gradual learning about diversity can make all the difference!

Get a head start on the rest of the year with our 2022 Diversity and Inclusion Calendar.

March 2022 Diversity Calendar

Are you ready to welcome spring? Depending on where you live, you may have great weather headed your way this month, or you may have a month or two left to wait. Regardless, March ushers in religious celebrations and festivals as winter transitions to spring. We’ll discuss one below along with numerous other March diversity events.

For more diversity topics, see our 2022 Diversity Calendar.

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

 Women’s History Month

 “Here’s to strong women. May we be them. May we know them. May we raise them.”

It’s women’s history month, and it’s intended to honor the vital role of women in American history. We recommend choosing a few women to learn more about through the month. Here are some suggestions: Dorothea Dix, Claudia Jones, Laura Cornelius Kellogg, Mary Tape, and Jane Cooke Wright.

3/2: Ash Wednesday

 This is a Christian day of fasting and prayer that begins the season of Lent. For Catholics, Ash Wednesday often means going to mass and having ashes drawn in a cross upon your forehead. For others, it may just mean a day of reflection and fasting.

 3/8: International Women’s Day

 Another day for women! This day is intended to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. On this day, you may donate to a women’s charity, recognize a local woman-owned company, or reach out to a woman in your life who has inspired you. You can create a more inclusive workplace for women and others with online diversity training.

3/10: Harriet Tubman’s Birthday

 You likely know Harriet Tubman as the former slave who saved countless others in the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad was a network of people (both African American and white) who offered shelter and aid to escaped enslaved people from the South. It’s reported that Harriet Tubman saved around 70 people. Happy Birthday, Harriet!

 3/17: St. Patrick’s Day

 This is the feast day and death day of Saint Patrick, a Catholic saint. His feast day is now both a cultural and religious celebration held around the world. How you choose to celebrate is up to you! Some people like to bake festive desserts while others like to raise a toast.

 3/19: Holi

 Holi is a Hindu holiday that celebrates the winter harvest as well as the onset of spring. If you live in a climate that you can enjoy the outdoors, this is a great way to do so. Holi is known as the “Festival of Colors.” Often, family and friends will gather in their backyards, neighborhoods, and driveways with brightly colored powers to throw and smear on their faces.

 3/21: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

 On March 21, 1960, the police killed 69 people in South Africa when they opened fire on a peaceful demonstration. As a call to end racial discrimination, the UN created this day. Reflect on your own privilege and examine your own biases on this day as a way to bring the world closer together!

 Final thoughts

And that concludes our March 2022 Diversity Calendar, and we hope it’s a way for you to engage with communities you wouldn’t otherwise.

Enjoy a preview on next month with our April 2022 Diversity Calendar. Or get a head start on the rest of the year with our Diversity and Inclusion Calendar 2022.

Diversity Issues in the Workplace

Companies looking to increase diversity and inclusion must first look inward. Understanding current diversity issues is the first place to start. Below, we’ll explore the most common diversity-related problems in the workplaces as well how to solve diversity issues in the place. Here’s what you need to know:

Current Diversity Issues

If you’re creating a diversity and inclusion program, and want to start by looking at your organization’s related issues, that’s great! Unfortunately, many organizations have no idea where to start. To help, we’ll discover 5 significant diversity issues in the workplace. Explore these and reflect on whether these are areas for improvement at your company.

  1. Communication Issues

In just about every workplace, communication issues can be common, ranging insensitive to downright offensive. Be sure to let all employees know the point persons they can address if they have concerns or questions.

In a diverse workplace, English might be not be the first language of an employee. In that case, communication can be an even bigger barrier to productivity, inclusion, and general morale. Help alleviate any stigma or marginalization that comes with lack of understanding due to language barriers.

  1. Sexual Harassment

Statistics reveal about 60 percent of women have experienced unwanted advances or sexual harassment at work. Even top companies like Uber have had their fair share of bad diversity and inclusion press from this very issue.

Overall, this is an indication that businesses have a long way to go in their diversity and inclusion efforts. Wondering how you can solve this diversity issue in the workplace? We suggest creating open lines of communication between employees and leadership teams to encourage people to speak out against – and report – harassment.

  1. Unconscious Bias

The problem with unconscious bias is that it often flies under the radar. Employees are often oblivious that it’s a factor (hence the name — unconscious). For example, hiring managers might discriminate against candidates based on demographic factors.

Fortunately, this is something your company can directly address with D&I unconscious bias training. Remember, lack of training only results in bad PR, employee turnover, recruiting difficulties, and lawsuits. Address these issues with unconscious bias online training.

  1. Diversity Without Inclusion

The words diversity and inclusion go hand in hand, and there’s a reason why. But too many organizations work hard to increase their diversity, but they fail miserably to make each of their employees feel included and belonging, and as if they can be their authentic selves in the workplace.

Fostering diversity without inclusion can potentially do more harm than good. It’s essential to attract diversity, and then foster awareness and respect of those differences. Are you doing enough on this front? A quick, budget-friendly solution is online inclusion and diversity training.

  1. Generational Differences

Age isn’t always just a number — especially in the workplace. Different generations have diverse working styles, and age diversity presents its own unique issues in the workplace. You’ll encounter communication differences, varying work speeds, and even distinct definitions of success depending on the person. Examining this gap and bridging generational diversity can be very rewarding.

Final thoughts

These current diversity issues won’t go away overnight. However, there are ways you can address these problems and seek solutions by ramping up your diversity and inclusion program. Enhancing a diversity and inclusion program is one of the best ways that you can improve your company’s culture and establish a sense of belonging for everyone you’ve hired. Stay up to date with our entire Diversity and Inclusion Calendar 2022

Diversity Resources – we’re the diversity specialists! We offer the world’s best selection of tools for diversity in the workplace training

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.

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