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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
January is packed full of opportunities to celebrate influential people who shaped our country into a more accepting society. Bring in the new year by recognizing these great people, and share your pride in your own inclusion journey.
1/1 – Emancipation Proclamation Slaves were granted freedom in 1863
One of the most important January diversity events. January 1, 1863, changed the history of America. With an ongoing Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln gave rights to slaves, and proclaimed that they should be set free. While our country still struggles with race issues today, celebrating this stepping stone toward ending racism helps us connect with each other.
1/8 – Stephen Hawking Being disabled doesn’t have to stop you from reaching great heights
January diversity topics include people with disabilities. Stephen Hawking showed us that we all have different abilities and strengths, while sharing his great mind with the world. Not only was he a groundbreaking physicist, but his fundraising and research helped create worldwide change in the rights of disabled persons.
1/17 – Muhammad Ali Celebrate the life of an American Muslim
This January diversity day is an opportunity for religious inclusion. We called him “The Greatest” because it was true both inside the ring and out. Muhammad Ali fought his way to the top in his boxing career and used his influence to fight for the rights of all people. His Islamic duty of charity expanded to help disadvantaged people of every religion, and created a greater understanding of Muslim culture.
1/20 – Martin Luther King Jr Day National holiday celebrating pioneering leader in civil rights
The top January diversity celebration is Martin Luther King Jr Day, also called Civil Rights Day in some states across the nation, celebrates the life of one of the most influential Civil Rights activists. MLJK Jr paved the way for equality of all people, and inspires people of all backgrounds to work together to this day.
1/25 – Chinese New Year A three-day celebration ringing in the Year of the Rat
Key January multicultural holidays include Chinese New Year, a time for family, celebration, and new beginnings. Red envelope gifts of “lucky money” are given to children from elders to ward off evil spirits while entering the new year. In this digital age, many who celebrate are sending virtual luck money to family members across the sea. Recognizing Chinese New Year means bringing in luck and letting go of negativity from the last year, something we could all practice more.
1/26 – Ellen Degeneres turns 62 Leading influencer on public attitudes toward LGBTQ+ rights
Another January diversity topic is LGBTQ+ leaders. Ellen DeGeneres has been inspiring people to connect with each other and create a better understanding of LGBTQ+ rights since the late ‘90s. She uses her wide platform of followers to showcase amazing talent from around the world, and connects us all through comedy. Her coming out on television in 1997 sparked a trend of acceptance and empowered others to come out as well.
1/29 – Oprah Winfrey turns 66 Often ranked the world’s most influential woman
Concluding our January diversity month, is the birthday of Oprah Winfrey. She has been inspiring people to reach for their goals for decades. Coming from humble roots and growing up in poverty, she shows us that we all have the power to change our circumstances. She is not just a powerful Black American woman, but a powerhouse of influence to all people.
This is a popular new feature: all key events on one page, perfect for desktops, D&I pages and printing.
The full Online Diversity Calendar lists every diversity and inclusion event, averaging more than 150 events per month!
The new Month-at-a-Glance feature focuses the most important events, on one page. It’s perfect for
adding to your D&I page
You’ll find Month-at-a-Glance on the calendar navigation:
Because you can print and post your own diversity calendar, it’s like having a printed calendar – free – with your subscription.
Language translation is another awesome new feature included with subscriptions. With one click, you can enjoy the Online Diversity Calendar in virtually any language.
This is useful for global organizations, as well as showing respect to growing immigrant populations in many countries.
One of the most important facets of awareness and inclusions is dietary restrictions. This is particularly true with religions.
The Online Diversity Calendar now lists dietary considerations for the five major religions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam. This is essential for respectful inclusion, whether at company events or on-site dining.
You’ll find dietary considerations in the index (see screenshot below), as well as via the dietary considerations icon on all events for major religions.
If you’re a subscriber, all these new features are live and included with your subscription.
According to a Harvard University study, diversity initiatives don’t work unless awareness and inclusion is a daily practice. Being aware of ethnic holidays is key for respectful scheduling and creating inclusion, 365 days a year.