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What Are 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!

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.

Inclusion Diversity Calendar

Diversity & Inclusion Calendar

2022 Diversity Calendar

January 2022

January 1, 2022 Baha’i : World Peace Day
January 1, 2022 Roman Catholic : Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
January 4, 2022 Roman Catholic : Elizabeth Ann B. Seton Feast Day
January 6, 2022 Christian : Epiphany
January 7, 2022 Coptic Orthodox Christian : Christmas
January 9, 2022 Sikh : Guru Gobind Singh’s Birthday
January 14, 2022 Eastern Orthodox Christian : New Year
January 14, 2022 Hindu : Makar Sankranti
January 14, 2022 Hindu : Pongal
January 16, 2022 Baha’i : World Religion Day
January 17, 2022 United States : Martin Luther King Jr. Day
January 17, 2022 Jewish : Tu Biswat*
January 19, 2022 Coptic Orthodox Christian : Epiphany
January 27, 2022 United Nations : International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

February 2022

February 1, 2022 United States/Canada : Black History Month
February 1, 2022 Chinese: New Year
February 2, 2022 Christian : Candlemas
February 2, 2022 Pagan and Wiccan : Imbolc
February 5, 2022 Hindu : Vasant Panchami
February 15, 2022 Buddhist : Parinirvana / Nirvana Day
February 21, 2022 United States : Presidents’ Day
February 28, 2022 Hindu : Maha Shivaratri (Shiva’s Night)

March 2022

March 1, 2022 Christian : Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras)
March 1, 2022 “Islamic : Lailat al Miraj”
March 2, 2022 Christian : Ash Wednesday (beginning of Lent)
March 2, 2022 Baha’i : Baha’I Fast (Through 3/19)
March 7, 2022 Eastern Orthodox Christian : Beginning of Great Lent
March 8, 2022 International : International Women’s Day
March 17, 2022 Jewish : Purim (Feast of Lots)
March 17, 2022 Ireland : St. Patrick’s Day
March 18, 2022 Islamic : Mid-Sha’ban
March 18, 2022 Hindu : Holi
March 18, 2022 Sikh : Hola Mohalla
March 19, 2022 Roman Catholic : Feast of St. Joseph
March 20, 2022 Pagan and Wiccan : Ostara
March 20, 2022 “Baha’i : Naw Ruz (New Year) begins at sundown”
March 20, 2022 General : Vernal Equinox
March 21, 2022 United Nations : International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
March 25, 2022 Christian : The Annunciation
March 26, 2022 Zoroastrian : Khordad Sal

April 2022

April 2, 2022 Hindu : Ugadi
April 2, 2022 Hindu : Chaitra Navratri begins
April 3, 2022 Islamic : Ramadan (5/23)
April 6, 2022 United States : Tartan Day
April 7, 2022 United States : Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust (8 days)
April 8, 2022 Buddhist : Buddha’s Birth
April 10, 2022 Christian : Palm Sunday
April 10, 2022 Hindu : Rama Navami (Birthday of Rama)
April 14, 2022 Christian : Maundy Thursday
April 14, 2022 Hindu : Vaisakhi (New Year)
April 14, 2022 Sikh : Vaisakhi
April 15, 2022 Christian : Good Friday
April 15, 2022 Jain : Mahavir Jayanti
April 16, 2022 Jewish : Passover (first day of 8-day observance)
April 16, 2022 Christian : Holy Saturday
April 17, 2022 Christian : Easter
April 18, 2022 Christian : Easter Monday
April 21, 2022 Baha’I : Festival of Ridvan
April 22, 2022 International : Earth Day
April 24, 2022 Roman Catholic : Feast of Divine Mercy
April 24, 2022 Coptic Orthodox Christian : Easter
April 28, 2022 Islamic : Laylat al-Qadr
April 30, 2022 Pagan and Wiccan : Beltaine begins at sundown

May 2022

May 1, 2022 International : May Day (Labor Day)
May 3, 2022 Islamic : Eid al-Fitr*
May 5, 2022 Mexican American : Cinco de Mayo
May 5, 2022 United States : National Day of Prayer
May 16, 2022 Buddhist : Vesak (Buddha Day)
May 17, 2022 Black American : Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka (1954)
May 19, 2022 Jewish : Lag BaOmer
May 21, 2022 International : World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
May 23, 2022 Baha’I : Declaration of the Bab*
May 29, 2022 Baha’I : Ascension of Baha’u’llah
May 30, 2022 United States : Memorial Day observed

June 2022 Diversity Calendar

June 1, 2022 LGBTQ+ Pride Month
June 1, 2022 Caribbean American Heritage Month
June 2, 2022 United States : Granting of Citizenship to Native Americans (1924)
June 2, 2022 Christian : Ascension Day
June 5, 2022 Jewish : Shavuot*
June 5, 2022 Christian : Pentecost
June 6, 2022 Christian : Whit Monday
June 12, 2022 Christian : Trinity Sunday
June 12, 2022 United States : Puerto Rican Day Parade
June 12, 2022 Baha’I : Race Unity Day
June 12, 2022 Coptic Orthodox Christian : Pentecost
June 13, 2022 Eastern Orthodox Christian : Monday of the Holy Spirit
June 14, 2022 United States : Flag Day
June 16, 2022 Roman Catholic : Feast of Corpus Christi
June 16, 2022 Sikh : Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Sahib
June 19, 2022 Eastern Orthodox Christian : All Saints Day
June 20, 2022 Black American : Juneteenth
June 21, 2022 General : Summer Solstice

July 2022

July 4, 2022 Indepedence Day : United States
July 8, 2022 Tisha B’Av* : Jewish
July 9, 2022 The Hajj* (7/29-8/2) : Islamic
July 10, 2022 Martyrdom of the Bab : Baha’i
July 18, 2022 Nelson Mandela International Day : United Nations
July 23, 2022 Birthday of Haile Selassie : Rastafarian
July 24, 2022 Pioneer Day : Mormon
July 26, 2022 Americans with Disabilities Act : People with Disabilities
July 31, 2022 Lughnasadh (begins at sundown) : Pagan and Wiccan
July 31, 2022 Islamic New Year* : Islamic

August 2022

August 1, 2022 Lughnasadh  : Pagan and Wiccan
August 8, 2022 Ashura* : Islamic
August 9, 2022 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People : United Nations
August 11, 2022 Raksha Bandhan : Hindu
August 12, 2022 International Youth Day : United Nations
August 15, 2022 Feast of the Assumption : Roman Catholic
August 19, 2022 Krishna Janmashtami : Hindu
August 24, 2022 Paryushana : Jain
August 26, 2022 Women’s Equality Day : United States
August 31, 2022 Ganesh Chaturthi : Hindu

September 2022

September 1, 2022 National Recovery Month : Theme Months
September 1, 2022 Hispanic Heritage Month (9/15 – 10/15) : Theme Months
September 10, 2022 Pitru Paksha begins : Hindu
September 11, 2022 Patriot Day : United States
September 11, 2022 Nayrouz (New Year) : Coptic Orthodox Christian
September 15, 2022 International Day of Democracy : United Nations
September 16, 2022 Hoshana Rabbah* : Jewish
September 17, 2022 Constitution Day : United States
September 17, 2022 Arbaeen* : Islamic
September 18, 2022 Simchat Torah* : Jewish
September 19, 2022 Anant Chaturdashi : Hindu
September 21, 2022 International Day of Peace : United Nations
September 23, 2022 Mabon (Autumnal Equinox)* : Pagan and Wiccan
September 23, 2022 Autumnal Equinox : General
September 26, 2022 Rosh Hashanah (New Year)* : Jewish
September 26, 2022 Navratri (10/17-10-26) : Hindu

October 2022

October 1, 2022 Global Diversity Awareness Month :
October 1, 2022 Breast Cancer Awareness Month :
October 1, 2022 National Disability Employment Awareness Month :
October 1, 2022 Italian American Heritage Month :
October 1, 2022 Polish American Heritage Month :
October 1, 2022 Durga Puja (10/22-10-26) : Hindu
October 5, 2022 Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) : Jewish
October 5, 2022 Dussehra : Hindu
October 6, 2022 German American Heritage Day : United States
October 8, 2022 Mawlid* : Islamic
October 10, 2022 Sukkot (10/3-10/9) : Jewish
October 10, 2022 World Mental Health Day : People with Disabilities
October 10, 2022 Thanksgiving Day : Canada
October 11, 2022 National Coming Out Day : LGBTQ+
October 11, 2022 International Day of the Girl Child : United Nations
October 13, 2022 Karva Chauth : Hindu
October 15, 2022 Blind Americans Equality Day : People with Disabilities
October 17, 2022 Shemini Atzeret* (10/10-11) : Jewish
October 20, 2022 Spirit Day : LGBTQ+
October 24, 2022 Diwali : Hindu
October 24, 2022 Bandi Chhor Divas : Sikh
October 25, 2022 New Year : Jain
October 28, 2022 Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples’ Day : United States
October 29, 2022 Gyan Panchami : Jain
October 31, 2022 Halloween : United States, Canada
October 31, 2022 Samhain begins : Pagan and Wiccan

November 2022

November 1, 2022 Movember :
November 1, 2022 National Diabetes Awareness Month :
November 1, 2022 Native American Heritage Month :
November 1, 2022 All Saints Day : Christian
November 1, 2022 Día de los Muertos : Mexico
November 2, 2022 All Souls Day : Christian
November 7, 2022 Birthday of the Bab : Baha’i
November 8, 2022 Election Day : United States
November 8, 2022 Guru Nanak Ji’s Birthday : Sikh
November 11, 2022 Veterans Day : United States
November 12, 2022 Birthday of Baha’u’llah : Baha’i
November 16, 2022 International Day for Tolerance : United Nations
November 16, 2022 Dutch American Heritage Day : United States
November 19, 2022 International Men’s Day :
November 20, 2022 Transgender Day of Remembrance : LGBTQ+
November 24, 2022 Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib : Sikh
November 24, 2022 Thanksgiving Day : United States
November 25, 2022 Hindu : Vikram Samvat (Lunar New Year)
November 25, 2022 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women : United Nations
November 25, 2022 Nativity Fast (11/25-1/6) : Coptic Orthodox Christian
November 26, 2022 The Day of the Covenant : Baha’i
November 27, 2022 Advent begins (through 12/24) : Christian
November 28, 2022 Nativity Fast (11/28-1/6) : Eastern Orthodox Christian
November 28, 2022 Ascension of Abdu’l-Baha : Baha’i
November 30, 2022 St. Andrew’s Day : Roman Catholic

December 2022

December 1, 2022 Rosa Parks Day (Ohio, Oregon) : Black American
December 1, 2022 World AIDS Day : International
December 3, 2022 International Day of Persons with Disabilities : United Nations
December 8, 2022 Bodhi Day (Buddha’s Enlightenment): Buddhist
December 8, 2022 Feast of the Immaculate Conception : Roman Catholic
December 8, 2022 Buddhist : Bodhi Day (Buddha’s Enlightenment)
December 10, 2022 International Human Rights Day : United Nations
December 16, 2022 Las Posadas (12/16-12/24) : Hispanic
December 18, 2022 Hanukkah* (12/11-12/18) : Jewish
December 20, 2022 International Human Solidarity Day : United Nations
December 21, 2022 Yule* : Pagan/Wiccan
December 22, 2022 Solstice : General
December 25, 2022 Christmas : Christian
December 26, 2022 St. Stephen’s Day : Roman Catholic
December 26, 2022 Kwanzaa (12/26 – 1/1) : Black American
Pagan and Wiccan : Litha*
Eid al-Adha* : Islamic
Joseph Smith (1805-1844) : Mormon

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 2019 Diversity Calendar


August 4, 2019 – Black American : Barack Obama

“The world respects us not just for our arsenal; it respects us for our diversity and our openness and the way we respect every faith.” -Barack Obama

Barack Hussein Obama II (1961- ) is an American politician who served as the 44th President of the United States from 2009 to 2017. He was the first Black American to assume the presidency. Obama promoted inclusiveness for LGBT Americans. His administration filed briefs that urged the Supreme Court to strike down same-sex marriage bans as unconstitutional (United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges). Obama left office in January 2017 with a 60% approval rating and currently resides in Washington, D.C.

August 9, 2019 – United Nations : International Day of the World’s Indigenous People

First proclaimed by the U.N. General Assembly in 1994, this is a day to celebrate the unique cultures of indigenous peoples around the world.


August 10, 2019 – Islamic : The Hajj (8/10-8/14)

The Hajj is the annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. All Muslims who are able are required to make the pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime. The Hajj is a time for reflection and celebration, when more than two million Muslims from around the world gather together to celebrate their faith. The culmination of the Hajj is the three-day festival of Eid al-Adha (The Feast of Sacrifice), the most important feast of the Muslim calendar.


August 24, 2019 – People with Disabilities : Marlee Matlin

‘It was ability that mattered, not disability, which is a word I’m not crazy about using.’ -Marlee Matlin

Marlee Beth Matlin (born August 24, 1965) is an American actress, author and activist. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Children of a Lesser God, to date the only deaf performer to have won the award. Matlin is a prominent member of the National Association of the Deaf. In recognition of her philanthropic work and her advocacy for the inclusion of people with disabilities, Matlin received the 2016 Morton E. Ruderman Award in Inclusion, given to one individual whose work excels at promoting disability inclusion.


August 26, 2019 – Italian American : Geraldine Ferraro (1935-2011)

Lawyer and politician. Ferraro was the first woman and the first Italian American to run on a major party national ticket. In 1984, she ran as Walter Mondale’s vice presidential running mate on the Democratic Party ticket in the presidential election. She served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights under the Clinton Administration. Ferraro was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1994.


August 26, 2019 – United States : Women’s Equality Day

A law passed by Congress in 1974 sets this day aside to mark the certification in 1920 of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. The 19th Amendment prohibits discrimination in voting based on gender.


August 31, 2019 – Islamic : Islamic New Year (Hijri)

This begins the first day of Muharram of the new year 1441 based on the Islamic lunar calendar. Recognizing the festival/holiday: any sweet dessert is an appropriate gift. Muslims do not drink alcoholic beverages.

Enjoy a head start on next month, when you view our September 2019 Diversity Calendar. 


July 2019 Diversity Calendar

July is the peak of summer, and thus a great time for a sunny celebration of diversity. That makes July a wonderful time to be more aware – and appreciative – of our wonderful differences and similarities.

To help you, here are 7 multicultural events and holidays in July 2019, from our Online Diversity Calendar. These provide a terrific opportunity to say “we’re different and – together – we are awesome.”

July 2 – Black American : Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993)

Civil rights leader and Supreme Court justice. Marshall was head of the legal services division of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People from 1938 to 1962.  He thus led the legal effort to advance the civil rights of all Americans, particularly those belonging to minority groups. His most famous victory was the 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, which ended racial segregation in public schools.


July 6 – Mexican : Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)

Painter. Kahlo was born in the outskirts of Mexico City three years before the beginning of the Mexican Revolution. She was one of the most individualistic painters of the first half of the twentieth century. Known for her distinctive self-portraits filled with rich colors and symbolic imagery, Kahlo expressed in form and color her innermost feelings and states of mind.


July 6 – Tibetan : 14th Dalai Lama (1935 – )

The 14th Dalai Lama, born 6 July 1935, is the current Dalai Lama. He assumed full temporal (political) duties on 17 November 1950, at the age of 15, after the People’s Republic of China’s invasion of Tibet. During the 1959 Tibetan uprising, the Dalai Lama fled to India, where he currently lives as a refugee. The 14th Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. He has traveled the world and spoken about many topics. Although in exile from his home in Tibet, he remains a prominent political figure for the people of Tibet.


July 14, 2019 – France : Bastille Day

This celebrates the fall of the Bastille prison, marking the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789. The revolution led to the end of monarchial rule and the creation of a French Republic. Given their French heritage, many Louisiana ‘parishes,’ hold Bastille Day festivals featuring Cajun food, music, and dance. These include New Orleans and Kaplan, sometimes called ‘the most Cajun place on earth.’


July 18 – United Nations : Nelson Mandela International Day

In November 2009, the United Nations General Assembly declared Nelson Mandela’s birthday, July 18, to be Nelson Mandela International Day. The UN made the declaration, in recognition of his humanitarian achievements, and his contribution to racial reconciliation, democracy, and peace throughout the world.


July 20 – People with Disabilities: First Special Olympics Games (1968)

On this date in 1968, the first Special Olympics opened at Soldier Field in Chicago. Founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, it’s an athletic competition for children and adults with cognitive disabilities.  The competitions are held every two years, alternating between summer and winter games. The World Summer Games are held in the year before the regular Olympics. For more information, see our disability awareness training videos.


July 26 – People with Disabilities: Americans with Disabilities Act (1990)

Signed into law on this date, the ADA is a milestone of U.S. civil rights legislation. It protects people with disabilities from discrimination in the areas of employment, transportation, and public accommodation. The law requires a wide range of public and private establishments to make new and renovated facilities accessible to people with disabilities, and ‘readily achievable’ changes to existing facilities in order to increase accessibility.

To find out about more multicultural events and holidays, check out our August diversity calendar or our diversity holiday calendar for 2019



June 2019 Diversity Calendar

June brings the colors of summer, and thus it’s a great time to celebrate a rainbow of diversity. That makes it an ideal time to better see – and appreciate – our wonderful differences and similarities.

To help you, here are 7 diversity holidays in June 2019, from our Online Diversity Calendar. These events need respectful scheduling – or just give the chance to shout out to specific diversity groups.

LGBT Pride Month

On June 11, 1999, President William J. Clinton issued a presidential proclamation designating June as LGBT Pride Month. The date marked the 30th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and the birth of the modern LGBT civil rights movement. Every year, an International Pride Theme is chosen at the InterPrice Annual Conference. Be sure to view Anyone Can Be an Ally, our most popular LGBT training video.


June 2 – United States : Granting of Citizenship to Native Americans (1924)

On this day, Congress extended the rights of citizenship to all Native Americans born in the United States. Previously, only part of the Native American population had been granted citizenship through treaties, statutes, naturalization, and service in the armed forces.


June 3 – LGBTQ+ : Anderson Cooper

“I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.”
-Anderson Cooper

Anderson Hays Cooper (June 3, 1967 – ) is an American journalist, television personality, and author. Cooper is openly gay; according to The New York Times, he is ‘the most prominent openly-gay journalist on American television.’ Apple CEO Tim Cook turned to Cooper for advice before he subsequently made the decision to publicly come out as gay.


June 9, 2019 – United States : Puerto Rican Day Parade

Since 1958, New York and other major cities have held parades on the second Sunday in June to celebrate the contributions of the Puerto Rican people to history. The parades feature floats, singers, and dancers in colorful costumes. They’re similar to St. Patrick’s Day, Italian, and Polish parades that have been held for decades in cities throughout the country.

June 19 – Black American : Juneteenth

This commemorates the emancipation of all slaves in Texas by the Union general Gordon Grange. As news of the Emancipation Proclamation issued in January moved westward, he announced on this day that, ‘The people of Texas are informed that in accord with a Proclamation of the Executive of the United States all slaves are free . . . .’ This is a time for various celebrations in African-American communities, including speeches, rallies, and displays of art and music. For more information, visit Juneteenth.


June 25 – Hispanic American : Sonia Sotomayor

‘In every position that I’ve been in, there have been naysayers who don’t believe I’m qualified or who don’t believe I can do the work. And I feel a special responsibility to prove them wrong.’ 

-Sonia Sotomayor

Sonia Maria Sotomayor (born June 25, 1954) is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, serving since August 2009. She is the Supreme Court’s first justice of Hispanic descent, first Latina and third woman.

June 27 – People with Disabilities : Helen Keller (1880-1968)

“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.”

– Helen Keller

Author and educator. Left deaf and blind by illness at the age of 19 months, Helen Keller learned to speak and then to read and write Braille with the help of her remarkable teacher, Annie Sullivan. After graduating cum laude from Radcliffe College in 1904, she devoted her life to writing and social activism, particularly in aid of people with one or both of her disabilities. Her extraordinary achievements made her an international heroine and an inspiration to millions.

To find out about more multicultural events and holidays, check out our July diversity calendar or our diversity holiday calendar for 2019


May 2019 Diversity Calendar

May is a time of warmth, and thus a great time to have greater awareness – and appreciation – of diversity at home and worldwide.

To help you, here are 7 multicultural events and diversity holidays in May 2019. Some – such as Ramadan – require respectful scheduling, while others are simply provide a great opportunity to celebrate specific diversity groups and say – we appreciate and include you!


Mental Health Awareness Month

May 2019 Diversity Calendar

Our May 2019 diversity calendar features 4 month-long themes, including Mental Health Awareness Month. Also referred to as Mental Health Month, it’s been observed in May in the United States since 1949. The campaign reaches millions of people in the United States through the media, local events, and screenings. To promote mental health in your workplace, check out our workplace wellness videos.


Older Americans Month

Older Americans Month was established by presidential proclamation to honor the contributions of older Americans to society. For more information, visit the Older Americans Month website


Jewish American Heritage Month

Multicultural Events Calendar

May multicultural events include Jewish American Heritage Month. On April 20, 2006, President George W. Bush issued a presidential proclamation designating this annual theme. In his proclamation, the president said, ‘During Jewish American Heritage Month, we celebrate the rich history of the Jewish people in America and honor the great contributions they have made to our country. As a nation of immigrants, the United States is better and stronger because Jewish people from all over the world have chosen to become American citizens.”


Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month began in 1979 as Asian Heritage Week, established by congressional proclamation. On October 23, 1992, President George H. W. Bush signed legislation into law that made May of each year Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.


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

Diversity Holidays in May

Pop artist. Haring created a wide variety of public art, such as subway drawings of animals and human images and murals. His work ranged from the first mural in a school yard on New York City’s Lower East Side, to a mural on the Berlin Wall. Haring also created designs for performances and for Swatch watches. In 1987, he used his art to support campaigns for AIDS awareness and created the Keith Haring Foundation to contribute to a wide variety of social concerns. To boost LGBTQ+ inclusion in your workplace, check out the Anyone Can Be an Ally video.


May 6, 2019 – Islamic : Ramadan (5/6-6/4)

One of the key diversity holidays for May 2019. This begins the first day of the Islamic month of Ramadan, a month of fasting and the holiest month of the Muslim year. The fast of Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, and mandatory for every Muslim who has reached puberty except those who are ill, pregnant, or on a journey. During this month, no water or food may be taken from sunrise to sunset. Before inviting someone to lunch or hosting a meal, check to see whether the invitee is observing the fast for this period. To see all upcoming religious holidays, see our online diversity calendar.


May 13 – Black American : Stevie Wonder

Stevland Hardaway Morris (born Stevland Hardaway Judkins on May 13, 1950) is better known by his stage name, Stevie Wonder. One of the most critically and commercially successful musicians of the late 20th century, he’s been blind since shortly after birth. Wonder has sold more than 100 million records worldwide. He has recorded more than 30 U.S. top ten hits and received 25 Grammy Awards, one of the most-awarded male solo artists.

To see a list of key events for the entire year, see our 2019 diversity holidays calendar

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