What is diversity month?
Diversity rarely gets the type of recognition it deserves, and many businesses pass off DEI initiatives as something barely worthy of some printer ink or an occasional email blast. Growing demand for recognition inspires awareness months with a comprehensive one celebrated every April— Diversity Month.
Diversity Month started in 2004 and is a time to reflect and celebrate the differences within all of us to gain an authentic respect for how our own culture impacts the experiences of others.
Throughout the month of April, you have the opportunity to take real action with some creative ideas for celebrating various cultures. Whether it’s a new playlist or buying your office supplies through an underrepresented minority-owned business, we explore these ideas and why it’s crucial to implement initiatives like these to support diversity in your workplace.
In our increasingly virtual world, recognizing and championing cultural differences needs to remain as high a focus as in-person. Luckily, social media groups and LinkedIn professional spaces make it possible to honor diversity from anywhere.
Why Diversity Month and DEI Initiatives are Important
We’re all aware of those silly “National Pizza Day” celebrations that businesses use to bring in customers. But diversity is not a silly matter, and implementing DEI initiatives brings real, tangible benefits to your organization. In fact, studies support that celebrating different cultures and supporting inclusive policies brings about many of the following:
- Increased profitability – Valuing the intersectionality of every team member creates an environment that inspires people to do their very best. Peak employee performance makes you more likely to hit targets and achieve more significant financial gain.
- Decreased turnover – People don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad environments, and if your workplace is inclusive, equitable, and deep-level diverse, you’re less likely to see employees jumping ship.
- Improved communication – Colleagues who understand the diverse backgrounds their peers come from making a profound effort to bridge gaps in communication. The result? Teams who effectively correspond with each other.
- Community connection – Consumers want to shop where they are most comfortable. When you promote diversity in your workplace, you’re also signaling to the community that you are committed to creating a loyal connection between brands and various cultures.
Inclusive environments increase morale and innovative thinking by accepting new worldviews. It’s your competitive advantage to celebrate cultural diversity, and your actions go a long way toward building that equitable and inclusive environment.
Diversity doesn’t only happen in April. Add these diversity celebrations to your calendar to continue highlighting diversity year-round!
- Disability Employment Awareness Month – Celebrate those with neurodiversity, like autism, and those with visible and invisible disabilities during the month of October.
- Women’s History Month – Recognize the positive impact of women’s strength in March.
- Black History Month – Learn about, celebrate, and honor Black Americans’ legacy in our country in February.
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day – The man, the myth, the legend. Celebrate the King on the third Monday in January.
- Veterans Day – Honor our veterans, those who are serving, have served or lost their lives in the service of freedom on November 11th.
- Hispanic Heritage Month – Discover the rich and unique culture of the Latino and Latina people between September 15th and October 15th.
- Pride Month – During the month of June, the LGBTQ community celebrates with parades and gatherings that champion those of all sexual orientations!
- Native American Heritage Month – Recognize and celebrate the struggles, vibrant histories, and beliefs of indigenous peoples throughout November.
- Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – Pay tribute to Asian American and Pacific Islanders who continue to enrich our lives in May.
- Ramadan – A time for prayer, reflection, fasting, and community for our Islamic companions. It starts with the first sighting of the crescent moon during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. For 2023, that’s March 22nd to April 21st.
- Global Diversity Awareness Month – Take diversity awareness worldwide during October.
5 Innovative Ways to Celebrate Diversity Month in the Workplace
Many business owners and leaders like to think they support diverse cultures, equal opportunity, and inclusive workplaces, but DEI is more than a brochure that gets passed around. While awareness is great and all, you can bring your team closer together with these innovative ideas for celebrating Diversity Month!
1. Encourage attendance at a cultural art exhibit.
Artwork is a reflection of how cultures view the world. Take a peek through the eyes of different backgrounds at a cultural art exhibit. You can find incredible exhibits in virtually every city, but those looking for famous museums can access virtual exhibits anywhere in the world!
2. Hold an organization-wide multicultural movie night.
Invite staff and their families to a multicultural or foreign film movie night to experience a world away from Hollywood blockbusters. Discover popular film industries from Bollywood to those from France, Germany, and China. Don’t forget the snacks!
3. Play international music in the office.
Much like art and film, music is an expression of the human connection, and a catchy tune can get everyone pumped. Ask colleagues to share their favorites and create an office playlist of music that represents the culture of everyone. Plus, you eliminate the radio-hog problem, saving everyone’s ears!
4. Support minority-owned businesses.
Since the pandemic, small businesses, especially those owned by underrepresented minorities, have taken a severe hit financially. Help those businesses recover by visiting, supporting, and utilizing services provided, such as purchasing supplies (or an office lunch). You can also partner with these businesses in community events that help build exposure for both of you!
5. Host an international food day.
Food is one of life’s simple pleasures, and what better way to experience a different culture than through delicious dishes, especially comfort food? Host an international food day and invite everyone to bring their favorite dishes. However, be sure to keep an open mind to new foods; you never know, you might discover something you totally love!
Celebrate Diversity Month All Year with CoachDiversity Institute
Recognizing and honoring diversity of all kinds is the goal of Diversity Month. With a greater appreciation for those we interact with daily, we can build a deeper understanding of the struggles everyone endures and can work toward eliminating discrimination, harassment, and biases.
Art and food underpin the similarities in all of us, and they are an excellent way to educate everyone on the uniqueness of different cultures. Don’t let basic newsletters or meaningless banners broadcast the message of celebrating diversity. Instead, host an international food day or foreign film movie night.
Looking for a partner to take your diversity to the next level? Check out the corporate services provided by CoachDiversity Institute. CoachDiversity Institute has accredited programs designed to turn passionate allies into certified diversity coaches. Our extensive library can even facilitate large-group training. Apply today and take the next step in celebrating diversity in your organization!