“When we listen and celebrate what is both common and different, we become wiser, more inclusive, and better as an organization.” – Pat Wadors

More companies these days are making an effort to not only have a diverse workforce but also make their work environment a safe and welcoming space for all. One way for your business to do this is by recognizing and celebrating occasions that are important to all members of your diverse workforce. 

Doing this shows that you’re making an effort to understand them, their identity, and their culture. It also shows them that yours is a company worth joining where they’re likely to thrive and feel appreciated for their uniqueness, not marginalized. While there are so many occasions to take note of among your diverse workforce, here are 5 examples you can start with:

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month - May
Every year in the United States, May is dedicated to recognizing the contributions and influence of Asian American and Pacific Islanders. 

Recognition of the important role of Asian Pacific Americans in American history and culture was first mooted in the 1970s. It was formally extended to cover the entire month of May with the signing of a proclamation by President Barack Obama on May 1, 2009. 

Juneteenth - 19 June
Juneteenth, also called Freedom Day by some, is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of enslaved people in the US. In addition, people often celebrate African-American culture on this day. 

The first Juneteenth celebration goes as far back as 1866. This is certainly an important holiday for any workforce with people of color and you can discuss how to recognize and celebrate it appropriately with them. 

LGBTQ+ Pride Month - June
Also referred to simply as Pride Month, this celebration takes place in June in commemoration of the Stonewall riots of 1968 when people stood in support of the LGBTQ+ community.

Pride month celebrates the LGBTQ+ community finding acceptance and being openly proud of who they are and what they bring to the world. 

National Hispanic Heritage Month - September 15 to October 15
Americans celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month and recognize the history and culture of Americans of Spanish, Mexican, Caribbean, as well as Central and South American descent.  

This celebration goes back to 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week and was expanded to a month starting on September 15, which is the anniversary of independence for El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Nicaragua. 

Diwali - October/November
Diwali, also referred to as the Festival of Lights, is an important date in the Hindu Calendar. It represents the triumph of good over evil, linked to the legend of Lord Rama conquering the evil spirit Ravana.

The festival also coincides with the Hindu New Year and follows the lunar calendar, hence there isn’t a fixed date for Diwali, although it’s often celebrated in October or November.

“Inclusion is not a matter of political correctness. It is the key to growth.” – Jesse Jackson