A person jots notes from their phone into a paper planner. Their computer can be seen in the background, with a calendar on the screen. Their hands and hair are visible but not their face.

Beyond the Calendar: 7 Tips for Choosing Meaningful DEI Celebrations at Your Organization 

As advocates for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), we at Inclusive Kind understand the many significant dates, months, and observances that fill the calendar. From heritage months to religious observances, the options for celebration are abundant – even overwhelming, at times. 

In this fast-paced world of ever-evolving DEI priorities, finding the right balance becomes crucial for organizations striving to create an inclusive culture. Given it’s the start of a new year, let’s explore seven ways that organizations can strategically select and celebrate DEI dates that work for them

1. Align with Organizational Mission and Values 

Before marking dates on the calendar, reflect on your organization’s mission and values. What principles guide your work? Select dates that resonate with these foundational elements. For example, if fostering a culture of inclusion and respect is at the core of your mission, consider focusing on events that highlight unity and understanding (such as Pride). 

2. Understand Employee and Client Priorities 

Consider the demographics of your workforce and client base. What dates are meaningful to them? Engage in conversations, surveys, or focus groups to understand the cultural, religious, and personal observances that matter most. Prioritize celebrations that resonate with your diverse community, demonstrating your commitment to their unique identities. 

3. Address Historical Injustices 

Acknowledge historical injustices and systemic disparities when choosing DEI dates to celebrate. Some dates may have a more profound impact on certain groups, while others might be less inclusive. Ask yourself “Who am I leaving out by highlighting X date, if anyone?” Strive for a balance that recognizes and respects various perspectives. 

4. Foster Ongoing Education 

Rather than limiting DEI celebrations to specific dates, consider integrating educational initiatives throughout the year. Use these occasions as opportunities to learn, discuss, and raise awareness about the diversity within your organization and beyond. This approach ensures a continuous commitment to DEI principles. 

5. Collaborate with Your People 

Leverage the expertise of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and/or the DEI Committee within your organization. These groups have valuable insights into the significance of specific dates and can help plan inclusive celebrations. Collaborate with these groups to ensure diverse voices are heard in the decision-making process. 

6. Be Mindful of Overload 

While celebrating diversity is essential, be mindful of overload. Avoid clustering too many observances in a short period, as this may dilute the impact and lead to disengagement. Strategically space out celebrations, when possible, to maintain enthusiasm and participation. 

7. Evaluate Impact and Adjust 

Regularly evaluate the impact of your chosen celebrations. Solicit feedback from employees and clients to assess the effectiveness of your DEI initiatives. Be open to adjusting your approach based on the evolving needs and priorities of your diverse community. 

Selecting DEI dates for celebration is a thoughtful and strategic process. By considering the above tips, you can create a DEI calendar that reflects the values at the heart of your organization. However, keep in mind that it’s not just about marking dates on the calendar; it’s about creating meaningful, impactful celebrations that contribute to a lasting culture of inclusion within the workplace. 

If you and your team are interested in learning more, require support or recommendations to advance your DEI journey, please reach out to us at hello@inclusivekind.com. We are here to help!