April is ‘Celebrate Diversity Month,’ a time to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for each other and our differences. Every one of us is unique, and it’s our differences that help us bring unique perspectives and new ideas to the workplace. Take time this month to celebrate the diversity found among your team members and in your community. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Host lunch and learns

Get your team together for a virtual or in-person lunch to learn about other cultures. You might book a speaker or enlist your own team members to share something unique about their culture and heritage. For example, your own team members may want to share videos or photos of a family wedding or cook some traditional foods from their culture to share with colleagues.

2. Start a diversity book club

Start hosting a book club that reads texts by or about marginalized groups. Begin by sourcing a list of books (you can ask your team members for recommendations or find recommendations online) and asking your book club to vote on their book of choice. You may even split into smaller groups if you have a lot of interest. One book per month is a good place to start and will allow people enough time to read the book before the group meets to discuss it.

3. Plan a potluck happy hour

Gather your team for an in-person happy hour, where each person is invited to bring a drink or food item from their culture. For example, someone from Peru might make Pisco Sours and someone with Italian roots might bring bruschetta. You could even crowdsource to create a multicultural music playlist.

4. Create a culture and diversity channel on Slack

Start a new Slack channel around culture and diversity on Slack. Keep a running diversity calendar (like this one) so you can celebrate religious and ethnic holidays year-round. You might even want to include a bit of information around each holiday to help your team members learn something new about another culture or religion. For example, LGBT Pride Month is in June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots, which were a turning point in the fight for LGBT rights.

5. Visit a cultural art exhibit 

Take your team out to see a cultural exhibit at your local art museum, or offer reimbursement for your team members to visit one of their choosing. For example, the de Young museum in San Francisco is showcasing the Alice Neel: People Come First exhibit, featuring the diversity, resilience, and passion of the people found in New York City.

6. Host an international movie night

Get your team together for an internationally-themed dinner and a movie. For example, watch Encanto while snacking on arepas. Then order dinner from a nearby authentic Colombian restaurant.

7. Learn a dance

Bring in an instructor to introduce your team members to a new cultural dance. For example, the Samba of Brazil, the Hula of Hawaii, or the Irish step dance. You can do this in person at the office or remotely over Zoom.

8. Sign up for a DEI course

Encourage your team to sign up for a DEI course to help your people become better leaders, managers, and allies. This can help you build a safer and more equitable workplace for everyone. 

9. Share helpful resources with your team

Offer educational resources to your team that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. For example:

10. Share your team’s demographic data

Celebrate the diversity of your own team by sharing your company’s demographic data, either internally or publicly. A diverse team is something you should be proud of—but it’s also something you need to intentionally and continually work toward. Don’t be afraid to share areas where you still need to improve, and what you’re doing to increase diversity all around.

Final thoughts on Celebrate Diversity Month

Celebrate Diversity Month is a great opportunity to collaborate with your Employee Resource Groups and Diversity Committees—or create new ones if you don’t already have them. Perhaps they have a speaker in mind that doesn’t fit into their normal operating budget. Or maybe they already have a list of DEI resources you could share with the rest of your team. Use Celebrate Diversity Month to give your existing DEI programs a boost and kickstart a few new ideas. This will increase the sense of belonging on your team and help your team members understand that their differences aren’t only accepted—they’re celebrated.

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10 Ways to Celebrate Diversity Month at Your Workplace