Celebrate Diversity Month takes place in April every year. It was initiated in 2004 to recognize and honor the diversity of the world around us. It is a time to recognize and understand our differences, be it gender, race, ethnicity, faith, sexual orientation, and other factors, while honoring the common essence of humanity. By appreciating our similarities and differences, the month aims to get people to foster a deeper understanding of others, regardless of who they are, what they are, or how they live. It’s also an opportunity to increase diversity in the workplace and various academic fields. There are many scholarships aimed at addressing this issue.
History of Celebrate Diversity Month
Celebrate Diversity Month came to be in 2004 following a campaign led by two American diversity consulting firms, ProGroup Inc. and Diversity Best Practices. The goal of the celebrations is to address the growing multiculturalism taking place in global societies as a way to further understand and handle it sensibly. It highlights the urgency of understanding other cultures to ensure a better world.
Diversity is crucial in assuring that we can understand each other in deeper ways that help keep us humble and open to the fact that the world does not only revolve around our beliefs. It can help develop us into better people, as it increases our understanding of human nature. The importance of diversity itself can benefit us in all aspects of our lives.
In the business world, having a diverse workforce is important to ensure the inclusion of different perspectives and ideas when making decisions. Doing so will not only help a company’s bottom line but can also nurture employees to develop strong interpersonal skills that can benefit them both in the office and out. In social situations, engaging with facets of other cultures, perspectives and lifestyles can help us open our eyes to how the world works. It does not bind us solely to our norms and opens up our horizons.
The root of all the world’s problems is the refusal to appreciate others. It is natural for humans to fear what they don’t know. Thus, Celebrate Diversity Month pushes us to seek this knowledge so that we can build a tolerant world that welcomes everyone, regardless of who they are or where they come from.
Celebrate Diversity Month timeline
America's first Hispanic Congressman, Joseph M. Hernandez, is elected to office in Florida.
The U.S. Supreme Court declares that racial segregation in U.S. schools is unconstitutional.
Iceland elects the world's first female President, Vigdis Finnbogadottir.
ProGroup, Inc. and Diversity Best Practices proclaim April as Celebrate Diversity Month.
In a triumph for American diversity, Barack Obama becomes the first elected African-American President of the United States.
Celebrate Diversity Month FAQs
What does it mean to celebrate diversity?
Celebrating diversity involves embracing the not-so-hard concepts of acceptance and respect; it is about understanding each other on a grander scale and celebrating the uniqueness of every individual out there. Ensuring true diversity compels us to develop a safe, positive world where these differences can be tolerated, acknowledged, and encouraged.
What is the difference between internal and external diversity?
The difference between internal and external diversity is that internal diversity refers to accepting characteristics that one cannot change, such as race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, or physical ability, while external diversity refers to accepting characteristics such as interests, educational background, appearance, familial status, and life experiences.
How do you promote diversity in your community?
The most important thing you have to do to instill a truly diverse culture in your locale is to make it a continuous process. Hire leaders who understand the importance of these values, help residents or employees in a workplace feel comfortable being themselves, and above all, listen to what other cultures have to say.
How to Observe Celebrate Diversity Month
Be considerate to everyone
The point of celebrating diversity is to respect and appreciate everyone, no matter where they come from or the color of their skin. Treating people with an equal amount of respect and consideration is what makes it work and doing so creates a better world for all.
Listen to people from other cultures
Some of the world's most urgent problems stem from the fact that minorities tend to not feel as represented or as listened to as the majority. If you have colleagues or coworkers who feel like their concerns are not being heard, listen to what they have to say, and help them get their points across to those who have trouble listening. If we can foster more inclusive work or social environments, then we are one step closer to achieving global harmony.
Learn more about different cultures and lifestyles
It helps to learn about different cultures for you to understand them further. Most of the problems in the world come from a lack of understanding and empathy for different cultures. Interacting with other cultures or those living different lifestyles than yours can help eradicate those misunderstandings.
5 Facts About Diversity In Various Countries
Papua New Guinea speaks the most languages
Over 850 languages are spoken in Papua New Guinea and it is home to over 7,000 different cultures.
Iceland is the most gender-equal country
Iceland has closed 88% of its gender gap, making it statistically the most gender-equal country in the world.
Australia's long history with immigration
One in four of Australia's 22 million-strong population is born overseas, while 46% have at least one parent born overseas.
Employment discrimination remains a problem in America
According to the American employment website Glassdoor, up to 47% of Black and Hispanic employees in the U.S. have quit their jobs after experiencing discrimination.
South Africa's imbalanced executive structure
Although 79% of the South African population is Black, only 16% of executive roles are occupied by Black South Africans.
Why Celebrate Diversity Month is Important
It encourages others to respect differences
Diversity doesn't merely mean recognizing different cultures and ethnicities. It's about how we understand them and how willing we are to listen and appreciate differences that we might not be familiar with. Celebrate Diversity Month is a month dedicated to gaining new perspectives on the lives of others around you, as a way to educate yourself and foster a more tolerant society.
It helps broaden our horizons
To truly understand other perspectives, we must be able to broaden our own and fully experience them for ourselves. There is no better way to understand a different culture than to experience it. Celebrate Diversity Month is a way for us to develop a greater sense of respect towards others and celebrate our differences. After all, it is these differences that make the world as interesting as it is today.
It takes us out of our comfort zones
Celebrate Diversity Month is also a time of reflection. For those belonging to a majority, the month's messages and celebrations can be refreshing and thought-provoking. Sometimes we tend to be too isolated in our worlds that we are unable to see the world around us. Hence, Celebrate Diversity Month is a way to push us out of that zone and into something greater and more worthwhile.
Celebrate Diversity Month dates