This October, celebrate Global Diversity Awareness Month and pay tribute to the diverse minds and beliefs held by all cultures around the world. We live in a multicultural society and embracing the values of various cultures only strengthens our understanding and appreciation of the world. Open your mind to new views and ideas, appreciate cultural differences, and enjoy a fresh perspective you may have been missing. It helps you become a true citizen of the world.
History of Global Diversity Awareness Month
After the Second World War, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at the Palais de Chaillot, in Paris. The Declaration represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled. It is essentially an acknowledgment that we should remember and understand the value of each human being, regardless of their nationality, color, race, sex, gender, country of origin, language, or otherwise.
As the world becomes more and more connected and globalized, it’s important to remember that a ‘global monoculture’, or a homogenization of cultures, kills off traditional cultures and unique traits of people. Embracing cultural diversity – in all aspects of life – is the answer to avoiding a global monoculture. The phrase ‘cultural diversity’ can also refer to having different cultures respect each other’s differences.
Although its origins are difficult to trace, Global Diversity Awareness Month represents the perfect opportunity for you to learn more about new cultures, and explore some of the diversity that makes the world such a wonderful place.
Global Diversity Awareness Month timeline
Human Rights Campaign launched its viral #LoveConquersHate campaign
Prior to and throughout the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi Russia, this campaign successfully encouraged numerous people from around the world to act in solidarity with LGBTQ Russians by posting photos of themselves in HRC’s Russian-language Love Conquers Hate shirt.
Barack Obama became President
He was the first African American to win a presidential election, and the first African American to serve as president of the United States.
The United States began issuing licenses for same-sex marriage.
Minus the federal benefits, licenses for same-sex marriage were introduced. Same-sex marriage was officially legalized within the United States in 2015.
Vigdís Finnbogadóttir was the first democratically elected female President of Iceland
Serving in a presidency of exactly sixteen years, she also remains the longest-serving elected female head of state of any country to date.
Congress passed the Equal Employment Opportunity Act
This act gives the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) authority to sue in federal courts when it finds reasonable cause to believe that there has been employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
Global Diversity Awareness Month FAQs
What is Global Diversity Month?
Global Diversity Awareness Month every October is a reminder of the positive impact a diverse culture of people can have on society as a whole.
What is Global Diversity?
‘Global diversity’ refers to the range of differences that describe the composition of a group of two or more people, in a cross-cultural and multi-national context. Many organizations and people believe that positively viewing and appreciating global diversity will allow us to adopt more inclusive practices around the world.
How do we celebrate Global Diversity Month?
There are many ways to celebrate diversity. You can make your own, or use one of these ideas: Host a multicultural movie night with foreign films (For example: “Parasite”), attend a cultural art exhibit, enjoy music from different parts of the world, or support minority-owned businesses, like your local Lebanese or Indian restaurant. The most important thing is to respect people of all origins and ethnicities and remember how diversity positively enhances our lives.
HOW TO CELEBRATE
Connect with people
Make a friend on the other side of the world - Modern technology allows us to learn almost anything we want to learn about people’s lives through social media, and other online channels.
Learn about another culture
If you can’t experience the ‘real thing’ through travel or another person, indulge in listening to international music, or watching international movies (‘Nollywood’, or Nigeria’s film industry, produces approximately 50 new movies per week).
Make an effort to stay informed.
Keeping up with global happenings and events may be emotionally tragic at times, but it can also be extremely informative in daily life, as we are all connected in one form or another.
5 Ways We’re All Better Because Of Diversity
Diversity prepares you for work in a global society
No matter what profession you enter, you'll find yourself working with employers, coworkers, and clients from diverse backgrounds. By experiencing diversity, you are laying the groundwork to be comfortable working and interacting with a variety of individuals of all nationalities.
Diversity increases your knowledge
Research consistently shows that we learn more from people who are different from us than we do from people who are similar to us.
Diversity prepares you for career success
America's workforce is more diverse than ever. Learning to relate to people from different cultural backgrounds will increase your ability to work cohesively.
Diversity enhances social development
Interacting with people from a variety of groups widens your social circle by expanding the pool of people with whom you can associate and develop relationships.
Diversity enhances self-awareness
Learning from people whose backgrounds and experiences differ from your own allows you to compare and contrast your life experiences with others.
WHY GLOBAL DIVERSITY MONTH IS IMPORTANT
Our differences make us unique.
If one person knows how to make the best pancakes and another knows the knowledge to make maple syrup, wouldn’t it be beneficial to combine the knowledge of both parties? This is also how diversity in cultures, languages, and nations can help society become the strongest. Sometimes it’s easy to forget where recipes, knowledge, and things we take for granted, originally came from. We can benefit from learning more about people and cultures we aren’t familiar with, even if it scares us to venture into new territory.
Experiencing other cultures is exciting, eye-opening, and enjoyable.
Some people say that world travel ‘changed’ them and it’s hard to know exactly what that means unless you’ve met people on the other side of the world that you found similarities to. While the simple act of hopping on a plane or train does not make one culturally knowledgeable, taking the time to get to know another culture’s traditions and history, especially if you can bond with people who are familiar with their ancestral heritage, is a gift in itself.
Differing opinions, and new cultural traditions and ideas, expand our mind.
Listening is a key component of learning. You likely live in a town, city, or area with people who don’t share exactly the same cultural, religious, political, or general world views that you do. Asking questions and listening to different perspectives makes us all more well-rounded humans. In doing so, you never know how your personal perspectives may change.
Global Diversity Awareness Month dates