RISE MODULE: Global Diversity Month
OVERVIEW & HISTORY
Global Diversity Month (GDM), sometimes called Global Diversity Awareness Month celebrates the beauty in diversity of thought and belief, and the positive impacts produced from the multicultural society we live in. Observed in October, GDM embraces the values of various cultures strengthening our understanding and appreciation of the world. Celebrating diversity acknowledges our range of human differences, including but not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical ability or attributes, religious or ethical values system, national origin, and political beliefs. Its roots derive from the United Nation General Assembly adopting The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Paris after the end of World War II. The declaration indicates the global expression of rights to all human beings irrespective of their identity.
The month presents an opportunity to learn and discuss other’s culture and customs to understand more about their identity. Our Identities consist of who or what we are as a person or thing and liked to how an individual may feel about themselves. When companies participate in Global Diversity Month, they highlight the positive effects of contributions of team members with various background, traditions and other identity factors. Our differences make us unique and provide unique approaches to situations adding diverse levels of creativity and perspectives. Diversity is about more than race and ethnicity; it’s about experiences and values and cultures that help define us.
The month presents an opportunity to learn and discuss other’s culture and customs to understand more about their identity.
We can utilize GDM to make our spaces more inclusive and inviting by emphasizing the critical need for diversity. It leads us to better outcomes. It also allows for self-reflection and can create opportunity for open and safe dialogue. When we know more about what has shaped our colleague’s identity, we increase how we can support them reaching their fullest potential. Global Diversity Month calls for us prioritize a deeper understanding of others and establishing shared language that promotes valuing human difference.
Sport has the ability to help us celebrate the diversity that exists in our society and our communities. Those who play on sport teams put aside their demographic differences to work toward a common goal. Further, it is the diversity of skills and perspectives that allow sporting teams to be so successful and function at such a high level. Perhaps most of all, sport and the athletes (at all levels) that participate transcends all of our differences and is an experience that all of us can enjoy, marvel and celebrate regardless of our identities. It’s one of the artifacts that makes us truly human.
- Engage with friends, family, and colleagues in discussions about their culture, experiences, beliefs and values:
- What traditions do you and your family acknowledge or celebrate?
- How have your experiences shaped your cultural values?
- What point of diversity do you wish to know more about someone’s culture?
- Engage in critical dialogue around issues of diversity and the affects they can have on organizations. For example:
- As an organization, are we ensuring every individual is safe to honor their beliefs and traditions, like holidays or spiritual rituals?
- Examine your organization at every level for diversity and ask if there are opportunities to increase diversity.
- Have you ever been discriminated against because of your identity?
- Discuss the things you read, listen to, or watch regarding discrimination on the basis of identity and do not be afraid to ask difficult questions.
- Educate yourself and your loved ones on cultures and traditions outside of your own.
- Be critical of yourself, your own communities, organizations, departments, and teams. Ask if there are policies and practices in place marginalizing any individual or groups based on identity.