The past four months represents a very active time of year for diversity and inclusion, one that also demonstrates the progress we’ve made in recognizing and celebrating our distinct communities. The increase and variety of diverse groups that celebrate their individuality and uniqueness is an encouraging sign that society is transitioning (albeit slowly) towards a more tolerant and accepting stance regarding our differences. We are moving towards a culture that brims with diversity and inclusion. Every November 11th we celebrate veterans day is the US, and remembrance day in Canada, when we appreciate and honor the veterans who served our nations during wars. In December we celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. These holidays are now broadly recognized and celebrated in television commercials, online advertising and even with best wishes by greeters at large retail store chains – it used to just be “Merry Christmas”.
Early into the new year, we celebrate Chinese New Year and then immediately in the month after, for all of February, we honor African Americans with Black History Month. When looked at over the course of a year, all of these specific celebrations take place within a four-month period. What’s interesting about this is that we celebrate the diversity of these many groups and cultures with special occasions and events that also invite anyone and all to participate – event though they are about one group, they are inclusive. Later in the year Americans can look forward to Gay Pride Month – a colorful, energetic and event-rich extravaganza that is celebrated in the streets across the country. All of these celebration have become official events marked-off on peoples’ calendars, where citizens, celebrities and politicians have the opportunity to contribute, support and promote a more inclusive world. The net upside is that more and more groups are being represented, recognized and accepted – it is the actualization of diversity and inclusion on an ever-larger social and societal scale.
Years ago these events would have been celebrated in smaller silos whereas today we all participate openly – whether it’s a large parade or many smaller public gatherings. The diversity and inclusion that permeate these events are a bone fide phenomena that have been a century in the making, growing in popularity and sustainability. It is apparent that our societies can evolve beyond the Status Quo. In the bigger picture, this shows that diversity has taken root in all our lives, be it personal or professional. We not only accept this but increasingly and enthusiastically partake to celebrate it.