Do It for MLK: 11 Ways to Celebrate Diversity and Inclusion

National Martin Luther King Day is this week, but this isn’t the only time we should be thinking and acting toward honoring everyone’s identity. How many ways can you think of to improve inclusion in your life, job and social circle?

Here are some ideas that we came up with to get your ball rolling.

Your own attitudes

  • Understand how your privilege may be blinding you to other people’s reality. Take this test.
  • Be aware of your unconscious biases. Watch this Google training video.
  • Really listen to people who are “other” than you —in color, nationality, religion, gender, sexual identity and physical/mental abilities. What are their daily challenges? What behaviors do they find offensive?
  • Learn about different points of view through different sources of news and media than your usual ones.

Your friends and family

  • Make learning about different cultures and religions an enjoyable social opportunity, especially with children. Learn about those cultures through exploring their art, movies, music, food and sports.
  • Share articles on diversity issues and start conversations about how your group could do better.
  • Volunteer with an organization supporting diversity and inclusion.

Your workplace

  • Find out what diversity and inclusion protocols are already in place within the company: discrimination training, feedback channels, Employee Resource Groups.
  • If any of the above don’t exist, make the suggestion to management. For example, you might offer to create an anonymous survey on how employees perceive the company’s inclusion efforts.
  • Make a commitment to include co-workers who are often left out of team activities. Seek new work friends beyond your immediate department.
  • Call out other team members’ discriminatory or harassing behavior when you see it. We’re not saying to get into a confrontation; rather, take your observations to the chain of command (or to HR if your immediate supervisor is the perpetrator).

And as a last thought, remember that you will never know everything or be perfect at your inclusivity actions; and that’s OK. Just keep moving in the right direction, and eventually our combined efforts will be enough to build a better world.

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