There’s a lot of talk about the “work” of diversity, equity and inclusion. How it’s uncomfortable and hard. How it’s important. How “it’s the right thing to do.” And these things are true. But what often gets lost in all our moral positioning of DEI is JOY! There is joy in diversity, plain and simple.
This matters because one of the more insidious ways that systems of oppression work is to take away your joy. When they steal your joy, they take away your power to resist their oppression. They rob you of your power to fight. And so joy, to turn an Alice Walker phrase, is the secret of resistance.
Between November and December, there are more than 20 major holidays celebrated by people around the world, which means they are likely celebrated in scattered neighborhoods across the United States. And there are many more holidays throughout the year that are important to people. An organization’s ability to recognize and respect these diverse holidays can go a long way to making employees feel like they belong — in your organization and in our country. And that type of recognition can infuse joy in your company.
Of course, that means that organizations need to be aware of the multitude of holidays. There are some online resources, like Seramount’s extremely helpful list of monthly holidays. And we know of one advocacy organization that keeps a simple spreadsheet of days of observance and celebration important to they group they serve.
However, paper calendars marking important days of observance and celebration are hard to find. And when you do, they may have either poor or non-inclusive designs, as this is a systemic problem in the design field (for some examples, see Six Designs That White People Never Notice are Racist).
That’s why every year, Brevity & Wit creates a Diversity Calendar that we gift to our clients. This year’s calendar was designed by Acacia Betancourt, Brevity & Wit’s Creative Director and the curator of the Instagram account @spottingracism. Acacia has used a photo collage technique rarely seen in other print materials spotlighting diversity, making this calendar a true statement piece. Spiral-bound on acid-free paper, the 4-color calendar highlights major holidays for various cultural groups, and is accessible for people with low vision.
The calendar is usually an exclusive gift for our clients, but because we’ve received requests in the past, we’re also open to creating customized versions for organizations and companies looking to buy 10 or more copies to gift their clients or staff. A customized order allows you to include your logo and a note from your CEO or someone in leadership.
Thoughtful and meaningful, the 2022 Diversity Calendar highlights how a seemingly innocuous space can be made more inclusive through inclusive representation. It’s also a great way to underline your company’s commitment to diversity being an “every day” activity, not a one-off training. And this reminder can help reinforce inclusive behaviors so that all employees feel welcomed, valued, respected, and heard.
The calendar can also be a great gift to your internal communications lead or learning & development department. By tying learning and awareness-building moments to holidays and days of observance, your organization can foster an inclusive environment on a regular basis. This helps reinforce any DEI trainings your organization might have undergone, and can also be a good employee retention tactic.
But most of all, our 2022 Diversity Calendar is filled with joy that oozes from every page. As we try to re-emerge from the global pandemic, who couldn’t use a daily dose of joy?