National Diversity Day
the first Friday in October (since 2005)
Diversity Promotions in 2005
Taking place during Global Diversity Awareness Month, National Diversity Day is "a day to celebrate and embrace who we are, despite our differences, no matter what race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, nationality, or disability. A day to reflect on and learn about different cultures and ideologies. A day to vow acceptance and tolerance. A day to consciously address these areas at educational and religious institutions, as well as in the workplace and at home."
The day was created by Diversity Promotions, which is made up of Dr. Leo Parvis and Julie K. Parvis. The mission of Diversity Promotions is "to awaken the world to the wonders of all our beautiful differences. To spread the awareness that all of us are the same in our desires for a good home, food, safety and the comfort of being accepted regardless of appearance and/or beliefs." They say that with that awareness "comes the joy of embracing all that others different from ourselves have to offer us in endless numbers of ways" The day is celebrated in homes, at school, at work, and at places of worship, and official National Diversity Day celebrations have been held in Minnesota, where Diversity Promotions is based.
How to Observe
The creators of the day have said the day can be observed at many locations, such as home, work, school, or place of worship, and have suggested the following ways in how to observe:
- Host a potluck meal where participants bring in dishes that represent their ethnicity or their favorite ethnic foods.
- Invite speakers from different backgrounds to speak to your group about their traditions, or the challenges they have faced related to diversity.
- Have a diversity-related coloring contest or essay-writing contest.
- Create a craft that represents different cultures.
- Have a celebration or festival that brings together different ethnic groups to celebrate.
- Bring together different religious groups to learn about each other or pray for world peace together.
- Explore different cultures through art forms, poetry, music, crafts, traditional costumes, language, etc. Have an art show featuring local, diverse artists, or a poetry reading, or a concert.
- Rent movies that deal with diverse topics.
- Classroom project: Have each student write down something that makes them unique, different, diverse, or something that interests them that is diversity-related on a piece of paper and their name. Put the slips of paper in a container, shake up, and have each student draw one slip. They have to research that topic and either do an art project, write an essay, or create something related to that topic (song, poetry, dance, etc.) that will teach the rest of the class about it. It is a fun way to learn about each other and about a different topic.
- Show short videos that feature different ethnic dances and music.
- Display a photography exhibit of different cultures—could even feature the students/families or employees/families of your organization.
- Have a display or flag ceremony of different nations' flags.