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Recognize Diversity All Year Long

June marks two monumental events in history. Since 1999, June has been designated as "Pride Month" to commemorate the Stonewall Rebellion of June 28, 1969, which lasted over six days as people resisted a police raid on a New York LGBT+ bar. Additionally, June 19th commemorates the end of slavery in the US, marked by the final enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas in 1865—though it was not recognized as an official US holiday until 2021.

Overall, June is a time of celebration, with streets adorned with flags of various colors and symbols, companies displaying rainbow versions of their logos, and shops and restaurants offering special product packaging, sometimes even granting employees a day off.

However, while it may feel like celebration and recognition are abundant during the sixth month of the year, it's important to recognize that it's not enough. When July 1 arrives, flags come down, logos return to their standard branding, and "Pride Specials" disappear from shelves. To truly honor the brave individuals who made sacrifices and to move towards a more equitable future, inclusivity must be a year-round commitment.

Advocate for more DEI resources in your workplace. Ensure that employees have ongoing access to perspectives on issues they may not be aware of. Evaluate your workplace's current DEI initiatives and strategies. What improvements can your organization make? What training and development opportunities are available? Does your employee benefits guide use inclusive language? Are there employee resource groups in place? Take a holistic view and speak up to effect change within your workplace. Engage with trusted leaders or colleagues to make resources more accessible to everyone in your organization.

Recognize how your mission impacts diverse groups. As a nonprofit worker, if the people you serve come from different political, racial, cultural, ethnic, or socioeconomic backgrounds than yourself, you may not automatically understand the barriers they face. Nonprofits, in particular, need to be aware of the communities they serve. Tailor resources to meet community needs—such as ensuring recipients of food deliveries have proper storage facilities for perishable items like milk and eggs, or respecting religious dietary restrictions. Consult community experts to identify potential barriers to mission success.

Create open dialogue. Foster transparent and authentic communication where ideas are exchanged without fear of judgment. While seemingly simple, achieving this requires coordination and buy-in. Facilitate understanding of diverse perspectives through monthly discussion groups or DEI-focused book clubs. Open dialogue enhances harmony, deepens understanding among colleagues at various stages of their learning journey, and can lead to innovative ideas that foster internal trust and external growth for your organization.

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