The Diversity Calendar - A Christian Response


art-artistic-arts-and-crafts-1Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) is about recognising and including difference. Diversity can be along the lines of faith and belief, race and nationality, class and culture, gender, disability, age, marriage and family, etc.
 
EDI in an organisation is about being fair and allowing different human characteristics to contribute positively to the community of the organisation. How much an organisation includes these diverse characteristics by allowing them to participate and holistically bring their unique input, determines how inclusive the organisation is.
 
The Diversity Calendar of an organisation normally features important national dates (and some international), both religious and non-religious, that highlight the range of diversity in our communities. They include dates such as holy days, special events and celebrations. 
 
TWUK strongly encourages Christian Workplace Groups (CWGs) to actively demonstrate support for some of the appropriate non-religious events and issues. This provides an opportunity and a means to engage positively with the organisation in a meaningful and relevant way. It is a platform to ‘Speak Up’. 
 
EDI is a biblical truth. It is depicted all through the bible. (See the genealogy of Jesus Christ in Matthew 1:1-16).
 
Therefore, supporting these ‘special events’ can introduce Christian truths and values to colleagues, customers, stakeholders and the organisation as a whole. The CWG is able to share biblical ideas, stories, role models and personalities; as well as work alongside other staff network groups, local charities and communities within the organisation.
 
Below are just 10 examples of awareness raising events in the Diversity Calendar:
 
BLACK HISTORY MONTH                                                          
OCTOBER 2018
The day is an annual observance in the United States, Canada and the UK for remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African diaspora.
 
WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY
10TH OCTOBER 2018
The objective of the day is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilise efforts in support of mental health.
 
NATIONAL MENTORING DAY
27TH OCTOBER 2018
A day to recognise the significant benefits of mentoring across the world, encouraging and celebrating mentoring in all its forms.
 
NATIONAL REMEMBRANCE DAY
11TH NOVEMBER 2018
The day remembers the agreement between the Allies and Germany on November 11, 1918, to stop fighting. The Poppies used symbolize the flowers that grew on the battlefields after the First World War ended.

INTERNATIONAL MEN’S DAY
19TH NOVEMBER 2018
An occasion for men to celebrate their achievements and contributions, in particular their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care while highlighting the discrimination against them. The theme for 2018 is Positive Male Role Models.
 
WORLD AIDS DAY
1ST DECEMBER 2018
An opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died.
 
HUMAN RIGHTS DAY
10TH DECEMBER 2018
A call to stand up for someone’s rights. Disrespect for basic human rights continues to be wide-spread in all parts of the globe – with extremist movements on the rise.
 
HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY
27TH JANUARY 2019
A day to remember the millions of Jewish people who were murdered or whose lives were changed beyond recognition during the Holocaust and in subsequent genocides.
 
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
8TH MARCH 2019
The day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and puts the spotlight on the global action needed to accelerate gender parity.
 
NATIONAL DAY FOR STAFF NETWORKS
10TH MAY 2019
Recognising the added value of staff network groups. The day aims to raise awareness of the support and influence staff networks provide to employees.
 
For these non-religious events, you could think of organising an event, doing a talk or inviting an external speaker to do a talk on something like:

  1. Jesus’ life in Africa (in Egypt as a child) - Matthew 2.
  2. Biblical view on the treatment of strangers, migrants & refugees (also the poor, widows & orphans) - Exodus 22:21; James 1:27.
  3. Why is there so much suffering in the world? - The Case for Faith: Lee Strobel; www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaQxCyoalJQ
  4. The role of men in the bible - Various.
  5. The biblical view of women - Various.
  6. Spiritual Health & Well-being - John 10:10.
  7. Biblical view on EDI - Galatians 3:28.
  8. Leadership and Mentoring in the bible - Numbers 11:28; 1 Kings 19:19. 
  9. Stress Management in the workplace - Isaiah 40:29-31 www.transformworkuk.org/Groups/272104/Transform_Work_UK/Resources/Managing_Stress_in/Managing_Stress_in.aspx
  10. How to budget and manage debt - Christians Against Poverty (CAP); www.capuk.org


Go online or ask your HR department for a Diversity Calendar and start to plan ahead as a Christian Workplace Group. Not everything on the calendar is relevant or needful, but occasionally there will be some issue that will strike a chord in your organisation. So prayerfully choose the right issues, get involved and make your contribution. Let your light shine brightly for all to see…
 
Elizabeth Ukiomogbe