Diversity Day is celebrated on May 21, officially known as "The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development." This day helps us better understand the value of cultural diversity and learn how to live together in harmony. It was created as a result of the destruction of the Buddha statues of Bamiyan in Afghanistan in 2001. The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed this holiday due to UNESCO's Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity in November 2001.
When reading about the importance of Diversity Day, I remember one of our nation’s motto “E Pluribus Unum,” Latin for “Out of many, one.” It refers to the Union formed by thirteen separate colonies and is now found on the Great Seal of the United States and on United States currency.
Diversity means to understand that everyone is unique and recognize our individual differences. We all seem to understand this concept. But how we can effectively embrace diversity and why is cultural diversity so important?
The world, our country, our communities, our neighborhoods, and our families are formed from a variety of cultures, races, genders, and beliefs. Every day we interact with one another to build the world we live in. When we embrace our diversity, we generate resources, sustainable development, socio-economic strength, and clear communication channels. These things are essential to establish strong partnerships, progress, and peace.
Cultural diversity is important because we work every day with different people, teams, and environments. This is part of globalization. We need to be prepared to navigate effectively through the differences.
“The beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people” — Unknown
The goal of diversity and inclusion initiatives is to get people to feel valued within their uniqueness, while looking for commonalities. Individually, we could learn to think like an intrapreneur, seek innovation, discover new places to network, focus on the strengths that everybody brings to the table, stand up to discrimination.
Embracing diversity in our community and at the workplace has many benefits.
|Promotes inclusion and understanding||Increases productivity|
|Broadens community prospectives||Improves creativity|
|Acquires cultural competency skills||Increases profits|
|Creates a healthy and safe environment||Improves employee engagement|
|Promotes advocacy and social justice||Reduces employee turnover|
|Provides access to opportunities and resources||Improves company reputation|
|Builds better infrastructure||Delivers a wider range of skills|
One final thought, when we build each other up and embrace our diversity, we are stronger. When we find beauty in our differences, we are fearless. And when we listen, we open our minds to the world of infinite possibilities. It is up to every one of us to make the world a better place for all humanity.
By Yuly Osorio, Senior Marketing Communications Coordinator / Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee