Here we are into the first month of a new year and some of us are still scrambling to get organized. Sound familiar?
As you look at your 2018 calendar, you want to make sure your organization is even more inclusive this year. How do you learn about and deal with all of the competing events, schedules and special days?
1. Set up a regular way to get input and feedback from the people in your organization – students’ families, employees, community members and such. Constantly ask, “Who is not at the table?” It’s easy to assume you are getting a variety of viewpoints when what you are hearing agrees with your already held assumptions.
2. Continually demonstrate small gestures of inclusion so that if and when you need to negotiate conflicting schedules, people already feel they have been consistently considered. People won’t trust your intentions if they only see you being inclusive once a year such at winter holiday time.
3. Be ready to compromise and create new hybrid celebrations. Never rest on sharpening your conflict resolution skills and learn how to structure meetings so that people are directed toward common ground.
When we appreciate each other’s feelings, it is possible to create, include and expand our schedule of remembrances and celebrations in a way that benefits everyone.
What’s the fastest way to students’ learning, workers’ productivity and community members participation? Let people know they are valued and that what is important to them is important to you as well.
If you haven’t done so already, it’s not too late to consult more inclusive calendars and to invite a more diverse group of people to have input into your 2018 planning.
To download a pdf of important dates in 2018 from the Anti-Defamation League, go to: https://www.adl.org/sites/default/files/documents/calendar-of-observances-2018.pdf
To learn about sacred times for different world religions go to: http://www.interfaith-calendar.org/2018.htm
* If you know of a superintendent, minister, nonprofit or for-profit administrator who is struggling to honor everyone’s special days, please share this article with them. They can reach me at: email@example.com
Sue O’Halloran is a diversity consultant working for more inclusive schools, businesses and faith-based organizations. High school teachers, Sue will be offering a free webinar in 2018 – 3 Common Mistakes High School Teachers Make that Have Them Unintentionally Offending Students & Parents of Different Races. Watch for announcements!