‘Tis the season… for schools, businesses, and communities to navigate the increasingly complex religious diversity of our nation.
Should I say “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Holidays,” “Happy New Year,” or nothing at all? Does the “winter concert” at our public school only feature Christmas music? Should we decorate our office? Have a holiday luncheon? Pretend that it’s just another month?
Last year, VCIC’s President & CEO Jonathan Zur discussed these questions and more on “Inspire Indeed,” a weekly radio show on 97.3 WRIR. Recognizing the importance of making all students and employees feel included and valued, he advocated for “valuing the differences” by marking many observances and celebrations — and not just in tokenized ways or at certain times of year.
The Anti-Defamation League offers guidelines for public schools, and DiversityInc recently shared some considerations for workplaces. Put simply, both advocate for creating school and business environments in which nobody is intentionally excluded or left out.
For while it may be easier to do what you’ve always done or serve only one group, that approach may not be fully inclusive, and it can prevent your institution from achieving its full potential.