The beautiful thing about Canada is we celebrate a diverse range of faith identities, many of which don’t celebrate Christmas in the same way it’s traditionally done in North America. This year, while planning for your holiday events, be sure to take precautions to ensure your event is inclusive for all. Here are some tips that can help:
- Ensure the language around the event is ‘holiday season’ focused, rather than ‘Christmas.’
- Acknowledge all faiths present in your workplace.
- Decorations and food should be more general and encourage staff of different cultures to share their favourite foods.
- Be respectful of these special dates, and plan events and meetings around various holidays.
- Encourage guests to each bring a dish pertaining to their culture to help build community and conversation.
Christmas trees, stars, and angels are popular Christmas decorations. Here are some tips to consider when decorating your office to make the display more inclusive:
- Consider how your office might equitably recognize or acknowledge other dates significant to the members of your office or community. When providing ideas for decorations you can include Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Shinto holidays.
- Set an agreed upon limit to number of days that your office will display decorations.
- Incorporate a learning opportunity: Don’t assume everyone understands what the decorations are about or mean. Not knowing can cause people to feel alienated or made to feel like a foreigner.
- Departments are encouraged to discuss how to hold a celebration in a way that ensures respect for all cultures, fosters inclusion, allows access, and is an educative experience. Use of symbols in one religion may have a different meaning in another and cause offense or seem coercive where that is not the intent.
How do you ensure your events are inclusive to a variety of cultures? Let us know by leaving us a comment below.