As the holiday season is upon us, it is a good reminder to explore ways your association and its members can be mindful of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Developing a greater awareness of which activities or behaviors are important to members—and how people prefer to celebrate (or not)—can have significant benefits for members and organizations alike.
Here are seven ways to give back with diversity, equity, and inclusion in mind:
1. Boost your give-back this holiday season by volunteering
Consider choosing a charity that specifically supports diverse communities. Many charities touch on diverse communities and welcome volunteers to do everything from delivering meals, tutoring or mentoring youth, and lending services like web design and fundraising calls, to even serving on their board of directors.
2. Donate your no-longer-needed interview suits and work attire
After nearly two years of remote working related to the pandemic, consider donating your no-longer-needed interview suits, work attire, and other work-related items such as old cell phones and laptops, to an organization that supports disadvantaged women and diverse workers entering or re-entering the workforce.
3. Mentor a young person of color, or person who identifies as LGBTQIA+
If you’re considering a mentorship program, consider mentoring a young person of color, or person who identifies as LGBTQIA+, who is first in their family to enter college and/or first to enter the corporate culture. Having someone to help them navigate this transition can set them on the path to success.
4. Spend your holiday gift-giving dollars with minority- women - or LGBTQIA+-owned businesses
As you start to make your holiday gift list, you may want to spend your holiday gift-giving dollars with minority-women or LGBTQIA+-owned businesses in your community. But don’t stop there; Make sure to promote those businesses to your social media network, friends, and family, and keep those business in your spending rotation all year long.
5. Say a special “thank you.”
We all have people who have taught us to embrace our uniqueness and to be proud of our culture and heritage. Give a charitable gift in the name of a friend or family member who inspired you as a person of color, member of the LGBTQIA+ community, or as a woman.
6. Check out socially conscious gift-giving services
If you’re thinking about a gift-giving service check out one that donate proceeds to causes that benefit diverse communities, such as Packed with Purpose, as well as this Guide to Socially Conscious Gift Giving which promotes environmentally-focused products and brands owned by underrepresented peoples.
7. Educate yourself about the (whole) holiday season.
The last two months of the year are brimming with holidays. Be aware and sensitive to colleagues, members, and those who may be celebrating holidays that may not be traditionally recognized in the corporate setting, but which have deep significance to them. This is a great opportunity to find ways to share your celebrations and traditions to create greater understanding. Awareness is just another way of “giving back.”
Kimberly Crooms is in Corporate Marketing at Smithbucklin.