April is National Diversity Awareness Month in the United States. In 2004, it was created as a month-long celebration of Emancipation Day (April 16), which marked the anniversary of the day President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing more than 3,000 slaves in the District of Columbia. It has since been broadened to recognize and honor the diversity of the United States through the celebration of differences, developing greater cultural awareness for those in local communities.
National Diversity Awareness Month, also referred to as Celebrate Diversity Month, celebrates differences in the United States including, racial and ethnic groups, LGBTQ+ people, disability awareness, and more. In October, Global Diversity Awareness is celebrated to demonstrate the international multicultural society and to aid in embracing the values of other cultures.
There are many ways to celebrate National Diversity Month. Here are a few ideas:
April is also Autism Acceptance Month. Starting as a week-long educational opportunity in 1972, the Autism Society of America has worked to provide a variety of resources designed to inform and encourage communities to celebrate differences and become more inclusive of individuals with autism. April was chosen as it overlaps with World Autism Awareness Day (April 2). Previously known as Autism Awareness Month, the Society shifted the terminology after receiving feedback from those in the autism community. “Inclusion begins with acceptance” has become the new framing for the month. This April, the Autism Society of America is proud to continue its fourth annual #CelebrateDifferences campaign in honor of Autism Acceptance Month.
Below, see what some DBP members are doing to celebrate National Diversity Month and Autism Acceptance Month in 2023:
Johnson & Johnson’s Alliance on Diverse Abilities Employee Resource Group is planning a global event in celebration of Autism Acceptance Month on April 25. The theme of the event is “Growing Gold for Autism,” with a focus on the saying, “When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” We are focusing on the following topics, with both speakers and panel discussions:
To celebrate Diversity Awareness Month, the DE&I Center of Awareness and Advocacy will:
Some of the company’s ERGs will also hold events, including:
Northern Trust will host the following events for Autism Acceptance Month:
To bring visibility to the important of this awareness month, Northern Trust’s headquarters in Chicago will “Light It Up Blue” by lighting up the main floor windows facing LaSalle Street blue from sunset to sunrise. By changing the lights to blue, people who view the lights may have a better understanding of Autism, promote acceptance, and be more inclusive towards the community.
In April, Unity’s Access ERG will host a meeting highlighting World Autism Awareness Day (April 2). The company started off the celebration in March when the Access ERG screened a webinar on neurodiversity for Neurodiversity Celebration Week.
On Unity’s LinkedIn, posts will be made for World Autism Awareness Day and the company will share out some internal actions.
Verisk Analytics’ Accessibility Employee Network, which is aimed at making an inclusive work environment for our employees with visible or invisible disabilities, will be hosting an event that features an Afro-Latina speaker on neurodiversity in tech. The group will also host an event with a Verisk employee on ADHD in the workplace