Celebrating Cultural Diversity at Work

By Emily Bissel

August 26, 1920.

Deep in the heart of Harlem, New York City, a jazz club comes alive. People of all backgrounds gather, reveling in the melodies of a jazz band and savoring the flavors of diverse cuisines. Suddenly, the club's doors swing open, and police officers enter, interrupting the joyous celebration. This isn't an isolated incident; it happens all too often. But tonight, a change is in the air. Tonight, the patrons have had enough. This night was August 26, 1920: a moment that sparked the Harlem Renaissance.

Led by luminaries like Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Duke Ellington, the Harlem Renaissance was a cultural explosion, a rebirth of Black art, music, literature, and intellect. It marked a turning point in the recognition of African American culture and creativity, challenging stereotypes and prejudices.

While we've made significant progress since 1920, there's still much work to be done. For instance, we acknowledge that individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds continue to face discrimination, bias, and unequal opportunities. This article amplifies the voices of cultural diversity and offers actions you can take to support cultural heritage in the workplace and celebrate diversity as a whole. In recognition of the beauty of cultural heritage, we extend our support and unity to those who continue to champion diversity.

At Inclusivv, our mission is to create meaningful change by fostering courageous conversations within our communities and workplaces. While we've been facilitating conversations around various topics for years, the call to celebrate cultural heritage has led us to include Heritage as our September theme for our Inclusion and Belonging Membership Journey.


A Conversation Celebrating Cultural Heritage

Our latest Inclusivv Membership conversation, Heritage, delves into the rich history of cultural diversity, the present realities of diverse workplaces, and the necessary steps to fully embrace cultural equity. 

This conversation provides a space where individuals from diverse backgrounds can openly discuss their cultural experiences. You don't need to be an expert or have all the answers; your willingness to listen, learn, and share is all that's required.

Celebrating Cultural Diversity at Work: Inclusivv Membership Conversation


Stories of Cultural Heritage

In our online conversations, we brought together over 100 members from across the globe. We had individuals from different age groups, backgrounds, and cultural heritages, each with their unique stories to tell.

One breakout room hosted a member who shared their challenges with language barriers, while in another, a participant discussed the cultural traditions they carry with them from their family. People from various cultural backgrounds talked about their experiences in the workplace and the value of celebrating cultural heritage. The realization that emerged from these conversations was powerful: the need for understanding and empathy across cultural lines.

Celebrating Cultural Diversity at Work: Inclusivv Conversation on Heritage


The Power of Connection

During these discussions, we laughed, we cried, and we formed connections with one another. These conversations reaffirmed a fundamental truth: when we come together to listen, learn, and understand each other's cultural heritage, we move forward. As Maya Angelou put it, "We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter their color."

Following the conversation, we offered our members actionable steps to further their commitment to celebrating cultural heritage. These steps include recommendations for books, movies, and resources, as we believe that education is a crucial part of the journey toward cultural equity.


What Inclusivv Members are Saying

Our members had powerful reflections on their experiences:

  • "The more we have this 'tough' conversation, the more we educate ourselves about the beauty of cultural diversity, and the more inclusive and equitable our workplaces become. Progress starts with conversations like these."
  • "I will continue to ask the necessary questions that provide true inclusion of others' views, cultures and heritage.”
  • "Great conversation with a diverse group of people that were able to enlighten me and inform me of many viewpoints I’d never think of.”


A Call for Cultural Recognition

As our society evolves, so do our workplaces, and it's essential that they reflect and respect the cultural diversity that defines our global community. The call for cultural recognition in the workplace extends beyond mere acknowledgment; it encompasses a celebration of the cultures and heritages that make up our teams and organizations.

Movies and shows like "Crazy Rich Asians," "Black Panther," “Coco,” and "Never Have I Ever" have demonstrated the power of diverse storytelling. These productions have not only shattered stereotypes but also showcased the depth of cultural experiences. Workplaces can draw inspiration from these stories by actively engaging in cultural celebrations, supporting Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), and creating equitable opportunities for employees from all cultural backgrounds.

As we call for cultural recognition in the workplace, let's remember that it's not only about embracing diversity but also about actively celebrating it.


Learning Up

Our Inclusivv team is committed to constantly learning and growing. Here are a few of our favorite resources we want to share with you about cultural heritage. Send us a DM on our Instagram ( if there are any you love to add to the list!


Moving Toward Cultural Diversity Together

In the journey toward cultural equity and understanding, we must remain engaged and thoughtful. And we must continue educating ourselves about the cultural backgrounds that make our society vibrant and diverse. It takes courage, humility, and an open heart to learn and grow from each other, but it's the only way to ensure that our workplaces become places of belonging for all.

We invite you to join our Inclusivv Membership so you can be a part of courageous conversations like Heritage, every month. Together, we can create a more inclusive and equitable world.

And for those in leadership positions within organizations who are looking for guidance on how to lead these courageous conversations within your workplace or within your community, we’d love to hear from you. We have years of experience in leading meaningful conversations with some of the world’s largest names and brands. You can book time to chat with us here.

Tags: Diversity, DEI, Inclusion

Actively work to foster a more inclusive culture at your organization

Download this Beginner's Guide to Courageous Conversations to learn how to have meaningful dialogue in your organization or community.

Beginner's Guide to Courageous Conversations
  • Copyright © 2021 Civic Dinners, Inc.