2020 Multicultural & Diversity Calendar

The 2020 multicultural and diversity calendar highlights the importance of diversity in the United States.

While there are an incredible number of relevant days celebrating individuals, religion and more, we have compiled a list of those of major importance to U.S. Multicultural communities. From month long celebrations such as Black History Month (February), Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 -October 15), National American Indian Heritage Month (November) and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (May) to more specific observances such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday (January 21) or the Lunar New Year (February 5), the U.S. calendar of observances is incredibly diverse.

Whether planning your multicultural marketing campaigns or looking for ways to celebrate your cultural heritage, here are some key dates for 2020 with a particular focus on multicultural / diversity segments in the United States.  

  • January 20:  DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.’S BIRTHDAY The birthday of civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is celebrated on the third Monday in January.
  • January 25:  LUNAR NEW YEAR,  Also known as the Spring Festival  or Chinese New Year.   *5 Things to know about Chinese New Year
  • February(month):  BLACK HISTORY MONTH Celebrates Black History and African American culture
  • March 31:  CESAR CHAVEZ DAY honors the Mexican American farm worker and celebrates the contributions of labor leader and activist Cesar Chavez.
  • April: (month): ARAB AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH celebrating Arab American heritage, culture and contributions.
  • April 23: Native American GATHERING OF NATIONS where over 500 tribes gather for three days to honor their culture
  • April 24: First Friday of RAMADAN which is the holiest month of the Muslim year
  • May: (month):   ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH recognizes the contributions and culture of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
  • May: (month): JEWISH AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH honors the contributions of American Jews
  • May: (month): HAITIAN HERITAGE MONTH is observed in May 2019. Haitian Heritage Month is a celebration in the United States of Haitian heritage and culture. It was first celebrated in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1998.
  • May 21:  WORLD DAY FOR CULTURAL DIVERSITY is a day that recognizes cultural diversity as a source of innovation, exchange and creativity.
  • June 20:  WORLD REFUGEE DAY raises awareness about the plight of refugees .
  • August 9:  INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE WORLD’S INDIGENOUS PEOPLES celebrating the richness of indigenous cultures as well as recognizing the challenges indigenous peoples face today.
  • September 15– October 15 (month):   NATIONAL HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH celebrates the contributions, heritage and culture of Hispanic and Latino Americans.
  • September 17:  CONSTITUTION DAY AND CITIZENSHIP DAY commemorating the ratification of the United States Constitution in 1787 and also honors all who have become U.S. citizens.
  • October (Month): GLOBAL DIVERSITY AWARENESS MONTH increasing awareness and acceptance of diverse cultures
  • October 12: INDIGENOUS PEOPLE’S DAY (Native American Day) Celebrates and honors Native American history and culture.
  • October 12: DIA DE LA RAZA, “Day of the Race”, in Spanish-speaking countries and communities.
  • October 31:  DIA DE LOS MUERTOS three day celebration to remember dead relatives and friends.
  • November (month):    NATIONAL AMERICAN INDIAN and ALASKA NATIVE HERITAGE MONTH honoring the history and culture of Native Americans and indigenous people in the United States.
  • December 25: CHRISTMAS
  • December 26– January 1, 2020:  KWANZAA  is a celebration honoring African American heritage

While these excerpts relate specifically to ethnicity / cultural background, there is an extremely comprehensive list that includes religious observances as well as public holidays put together by the Anti-Defamation League.  For brands & agencies looking to connect with multicultural audiences, Alcance Media Group can assist.


Native American Military Traditions

In articles on Military.com as well as the U.S. Army website offer interesting insight into how the “minority of minorities” is an overrepresented contributor to the military..

There seems to be a significant pride in the traditions associated with Native American nations.  One such tradition is the naming of Army Helicopters.  Names such as Apache, Black Hawk, Chinook, Kiowa, Lakota, Creek, Cayuse, Huron and Ute refer to Native American tribes and represent that warrior spirit

After 9/11 Native American service was higher than any other ethnicity (percentage-wise) and there is even a National Native American Veterans Memorial that will be formally dedicated in 2020 to honor the contributions and sacrifice of the community.

To learn more about the memorial and Native American contributions to the military visit:

While the military has specific marketing campaigns that reach out to multicultural segments such as Hispanic, and African American, I was unable to find much in the way of campaigns reaching out to Native American communities.  That being said, one big step is the recognition of the contributions of Native American Veterans will go a long way to carrying on the tradition of Native American service to the country.

Resources for Native Americans and Military Service

Additional Resources:

Alcance Media Group – Multicultural Marketing

https://www.reachmulticultural.com/2019/11/11/diversity_is_strength/


U.S. Military - Diversity is Strength

Who is the largest employer in the World?  Who is the largest employer in the United States?  Spoiler alert, it is the same organization.  The U.S. military / Department of Defense has been the world’s largest employer consistently.    A global organization that is as diverse as it is large continues to adapt to changing demographics.  Not only is the make up of the military changing, but this also changes the diversity of the Veteran population.

Profile of America’s Veterans: Following in the changing demographics as well as the size of the military there are some major changes.

  • Female Veteran’s share expected to double to 18%
  • Share of Hispanic Veterans to nearly double to 13%
  • The share of Black Veterans to grow from 12% – 16%
  • Share of Asian Veterans to grow from 2%-3%
  • Overall an expected 40% decrease in the total number of veterans by 2045

Diversity in Today’s Military

The makeup of the United States military just like the country is multicultural.  While the overall size may be smaller than in the past, the military is diverse.  That diversity, may not be exactly equal to the population, but has certainly continued to become more representative.  Whether, tradition, recruiting, or marketing, the military has taken notice.

The U.S. military actively markets to many multicultural communities, especially the Hispanic community.  Hispanic participation in the military has continued to grow along with population trends.  African American participation which has historically been very strong has been more challenging since the Gulf War.  While Hispanic and African American participation is expected to continue being a large portion of the military.  But what about some other multicultural groups such as, Arab, Asian or Native American?

Example of Hispanic (Spanish) focused Marketing Campaign

Other Multicultural Segments

While there is less information available regarding these groups, many represent an interesting heritage that associates them with the military.  While none of these groups may represent a major percentage, there is an interesting story to all.  From the diversity within the Asian community, to military traditions associated with the Native American community to the challenges or finding information regarding Arab-American participations, there are stories in each.  Here are some quick links to resources.

Multicultural Leadership

As one of the largest organizations in the world, the U.S. Military is not only responsible for safety, security and innovations, but offers growth opportunities to men and women across all demographic categories.  Offering education assistance and job opportunities to those who choose to join military service, the military will continue to be one of the largest and most diverse global entities.

Additional Resources:

Alcance Media Group – Multicultural Marketing

Pew Research: The Changing Profile of the U.S. Military

U.S. Military Service of Asians and Pacific Islanders:

Arab-Americans in the United States Military:

Native American Participation in the United States Military:

https://www.reachmulticultural.com/2019/11/11/native-american-military-traditions/


Multicultural Healthcare

Multicultural Healthcare Initiatives - Making a difference

Healthcare has been a major issue for governments, politicians, voters, and the population overall. A difficult issue in general, yet further complicated by challenges related to the healthcare needs of very diverse multicultural communities.

Avoiding issues of the government’s role in healthcare and the always challenging healthcare debate, we’ll just have a glimpse into healthcare marketing for diverse communities in key states and the relation to diverse segments that are prevalent in their communities.

Michigan – Arab American

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has outreach programs for numerous multicultural communities throughout the state.  As the state with the largest Arab American populations (….) they are one of the more educated organizations  and have even published studies like this one: Health Status of Arab Adults in Michigan

Here is a great example of MDHSS and an initiative for the Arab American community in relation to Diabetes.
MDHHS – Arab American Diabetes Outreach (English & Arabic)

 

California – Asian | Asian American:

California is extremely diverse and while is at the top in terms of population for most multicultural segments, it is the highest population and percentage for the Asian segment.  This group in itself is diverse in culture, language, and many other areas so presents numerous challenges.

The California Department of Health created Health Equity programs. The Asian American initiative  for example works with community organizations and adapts information for the Hmong, Vietnamese, and Chines communities.   Throughout California there are also community organizations such as the San Francisco based Chinese Community Health Plan (CCHP)  which offers health plans throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Texas – U.S. Hispanic | Latino: Texas

By percentage, Texas is second in terms of population numbers (behind California) and in percentage of the population (trailing New Mexico) and has been at the forefront of outreach to this community.

Among the challenges for the Texas Department of State Health Services are a high rate of uninsured (31% of Texas Latinos are uninsured according to Pew Hispanic LINK . With a high percentage of Hispanics speaking Spanish in the home, one key consideration is to have a complete set of Spanish resources such as the Texas Department of State Health Services website  which can also support community efforts.

Arizona – Native American | Navajo:

Outreach to Native American communities is often overlooked in many states, but in Arizona this is a key segment for a variety of issues. In population size Arizona has the largest Native American population (by percentage Alaska is top) so it is a population with a significant impact on the state.

Arizona has a specific health insurance outreach for Native American communities called the American Indian Health Program (AIHP) health insurance plan options for this community.  In fact, the Arizona health services even offers information in Navajo.

Georgia – African American | Black:

As one of the states with the highest concentration as well as population for African Americans Georgia has put together numerous outreach programs to the community. Yet despite Atlanta being one of the cities with major government health organizations (ex. Center for Disease Control CDC, American Cancer Society, and more) there continue to be major issues with mortality and insurance coverage among the African American Community.  A recent NPR article looks into some of the challenges in Atlanta.

Whether on a national, state, or community level, many public as well as private organizations understand the need to reach out to diverse multicultural communities, yet resources always present a challenge. For states where a segment represents a large percentage, the needs for specific marketing / outreach efforts for communities are clear, but for others deciding on which segment to focus efforts on will be much more challenging.

On the positive side, there are now more resources available that can be adapted or offer insight as to how to communicate with these communities.

For additional information for advertisers looking to reach multicultural communities, Alcance Media Group’s multicultural health advertising team can assist.

Additional Resources:

Alcance Media Group – Multicultural Marketing

The challenges of health providers to reach U.S. Hispanic

Health Status of Arab Adults in Michigan

Chinese Community Health Plan (CCHP)

The Asian American initiative

Texas Department of State Health Services website

American Indian Health Program (AIHP)


Arab American Media - Opportunity & Challenge

In today’s world there seem to be media options for almost every interest.  In multicultural media, while there are numerous publications catering to the Hispanic segment, for advertisers interested in reaching other segments such as that of the Arab American community, there is a definitive lack of options.
As we look for options to reach the Arab American community, there are relatively few options that relate to the community in the U.S.  While few, these local publications have the ability to make an impact.
Here is a brief list of some Arab American media resources that offer digital advertising options to reach the Arab American community.
MDHHS – Arab American Diabetes Outreach (English & Arabic)

Here is a brief video highlighting diversity : We are Arab America

In an article from Pew Research Center for Journalism & Media, there is a discussion about Arab-American Media (LINK) https://www.journalism.org/2012/11/28/arabamerican-media/
Of the reasons cited in the article, many apply today.
  • The Arab-American population across the U.S. is ethnically diverse
  • Technology advancements have brought new competition for advertising dollars from Arab outlets located in the Middle East and North Africa
  • Social Media ability to expand news outside the region.

What about Advertisers?  While this community represents a smaller segment and may be difficult to justify breaking out specific resources, there are areas where this is a must.

  • Census Bureau – needs to reach out to all multicultural segments
  • Auto dealers in communities with a strong Arab American presence:  Multicultural Auto Marketing
  • Health Organizations – government and private in areas with a large Arab American community.
While the challenges to media as well as advertising budgets are relevant, for brands and agencies that are serious about reaching the Arab American community, utilizing local and regional media outlets will relate to the daily lives of Arab Americans and can make an outsized impact.
For additional information for advertisers looking to reach the Arab American community, Alcance Media Group’s Arab American advertising team can assist.  LINK: https://www.alcancemg.com/en/home/

Additional Resources:

Alcance Media Group

Arab American Institute

Pew Research Arab American Media


2019 Diversity Calendar

The 2019 calendar of observances celebrates the incredible diversity within the United States.

From month long celebrations such as Black History Month (February), Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 -October 15), National American Indian Heritage Month (November) and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (May) to more specific observances such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday (January 21) or the Lunar New Year (February 5), the U.S. calendar of observances is incredibly diverse.

Whether planning your multicultural marketing campaigns or looking for ways to celebrate your cultural heritage, here are some key dates for 2019 with a particular focus on multicultural / diversity segments in the United States.  

  • January 21:  DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.’S BIRTHDAY The birthday of civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is celebrated on the third Monday in January.
  • February(month):  BLACK HISTORY MONTH Celebrates Black History and African American culture
  • February 5:  LUNAR NEW YEAR,  Also known as the Spring Festival  or Chinese New Year.   *5 Things to know about Chinese New Year
  • March 31:  CESAR CHAVEZ DAY honors the Mexican American farm worker and celebrates the contributions of labor leader and activist Cesar Chavez.
  • April: (month): ARAB AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH celebrating Arab American heritage, culture and contributions.
  • May: (month):   ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH recognizes the contributions and culture of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
  • May: (month): HAITIAN HERITAGE MONTH is observed in May 2019. Haitian Heritage Month is a celebration in the United States of Haitian heritage and culture. It was first celebrated in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1998.
  • May 21:  WORLD DAY FOR CULTURAL DIVERSITY is a day that recognizes cultural diversity as a source of innovation, exchange and creativity.
  • June 20:  WORLD REFUGEE DAY raises awareness about the plight of refugees .
  • August 9:  INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE WORLD’S INDIGENOUS PEOPLES celebrating the richness of indigenous cultures as well as recognizing the challenges indigenous peoples face today.
  • September 15– October 15 (month):   NATIONAL HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH celebrates the contributions, heritage and culture of Hispanic and Latino Americans.
  • September 17:  CONSTITUTION DAY AND CITIZENSHIP DAY commemorating the ratification of the United States Constitution in 1787 and also honors all who have become U.S. citizens.
  • October 14: INDIGENOUS PEOPLE’S DAY (Native American Day) Celebrates and honors Native American history and culture.
  • October 14: Día de la Raza, “Day of the Race”, in Spanish-speaking countries and communities.
  • November (month):    NATIONAL AMERICAN INDIAN and ALASKA NATIVE HERITAGE MONTH honoring the history and culture of Native Americans and indigenous people in the United States.
  • December 26– January 1, 2020:  KWANZAA  is a celebration honoring African American heritage

While these excerpts relate specifically to ethnicity / cultural background, there is an extremely comprehensive list that includes religious observances as well as public holidays put together by the Anti-Defamation League.  For brands & agencies looking to connect with multicultural audiences, Alcance Media Group can assist.


Diversity in government- Representative?

Diversity in the 2018 Elections – is the demographic of candidates changing to match that of the electorate?

In a representative government, legislators are elected to represent groups in their districts or states.  Regardless of party affiliation, governments in the U.S. and throughout the world have been overwhelmingly male dominated.  So while the obvious answer is NO, it is interesting to see how governments are changing.

Demographics of a community may change rapidly, but government representation changes much more slowly.  The 2018 midterm elections in the United States have seen a significant increase in the number of candidates (and winners) representing multicultural communities.  Resulting in the first Arab and Muslim representatives to the House of Representatives, the first openly gay Governor, and more latino as well as female representatives  representatives on their way to D.C. the recent elections are steps in diverse communities gaining more representation.

VIDEO – Race becoming historic factor in some 2018 midterm elections

 

Both parties will need to continue to recruit candidates that are representative of their communities.  While there is still a large differences between the percentage representation in government and the diverse make up of the country, even small representation will have a voice.

In 2018 there were more voter resources for multicultural voters than ever before as well as a significant amount of focus on the diverse candidates that were making waves in their communities.  While it is too early to tell if this becomes a trend, however looking at the changing demographic of the country, these multicultural communities need to make their voices heard.

Resources:


Multicultural Voter Resources

Getting multicultural voters from potential to influential.

When the impact of multicultural voters is discussed, a key focus is the potential impact of Hispanic voters as well as African American voters on national elections. However, the multicultural voter potential for city and state elections is enormous and strategies should reach key multicultural voter segments in the community.   Asian American voters in states such as California can have a tremendous impact whereas Arab American voters can have a major impact in cities such as Los Angeles and Detroit as well as state elections in Michigan.  In the southwest and in certain areas, Native American voters are worth considering.

Whether or not political marketers value these communities, many communities are pushing to make their voice heard and actively trying to register voters.

Key to achieving that potential is a matter of registering to vote and most importantly getting out to vote. There are numerous organizations working specifically with multicultural communities to increase voter registration.

Here are a few resources that will help multicultural voters get started:

Hispanic voter registration: Voto Latino

Arab American voter registration: Yalla Vote

Asian & Pacific Islander voter registration: APIA Vote

Native American voter registration: Native Vote

Multicultural Voter Resources
Multicultural Voter Resources

To find out more about how multicultural voters can make an impact, there are some resources below.

Voting is important for everyone and your vote does count.  For voter information for all U.S. Citizens there are numerous options, but here are some key options that will help you easily register in your community.  USA.Gov or Rock the Vote.  Therefore, it is easier than ever to make your voice heard.

Regardless of your background, religious beliefs, race, birthplace, or beliefs on a specific issue, your vote counts.  A brief look at international news shows that many do not have the freedom or opportunity to vote.  Above all it is important to GET OUT AND VOTE!

Resources:


Multicultural Voters - Who Needs Them?

Elections and Multicultural Voters – Massively important in the U.S.

Working with multicultural marketing, of course I believe that multicultural voters are important. BUT, are they important to your campaign, or not.  If so, then how important, and do you have the resources to effectively reach your core constituency.

For some quick hits you can visit this Infographic on Multicultural Voters.  For a few states here are some key multicultural segments to consider.

Taking a look at just a few states and which groups may play a key role.

  • California: U.S. Hispanic, Asian American segments are critical and rapidly growing.
  • Texas: Major U.S. Hispanic population deriving from Mexico / Central America
  • Florida: Another major Latino population yet different from the Southwest with major communities from the Caribbean, Colombia, Venezuela and South America.
  • New York: by definition – is extensively multicultural in/near New York City
  • Michigan: While on a statewide level, percentages are small, key centers for Hispanic (Grand Rapids) and Arab American (Dearborn) can play a pivotal role.

For marketers – specifically in the U.S. – Why do they matter and how can you reach them.

Obviously for marketers, the ability to get your brand message across in a relevant way to all segments of the population is important, but there are also significant limitations on resources such as the almighty BUDGET.

Infographic Impact of Multicultural Voters

While it is easy to say that you don’t have the resources to reach these segments, there are many ways to include these audiences without great cost.  In California & Texas, while there are benefits to having in-language Spanish outreach, it is possible to get your message to the majority of these groups in English.  For Asian American, not many have resources to translate into Vietnamese, Korean, Hmong, Filipino etc., but this should not deter marketers from considering how to reach these groups in English.

Resources and results dictate much of the decision around marketing platforms, however many times there is complacency that all markets are being reached through general market campaigns..

While Subway may have mass appeal and a picture of a sandwich will do, for political candidates, health insurance, and other government outreach programs these segments are key. Here are some quick resources to find out more about reaching these key multicultural markets..

Resources:


Multiculturalism in the World Cup

Cultural heritage and multiculturalism in sport

The contribution of multicultural communities to international sport

In the craziness that is media, a joke quickly upsets somebody and the response becomes news.   A great example is that of Trevor Noah from The Daily Show chanting “Africa won the World Cup” and making light of the fact that there were significant contributions by French national team players of African descent.  Apparently the French ambassador was bothered enough to send a letter to the show resulting in a great response.

Outside of the freakout from headline blurbs on whatever homepage you use, there are interesting challenges that abound in the perception of multicultural sports talent.   While teams routinely recruit players from other countries, most of those players will be celebrated in their communities.

  • MLB (Major League Baseball): Caribbean & Latin American countries provide numerous important players to the league.
  • NHL (National Hockey League): Quite diverse and made up of predominantly Canadian, U.S., European and Russian players.
  • NBA (National Basketball Association): Predominantly U.S. born, with a significant make up of African American players and a handful of international players.

Yet, for national teams there are conversations about how they are maximizing their national sports resources.  When the U.S. team missed the 2018 World Cup there was criticism that U.S. Soccer was an “old boys club” and ignores talented players from underserved communities such as Hispanic or African American (SB Nation The “old boys club”)

Also, it is worth checking out Trevor Noah’s nicely handled response to the French Ambassador relating that there is no such thing as African – French, just French.

Embrace the multicultural contributions

The great point in the response is that both the cultural heritage as well as pride in one’s current country can be celebrated.  In the United States, it is common to refer to heritage, especially for communities who have recently seen rapid growth or influence such as:  Hispanic (Hispanic American), Asian (Asian American), and Arab (Arab American).  Like everything else, there can be both positive and negative connotations, but as France celebrates its victory, there is reason to celebrate the contributions of their diverse community.  Hopefully soon the United States will be able to do the same for U.S. soccer.

Other articles related to sports and diversity: