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:


Hispanic marketing - no shortcuts

World Cup marketing - uniting multicultural sports fans & marketers

FIFA World Cup Marketing 2018 – multicultural opportunities

For sports fans, brands, and multicultural marketers alike, FIFA’s World Cup marketing is in a league of its own.   From June 14 – July 15, 2018 fans from throughout the globe will be on the edge of their seats.  While those who have teams in the draw will of course be rooting for their team, those who did not make the cut and haven’t abandoned the sport will be choosing other teams to watch based on whatever criteria they like (cool jersey, star player, playing against their rival).   But what does that mean for the United States sports fan?

World Cup 2018 Groups
World Cup 2018 Groups

NO Team USA – BUT……

It’s not just about booking plane tickets for the team, each country invests an enormous amount of resources and money into reaching the world stage.  While the U.S. sports fan overall may not prioritize soccer the way the rest of the world does, team USA not qualifying will impact more than just some travel plans.  The ripple effect will involve programming and of course changes to World Cup marketing plans  U.S. brands.  While the fair weather team USA fan may be on the sidelines, there will be a major interest taken by multicultural sports fans.  A quick list of some key fan groups.

  • Soccer fans: wide spectrum from youth soccer players to those with ties to countries outside the U.S.
  • U.S. Hispanic: 20% of the population and highly engaged with soccer.  Teams in the draw: Uruguay, Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru, Argentina, Colombia, Panama, Brazil (Latam)
  • Arab Americans: Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Morocco
  • Asian Americans: Teams in the draw: South Korea/Korea, Japan

Interest & Opportunity

This is an opportunity for marketers to connect with diverse segments of the United States through the uniqueness of this event.  While interest is high among all communities, one the most important and studied is that of the U.S. Hispanic community.  Quick hits from ThinkNow Hispanic Soccer Study in 2017

  • U.S. Hispanics self-identify more as avid soccer fans 22% – 11% for non-Hispanic.
  • Watching soccer highlights online 52% versus 36% non-Hispanic.

However, another community may be relevant for World Cup marketers.  The 2018 FIFA World Cup has a significant representation from the middle east with five Arab nations being represented.  World Cup marketing in 2018  may be one of the best opportunities for brands to connect with Arab Americans in addition to the key U.S. Hispanic segment.  Especially for brands or initiatives that are in the geographic regions where Arab Americans reside, this is an opportunity.

Resources:


U.S. Arab community - growing influence

 Arab American segment in the United States.  Where are they

The Arab American population is one that is diverse, influential, and yet misunderstood. According to the Arab American Institute (AAI), countries of origin for Arab Americans include:

Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen

It is estimated that 3.7 million Americans trace their roots to an Arab country.  While they are represented in every state, approximately two thirds live in just ten states.

  • 82% of Arabs in the U.S. are citizens
  • Majority related to Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and Iraq
  • Michigan and specifically the greater Detroit area has one of the largest, oldest and most diverse Arab American communities according to Arab America

Where do they live?

While present in each state, the Arab American communities are strategically concentrated in metropolitan areas.

  • Key states: Michigan, California and New York.
  • Key metropolitan areas: Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Northeastern NJ

For political marketers, especially in Michigan, California and New York the Arab American community can be a major influence in the success or failure of your candidate or initiative.   Just look at the article about the 3rd congressional district in Illinois from Arab News.

Arab American community
Arab American population influencing key regions

How can brands reach out to this important yet diverse segment.

For marketers, the first determination is going to come down to overall goals and of course budget.  If your brand or initiative is active in Michigan, California or New York, then it is very important to consider these segments in addition to any total market strategies that are in place.    To learn more about your specific needs here are some additional resources.

Resources:


Multicultural Sports Fans

Do sports in the U.S. reflect the demographics of the United States?

In checking out some highlights from the NHL playoffs, I came across Hockey 101 by Snoop Dogg (aka Dogg Cherry) which brought to the forefront the question about African American viewership of the NHL.  In looking into this I found some interesting research by Demographic Partitions that was quite interesting and breaks down how different gender, race, and ethnic segments are represented in the fan base.

To some extent the community is reflected in the arenas for local sports teams.  However, this varies greatly depending on the sport, the team and other factors. While the sport itself  may fit traditional segment lines, there are numerous factors that can make a difference.

Some quick hits:

  • White/Caucasian fans:  NHL (92%) & NASCAR (94%)
  • Black/African American: NBA has more regular fans in this segment than White/Caucasian fans.
  • Hispanic: MLS has a strong following among the Hispanic market.
  • Gender: 37% of NASCAR fans who watched were female
  • Age: 63% of Golf fanbase is 55+ while the the youngest was soccer with 14% of fans for Real League Soccer falling in the 17 and under range.

For me, one of the more interesting factors to consider that was not touched on in this study has to do with how the fans of each team represent their community.   As a sports fan I have gone to many games and by just looking around noticed how the crowd may or may not represent their community.

  • Soccer in Northern California: you guessed it dominated by a Hispanic following.  From MLS to COPA AMERICA, to friendlies featuring Real Madrid, Manchester United and others  the latino population of the community dominates
  • San Jose Sharks (NHL): A hockey game in San Jose is actually one of the more diverse experiences with large representation of latino fans as well as Asian Indian fans in the mix due to the community.
  • Detroit RedWings (NHL): In a community that has a large African American population, my experience here is that this segment was under represented, which does reflect the overall NHL challenge.

There are numerous considerations behind the diversity of fan bases for teams. To be successful every team and league needs to continue the expansion of their fan bases to include all segments of their community.


2018 Diversity Calendar of Events

The United States is rich with diversity and if there was any question, just have a look at the diversity of our celebrations. From Martin Luther King day in January, Black History month in February, Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage month (May) to Hispanic Heritage month (September/October) to name just a few.

Have a look at the full break down from Diversity Best Practices and I’m sure you will find some that you weren’t even aware of (ex. Krishna Janmashtami…..will let you find that one in the list).

Here are some key ones that should be on the minds of  multicultural marketers.

January

January 15: Martin Luther King Day commemorates the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr., the recipient of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize and an activist for non-violent social change until his assassination in 1968.

February
February is Black History Month in the United States and Canada.

February 9-25 Olympics PyeongChang:  OK, not an officially on diversity calendars, but is a celebration of diversity in athletics, athletes and cultures.

February 16: Lunar New Year, one of the most sacred of all traditional Chinese holidays, a time of family reunion and celebration. Lunar New Year is also celebrated at this time in Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Mongolia.

March
March is Women’s History Month.

May
May is Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in the United States.

Ramadan (Muslim): May 15 – June15: Ramadan is the Islamic holiday that takes place during the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar.

June
June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.

2018 World Cup June 14-July 15, 2018

July
2018 FIFA World Cup

September
From September 15th to October 15th is Hispanic Heritage Month. This month corresponds with Mexican Independence Day,which is celebrated on September 16, and recognizes the revolution in 1810 that ended Spanish dictatorship.  For more information related to Hispanic Heritage Month visit Reach Hispanic.  For information related to advertising to this important segment visit Alcance Media Group.

Chinese: Mid-Autumn Festival: A celebration that begins on the 15th day of the 8th month on the Chinese lunar calendar.  For 2018 this will be September 22-24, 2018

November / December

Elections in the United States:  Of major importance to all multicultural segments in the United States and takes place and is theTuesday following the first Monday in November. It can fall on or between November 2 and November 8.  For 2018 the date is November 6, 2018.  More information at USA.gov

Including the likes of Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and New Years this period is key for marketers.  After all it seems that Toyotathon is almost a national holiday.