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.


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!


Indigenous Peoples Day

For a long time, the people use to celebrate the Columbus Day—a national holiday that celebrates Christopher Columbus’s colonization of the Americas starting in 1492— but now, the people are celebrating the Indigenous Peoples Day.

What is the reason? Many activists have fought for Indigenous Peoples Day for decades, arguing that Columbus Day, along with statues and other memorializations of Columbus whitewash the brutal history of native enslavement and genocide that represent his true legacy. In his own journal, Columbus wrote of his first encounter with indigenous people on Oct. 11, 1492, in present-day Haiti, referring to them as “servants.”(Fortune.com)

Actually, a movement to abolish Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day has been gaining momentum across the country over the past few years with Los Angeles becoming the biggest city in the country last year to toss Columbus overboard in favor of recognizing the victims of colonialism.

Seattle, Albuquerque, Austin, Texas, San Francisco, Seattle, and Denver are a few of the other cities that have done the same (Nola.com).

For that reason, now is the time to celebrate the Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a holiday that celebrates the Indigenous peoples of America and commemorates their shared history and culture.

For additional multicultural celebrations visit the 2018 Diversity Calendar.

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..


Native American and indigenous markets in the Americas

Native American and Alaska Native market information

In the multicultural marketing world, the Native American market is often overlooked.  Compared to other key multicultural segments such as U.S. Hispanic or Asian American which are expanding rapidly, the overall numbers are small.  With the exception of government initiatives (ex. health related initiatives), there are few brands that even think about the Native American market segment. 

In reviewing LinkedIN the most interesting title outside of government was Vice President/Communications Advisor (Hispanic and Native American segments) at Wells Fargo.  Wells Fargo has always been one of the leaders in initiatives reaching out to various community groups so it was nice to see them at the very least including this segment in some way.

By the numbers: Indigenous populations throughout North America (United States, Canada, Mexico)

Population (U.S.): 6.7 million people making up only about 2% of the total U.S. Population

  • 21 states have populations exceeding 100,000.  Alaska has the highest percentage population at 19.9% followed by Oklahoma (13.7%), New Mexico (11.9%), South Dakota 10.4%) and Montana (8.4%)
  • Home ownership: 52.9% (versus 63.1 percent for overall population)
  • Health insurance: 19.2% lacked health insurance coverage versus 8.6% for the overall population

Population (Canada): 1.7 million people making up 4.9% of the total Canada Population

  • Fast growing – significantly outpacing the non-indigenous population growth from 2006 – 2016 (4x)
  • Younger: 32 years old compared to 41.
  • Housing and Poverty: these are key challenges facing the government

Population (Mexico): 8.7 million people making up 10.7% of the total Mexico Population

  • Mexico’s indigenous population is one of the two largest in the Americas (Peru is the comparable) and much greater than any in North America.
  • The Mexican government recognizes 56 indigenous languages
  • Half live in four states (Oaxaca (18.3%), Veracruz (13.5%), Chiapas (13%) and Puebla (9.4%)

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. 

While 27% of single-race American Indian and Alaska Native people spoke a language other than English at home (21.6% for entire nation) most brands are going to have significant difficulty making it worth the effort.  Working with inclusive messaging and focusing on location and data are going to be key to including these segments.  One of the clearest is that of location and where these populations are located such as this breakdown by the U.S. Census.

American Indian and Alaska Native Population: Race Alone or In Combination with Other Races, Percent of Total Population on July 1, 2016[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]

American Indian and Alaska Native Population: Race Alone or In Combination with Other Races, Percent of Total Population on July 1, 2016
American Indian and Alaska Native Population: U.S. Census

[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]

While data segmentation will be key to reach those that have self identified or characteristically fit these categories, the key will be the marketing program and messaging that is utilized.  Key initiatives that are trying to reach this segment include: State Government Health initiatives, regional utilities, and local/regional banking among others.  On the private side, Wells Fargo has put some focus on this segment and is well versed in the positive and negative aspects.  Some quick examples from Wells Fargo…one of the few that have specifically reached out to this group.  On the positive side, the bank recognizes the importance and has the Wells Fargo Indigenous Peoples Statement: 

On the negative side, just like with any corporate initiatives there are challenges such as this lawsuit with the Navajo tribe:

While there is no doubt that reaching these populations for certain companies and initiatives is important, for most brands this will likely not be considered a top segment for their efforts.  For all, there is a need to maintain a general openness to all populations and of course be as inclusive as possible, especially if you do business in the western U.S.