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)


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:


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..

Resources:


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.

Resources: