On behalf of NIRSA’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Commission, I invite you to take some time this week to review the resources below for information about how to navigate being inclusive, respectful, and mindful during the upcoming season.

Whether you choose to integrate them into an upcoming staff training or you’re simply reading them to expand your understanding of the vital topics of equity, diversity, or inclusion, these resources can help shape your perspective on social justice and serve as a reminder of our diverse populations and perspectives in campus recreation.

By the University of Missouri’s Division of Inclusion, Diversity, & Inclusion

The world is rich with diversity, which is reflected in the observances celebrated by its various cultures and populations. Knowledge of the following diverse holidays and celebrations can enhance campus recreation efforts toward being inclusive.

As some take time to celebrate this December holiday season, it is important to be thoughtful and inclusive of those who celebrate in different ways or those who do not celebrate at all. Campus recreation spaces are meant for all people–and, therefore, all holidays. As we start thinking about what our facility spaces might look like during the season, it’s helpful to be mindful of all the holidays taking place this season and during the whole year.

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By Simma Lieberman | The Balance

Celebrating diversity and inclusiveness encompasses using the holiday celebration time with friends and family to build understanding and awareness of the traditions and beliefs of others.

In this article, read about ways to build a community that will help increase diversity awareness and create an inclusive holiday environment. Creating a space that is welcoming for all is much more than being politically correct during the season. We can interact with all students and colleagues in a way that is mindful of the diverse needs/wants of all during this season and beyond.

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By Rebecca R. Hastings, SPHR | Society for Human Resource Management

For those who don’t celebrate Christmas, this time of the year can come without fanfare. In this article, the author reminds readers that “20 percent of the U.S. population, or approximately 60 million people, are not Christian. Some members of this group still enjoy the [Christmas] season, while some just accept it. Others are annoyed but silent, downright uncomfortable, or even hostile.”

For others, however, this same season is a time of year to get swept up into feeling good, finding a renewed desire to help others, reconnecting with old friends and family, celebrating accomplishments of the past year, and setting goals for the coming year. Positively affecting the attitudes of patrons, students, and colleagues coming into our recreation spaces can be as important as the physical support we give them. In this article, you will get different steps on how to be an inclusive leader during the upcoming holiday season and how to continue that work after the season ends.

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Add your voice to the conversation

We encourage you to connect with colleagues from across North America on this important topic. Join NIRSA’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Community of Practice today to find more resources or to participate in the online discussion.

Maryse Abrahams is currently the Member Services Specialist at the University of Minnesota; she serves on NIRSA's Commission for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. She can be reached at abrah257@umn.edu.