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7 Inclusive Event Ideas for World Day of Cultural Diversity

May 21st is World Day of Cultural Diversity. Plan inclusive team building events that teach cultural appreciation and awareness. Read on for more ideas designed with remote and hybrid teams in mind.

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What is World Day of Cultural Diversity?

The World Day of Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development was created in 2002 by the United Nations General Assembly to promote cultural diversity and create an intercultural dialogue of respect for those around the globe. This world day for cultural diversity is observed annually on May 21st. The day recognizes the richness of world cultures, as well as the essential role intercultural dialogue plays in creating global peaceful coexistence and sustainable development across nations.


Why does cultural diversity matter? πŸ’­

The United Nations General Assembly created this day of awareness for cultural diversity because:

  • 3/4 of the world's major conflicts have a cultural aspect, which means bridging the cultural divide across regions is necessary for peaceful and sustainable development frameworks.
  • Cultural diversity drives development, not only in relation to economic growth, but also by leading individuals to lead more fulfilling emotional and intellectual lives.

On this day, celebrate cultural diversity in your office with team building activities that teach cultural expressions, history, and more. Here are some ideas for inclusive team building events to get you started.


7 team building activities that are perfect to commemorate this day for cultural diversity:

1. Diverse Women in Cinema πŸŽ₯

Diversity in film is crucial because as a medium, movies have the power to shape our perceptions of the world around us. They can influence how we see different genders, races, sexual orientations, and cultures. It's essential to analyze the representation of diversity in films behind the scenes and the impact they have on society.

A class on Diverse Women in Film is an excellent way to celebrate this day of cultural diversity because it highlights the challenges and triumphs of underrepresented groups making strides in the film industry. In this lecture-style class, participants will learn about the evolution of film and the significant contributions of women as directors, producers, writers, and actors from the Golden Age of Hollywood all the way up until today. The class will delve into the challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ women and women of color in the industry and how they are overcoming those obstacles.

How to get started πŸ‘‰ Celebrate change makers in Diverse Women in Cinema!


2. Cultural Potluck πŸ₯‘ Β 

Showcase the diversity of your team with a cultural potluck, where employees bring a dish that represents their own cultural heritage, whether that's a beloved family recipe or a traditional food that is popular in their family's country of origin.

A Cultural Potluck is an excellent way to encourage employees to share their heritage with their colleagues and to learn more about the diverse backgrounds of their coworkers. It provides an opportunity for everyone to come together and celebrate the unique flavors and traditions that make up the tapestry of our global community.

Take time to swap stories about the dishes participants have chosen to share, and the cultural traditions or origins of the recipe. For an added layer of cultural exchange, ask participants to bring copies of the recipe so that everyone can go home with a mini cookbook from your cultural diversity day.

How to get started πŸ‘‰ Create a sign-up sheet where employees can share what dish they plan to bring, and make sure to send out your invites plenty in advance to encourage maximum participation!


3. Asian Dance Class 🌸

How about planning an activity for the office that celebrates diversity through movement?

In an Asian Dance Class, participants can learn about the historical and geographic context of a specific Southeast Asian dance, such as those from Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, or China. A professional performer will guide participants through each dance step in a step-by-step demonstration, allowing them to follow along and learn the dance at their own pace.

This activity is a great way to promote diversity, as it allows participants to experience the beauty and uniqueness of a different culture through the art of dance. It can be an excellent team building activity, as everyone works together to learn the dance routine and support one another in the process.

How to get started πŸ‘‰ Get the whole team moving in an Asian Dance Class!


4. Exploring Hispanic Art 🎨

Art is a medium that inspires cultural storytelling and reflection, and demonstrates societal values. In Exploring Hispanic Art, participants will learn about Hispanic culture through discussions around works of art and storytelling.

This class explores the Hispanic Society of America's collection of art and artifacts, including paintings by famous artists such as Goya, VelΓ‘zquez, El Greco, and Sorolla, as well as sculptures, furniture, and jewelry dating from the Stone Age to the 20th century.

Through art and artifacts, this class touches on the history of the Spanish-speaking world. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and engage in dialogue, learning more about Hispanic history and culture in the process.

How to get started πŸ‘‰ Integrate storytelling and art history in Exploring Hispanic Art!


5. LGBTQIA+ Cultural Impact Class 🧠

This class offers a unique opportunity to learn about the history of the LGBTQIA+ community and how it has impacted American culture. It's a fun and educational way to celebrate the contributions of this subculture and to recognize the role it has played in shaping our country, from art and music to politics and more.

One of the reasons this activity is so engaging is that it offers a fresh perspective on American history. By learning about the contributions of the LGBTQIA+ community, participants can gain a deeper understanding of how diverse cultures have helped shape our country. This can be an eye-opening experience that encourages dialogue and helps foster empathy, allyship, and understanding among colleagues.

How to get started πŸ‘‰ Spotlight Queer culture in an LGBTQIA+ Cultural Impact Class!


6. Sign Language Workshop ✌️

Diversity, equity, and inclusion aren't complete without visibility for those differently abled, which makes a Sign Language Workshop a great learning opportunity for this day of cultural dialogue and development. In this workshop, a sign language instructor will lead participants through fun exercises to introduce them to the world of sign language, as well as teach words, phrases, and basic sign language facts. This interactive experience offers a unique opportunity for team members to step outside their comfort zones and learn new skills.

This workshop raises awareness of the Deaf community and the importance of inclusivity. As participants learn about sign language and the challenges faced by the Deaf community, they will gain a greater understanding of the importance of communication and empathy for this group.

How to get started πŸ‘‰ Raise awareness for the Deaf community in a Sign Language Workshop!Β 


7. Lunch & Learn Sessions 🍴

Lunch and Learn sessions are a great way to bring employees together to bond while gaining an appreciation for different cultures. Here are some suggestions for activities you can implement at your next Lunch and Learn sessions:

  • Host screenings of regional music and dance performances
  • Team up with employees for language exchange activities
  • Watch a video from the United Nations' educational resources on Youtube
  • Invite a keynote speaker from a cultural organization to give a lecture on their mission and work

Be sure to offer a variety of activities throughout the week so that all of your employees have the opportunity to join in on their lunch break!

Learn more πŸ‘‰ Here are 5 Great Ideas for Your Office's Next Lunch and Learn!


Celebrate the world's diverse cultures with Confetti 🌎

Honoring World Day of Cultural Diversity is a wonderful opportunity to promote inclusivity in the workplace and create a more diverse and welcoming team environment. By incorporating team building activities that showcase diverse cultures, you can create an environment where everyone feels valued and respected. Remember, celebrating cultural diversity is not a one-time event but an ongoing commitment to creating an inclusive culture for all.

Ready to add some team building events to your DEI Calendar? Contact [email protected] to get started!


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