This week, the U.S. commemorated its 39th observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For you history buffs, it may seem like my math’s a bit off, seeing as Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated 55 years ago. Unfortunately, the road to establishing a national holiday in honor of history’s most renowned civil rights activist was a turbulent one. In Simply Good, the Smithsonian provides a brief history of the evolution of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, including the more recent movement to make it a day of service rather than just another day off of work.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day (IHRD) is observed on January 27, commemorating the 1945 liberation of Auschwitz, one of the most infamous Nazi concentration camps. In 2000, 46 international governments met in Stockholm to discuss Holocaust education. It’s there that they penned the Stockholm Declaration, which established the observance. In recent years, IHRD has expanded to remembering victims of genocide all over the world. As we remember these horrific tragedies and their innocent victims, we see there is much to be done in addressing the underlying issues that still exist today — ignorance and hatred.
While we’ve heard it said that, “knowledge is power,” I believe it’s the empathy derived from knowledge that gives us real power. When we learn more about the roads that others walk, we see them, and ourselves, differently. This self-awareness spurs on conversations, breaks old habits and biases, and motivates change. My 2023 Diversity Calendar is a great way to provide yourself with the opportunity to do just that.
It’s easy to talk about what we want to change and educate others about change, but what about making changes? Real change requires a step-by-step process. In Simply Diversity, I talk about how to approach DEI strategically in order to make real, lasting changes in your organization this year.
Stacey Gordon, MBA
Rework Work CEO