Diverse coworkers chatting at work party

Yes, Let’s Celebrate

“Should my workplace plan holiday festivities?” 

It’s been a particularly challenging time for so many people as we individually and collectively grieve unfolding hostilities and humanitarian catastrophes in the Middle East and around the world. Some people’s perspectives are being painfully and dramatically redrawn by current media. For others, conflict is felt even close to home through hate speech and targeted crime. 

In this climate, you may be wondering “Is it okay to celebrate?” or “Should my workplace plan holiday festivities?” 

While there is no universal answer to this question, this week we’re going to share the perspective of Brian Carwana, the Founder and Director of Encounter World Religions, an organization dedicated to religious literacy, pluralism, and inclusion. 

According to Brian, yes, we should celebrate:

“Festivals like Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa give us opportunities to connect with our loved ones, to think about our own worlds of family, friends, and community, and what we can do to support one another. […T]hey bond us to one another and fill our cups to face the adversities that will come and to help others when adversities come their way.”

He also notes that canceling religious traditions for fear of “inflaming tensions” or “taking sides” is a mistake because it assigns group guilt and punishes religious communities and individuals for things they don’t control. 

If your workplace is going to mark the holidays with some kind of celebration, take a look at this week’s resources to help make it an inclusive one!


Overhead view of person setting a dinner table.
Best of HR

8 Best Practices For Inclusive Holiday Celebrations In The Workplace

If you’re looking for straightforward, no nonsense advice about how to celebrate the holidays inclusively, check out this article by Best of HR. They asked CEOs and people managers for their best recommendations and came up with clear and actionable strategies. From creating collaborative holiday calendars to centering the holidays more on meal-sharing, there are several best practices that you may follow to foster inclusive holiday celebrations in your workplace.


Just One Q

How Religious Identities Fit Into the Workplace

As we enter the holiday season, many of our colleagues are celebrating or observing holy days, festivals and observances. On this replay of Just One Q, Melissa Horne, PhD talks with Brian Carwana about building our religious literacy. Being intentional about incorporating religious inclusion in DEI efforts is essential to creating a welcoming space where religious and spiritual people can bring their whole selves to work.


Psychological Safety

Creating a psychologically safe workplace is essential for fostering trust, innovation, and collaboration among team members. This intermediate-level program based on the work of Dr. David Rock of the NeuroLeadership Institute explores how leaders can promote psychological safety and belonging on their teams by mitigating threats to status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness, and fairness.

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