While Christmas shopping in a bookstore, a decorative plate on display caught my attention. There was a phrase on it that read, “Until Further Notice Celebrate Everything.”
In a way, this statement validated a decision that I made with my team to recognize faith-based days on social media instead of making general sentiments of holiday wishes.
Saying Happy Holidays and not Happy Hannukah or Merry Christmas, for example, didn’t feel right to me. And it may appear exclusionary to the many students and families in our district who represent diversity in faith.
“If you do it for one, then you have to do it for them all,” said a colleague to which I replied, “Let’s do this!”
There are approximately 29 holidays observed by 7 of the world’s major religions from November 1 to January 15. It would be difficult to recognize them all, but it’s important to highlight the ones most represented by families in your district.
Inclusivity is embraced in our schools. It should be modeled in our communications. We need to be champions of equity for students. Families should see themselves in order to feel welcomed.
Strive to enter the arena of inclusive communications year-round. Social media is a great place to start.
- Use graphic images to further your message on social media
- Quote a religious leader from your community
- Share a video greeting from your superintendent
- Have students share the meaning behind the holiday they recognize and celebrate
Promote greetings with accuracy and respect by reaching out to members of your faith community. A Faith Community Advisory Committee established in your district is a positive resource for school PR pros.
Celebrate the engagement that comes with diversity communications in your district.
As you enjoy time with loved ones this season, I wish you a Happy (insert your faith-based holiday here)!