Thanksgiving is nearly here, and it seems to sneak up faster year after year. It’s a great time to show appreciation for our family, friends, and colleagues. But it’s important to confront the mythology around the holiday too, which is why we’ve collected helpful information and tips for practicing inclusivity during Thanksgiving. Here’s a list of reminders to celebrate mindfully during this holiday season!
1. Stop perpetuating harmful narratives around Thanksgiving
After an arduous journey here, your Thanksgiving dinner may feel relatively normal. It can be easy to settle into the warm, lighthearted narrative of the holiday. But for so many Native Americans, Thanksgiving has been known as National Day of Mourning since 1970.
Every year on the fourth Thursday of November, indigenous people in the US are reminded of the atrocities committed by the colonizers, while most of the US – residing on stolen land – celebrates the colonizers’ exploitation of Native people. Think about how you might be perpetuating these harmful historical narratives in your personal conversations or in your organization’s communications during the holiday—here are some resources to help you confront the mythology of Thanksgiving:
- National Day of Mourning | SmokeSygnals
- Thanksgiving | Native Americans | One Word | Cut
- UAINE and The History of National Day of Mourning | UAINE
- How to Tell the Thanksgiving Story on Its 400th Anniversary | Smithsonian
- American Indian Perspectives on Thanksgiving | National Museum of the American Indian
2. Donate to or Buy Native this holiday season
Use this tool to find out about Native communities in your area and understand the issues that affect them today. Maybe they could use your fundraising dollars—look out for community-based organizations or organizers that you could support during GivingTuesday or promote to your networks during year-end giving. Or perhaps, Native communities in your area might have vendors you can support directly with your holiday shopping this year!
3. Give thanks to your audience by sending appreciation emails
Your organization’s supporters have donated their time, attention, and/or dollars to help you drive impact this year. Maybe you already have an automated series thanking your donors. But it always feels good to receive additional acknowledgment of all the ways your community supports your work—use your end-of-year communications and campaigns to show your supporters that you’re thankful for them, too.
4. Show appreciation to your whole team and set up a virtual team-building event
Fostering belonging and inclusivity in the workplace is an ongoing challenge for many organizations, especially while many of us continue to work from home. Don’t forget to include team members who are remote (either temporarily or permanently) in your celebrations.
These are just a few ways to express gratitude and incorporate diversity and inclusion before, during, and after this Thanksgiving season. We encourage you to reflect and explore more ways to practice mindfulness and foster a belonging space at your work, home, organization, and within your overall brand. Feel free to check out the DEI style guide or use the Inclusivity Tool to expand your appreciation toward others and leverage more considerate, person-first language in your marketing and in your own life. We encourage you to continue growing your own list of inclusive actions that help to celebrate diversity during the holidays and beyond!