Easy DEI Week Events that Engage and Inform
This past week AMC celebrated our second annual diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) week. Though DEI is a focus all year long, DEI Week gives us the chance to participate in multiple events each day to celebrate what makes us all unique, take a deeper dive into learning about DEI and fostering an inclusive culture, and step away from our day to day to have some fun.
Planned by the AMC DEI Advisory Group, DEI Week has evolved into a yearly tradition. Since most AMC staff are continuing to work remotely through the end of this year, our strategy was to design events that were easy to participate in virtually but that also appealed to those who prefer a high level of interaction and those who prefer more self-guided activities. The result was a week-long slate of multiple daily activities that AMC staff could participate in either together or on their own.
Below is a look at several of our feature events, along with a couple best practice tips to keep in mind when planning your own DEI Week. (For even more DEI Week ideas, read the blog post on 5 Virtual Ways to Celebrate DEI Week.)
Family & Friends Digital Photo Album
Photos and the memories that go along with them are an easy way to begin the conversation about the unique experiences and backgrounds that make us who we are today. Using an online virtual bulletin board, AMC’s DEI Advisory Group and Working Parents employee resource group (ERG) created a digital wall where staff could post meaningful and even funny photos of family, friends, and those who’ve inspired them along with captions that explained what was significant about the images they chose to share.
Everyone was encouraged to post as many photos as they wanted and to scroll through the photos throughout the week to learn more about the special people in each other’s lives. This was one of our most popular DEI Week activities, with more than 65 photos and stories posted, and one of the easiest to set up.
DEI Icebreaker Questions of the Day
Icebreaker questions aren’t just for groups that don’t know each other. They’re also a fun way to learn more about what makes those you already work with unique. For DEI Week, a couple different DEI icebreaker–type questions were posted on our intranet each morning and staff were encouraged to begin or end their meetings by asking one of them.
Questions ranged from those that focused on DEI-specific topics to those that were playful, but all were crafted with the goal of creating a low pressure way to share more about ourselves. Some of our top icebreaker questions included
- If you could meet a historical person or celebrity who has the same gender pronoun as you, who would it be and why?
- What three words would you use to describe yourself?
- What is your secret talent?
Diverse Voices Playlists & Reading Lists
Amplify underrepresented voices and stories in the arts by creating a diverse music playlist or reading list. Before the start of DEI Week, AMC staff were invited to share recommendations for their favorite musical artist or song from any genre, language, or country of origin. This list was then compiled into an AMC Diverse Voices playlist in Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube that staff could listen (or dance to since many of us are working remotely) throughout the week and beyond.
Along the same line, a reading list of fiction and non-fiction books from underrepresented authors was also created. With 70 songs collected from artists including Selena, IU and OhHyuk, and Solange (to name just a few) and multiple book recommendations, we discovered some great new music from across the globe and our next must-read book.
Trivia in Multiple Formats
Virtual trivia has always been and continues to be a big draw for AMC staff. The DEI Advisory Group decided to expand on last year’s DEI team trivia challenge by offering trivia in two formats: one for those who wanted an interactive team event and another for those who preferred a shorter solo version.
For the interactive version, teams of 4 competed for an hour to see who could correctly answer the most LGBTQ+-themed questions over Zoom. And then for those who prefer a less interactive experience, a daily trivia question was posted on our intranet each morning and everyone who had the most correct answers at the end of the week was entered into a prize raffle.
DEI Show & Tell
A returning favorite from last year, our DEI-themed Show & Tell had staff from across the company sharing an heirloom, object, or memory that is special to them in some way and why. From tea-time traditions in Scotland and photos of grandchildren to stories of the challenges and triumphs of cherished relatives, we enjoyed learning about the experiences and memories that have shaped who we are today.
Best Practices for a Successful DEI Week
Now that you have an idea of the events and activities we’ve found successful for celebrating DEI, here are a few best practices we’ve discovered along the way:
- Include a range of activities that appeal to extroverts, introverts, and those who are in between. Every event or activity won’t appeal to everyone, but you’ll provide a better overall experience (and increase participation) if you include a range of interactive and self-guided activities. An event like Show & Tell, which is highly interactive, might be a thrill for the extroverts on your team, but the introverts may prefer self-guided activities like listening to a DEI playlist.
- Plan activities that have a range of time commitments. Depending on the day and the week, some people have more time to engage in events than others. Go ahead and plan that hour-long educational DEI deep dive, but be sure to also balance out those longer activities with ones that take just a few minutes to participate in, such as a daily trivia question.
- Don’t go it alone and crowdsource recommendations on DEI voices, resources, activities, and more from your staff. They’re a great source of info.
At AMC, the heart of DEI is about getting to know those we work with and the experiences that have shaped us, celebrating what makes us unique, recognizing the strength in our differences, and encouraging everyone to bring their authentic selves to work each day.
Thank you to the AMC DEI Advisory Group and the leads of the Professionals of Color, LGBTQ+, and Working Parents ERGs for joining together to create a week of fun and inspiring events: Zinat Ali, Molly Anderson, Kemi Ani, Peggy Fergus, Sonya Jones, Lauren Krauth, Jerrod Liveoak, Erice Perez, Steve Smith, Valerie Smoots, Emma Stevens, Eric Trapp, Katherine Wayne, Dionne Wilson, and Lauren Winters.
Katherine Wayne is senior manager of corporate communications at AMC.
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