Created by ReDiscover’s Cultural Inclusiveness Committee
“Celebrating diversity and inclusiveness is about using the holiday celebration time with friends and family to build understanding and awareness of the traditions and beliefs of others.” Simma Lieberman
To build our awareness and create an inclusive holiday environment, we asked ReDiscover staff members: “What holidays or observances do you recognize/celebrate during the Fall season?”
“We celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving but Thanksgiving is by far my favorite. I have a pretty large family and we all come together to have a pot luck lunch/dinner. It reminds me to be extremely grateful for my family and reflect on the blessings we often take for granted.” -Le’Nae Roberts Program Coordinator, Children’s Services
“I am from Riverside, California. My family would go to pumpkin patches and the apple orchards for fun, I liked the Fall decorations. We also did trick-or-treating for Halloween; my favorite costume was Wonder Woman, but the candy was the best part. Also, since the weather was so nice in California there were kids parading down the streets with costumes, which was fun to watch. I did get to visit a haunted house at the age of thirteen but I didn’t like it very much.” –Esmeralda Lopez Administrative Assistant, Flory Center Bldg. B
“I celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas. My family does not celebrate Halloween but I love the candy. We also celebrate New Years. We celebrate January 1st because it is our Independence Day. We make Pumpkin soup, it is called Joumou soup, it is really good!The soup represents how we kicked the French out of Haiti. We were not able to drink it because it was French and we were colonized by the French. Haitians fought them and became independent. I am from Gonaives Haiti, Haiti’s “Independent City” -Djoudy Saint Paul Clinical Case Manager, South Office
“We celebrate Labor Day, Halloween and Thanksgiving. For Halloween my husband and children and I all dress up. My husband is in charge of the costumes. Last year we were minions and the year before were the baby shark family. We trick or treat usually at the Church Trunk or Treat programs.”For Thanksgiving the family sits down with parents and has Turkey and Pumpkin Pie. When she was a child they went to Nebraska to be with grandparents. They moved to US from Holland in the 50’s. The meal was served on fine China and crystal. Then everyone did Black Friday shopping the day after.”Alycia and her husband went to Holland for their honeymoon and she reconnected with some extended family in Holland.” –Alycia Raya Unit Secretary, Flory
“For Halloween, my family decorates the house with all of our Fall decor. One of the Halloween staples is the ghosts we hang from the tree in the front yard. My nephews dress up and go trick or treating around the neighborhood and make sure to go to all the houses that give out the full sized candy bars. Usually, my husband and I will try to make to a Halloween party. We like to have the chance to dress up and create clever costumes.For Thanksgiving, we all get together at my parent’s house. All my siblings, niece and nephews and usually one of my uncle’s attend. My mom spends the whole day cooking everything except the turkey, my dad usually puts himself in charge of the turkey. The day is spent telling stories, watching football, and napping after all the food is eaten.For Christmas, my family always waits until the week before to get a tree. My mom loves the smell of pine trees, so we search for the perfect, discounted tree (if available). The main hallway is covered with stockings hanging from the stairs because I have a large family and everyone has their own stocking. We go to see the lights in the park, we participate in serving a meal at ReStart, and always attend one of the Christmas Eve services at our church. Our Christmas Eve dinner tradition is to order Chinese food from a family restaurant down the street. Christmas morning the family has to wait for everyone to get to my parent’s house before opening presents that are usually already sorted into piles. After presents are unwrapped, we have brunch. Later, we all have Christmas dinner which used to be with all of my mom’s family but has evolved into just our immediate family (now that everyone has their own families).”-Rhianna Rice, Receptionist, 901
“Thanksgiving and the day after, because we get together as a family. Traditionally my mom, sisters and I love to shop on Black Friday.”-Laurie Wells RN, Women and Children’s
“Probably the only think I celebrate during fall is Thanksgiving. Usually the kids come over and we have dinner and watch football. We have to watch the Cowboys lose. I have to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. I don’t shop!”-Ginger Barger, Client Account Rep, Loma Vista
Click the links below to read more articles on valuing diversity during the holidays:
What is Cultural Competency?
ReDiscover’s Working Definition of Cultural Competency: The internal process (journey) toward awareness, respect and sensitivity of all individuals. ReDiscover is committed to a safe, responsive and healing climate that respects clients, staff and community.
Cultural Inclusiveness Committee Scope: To create an agency-wide environment where dignity and respect are lived and modeled so that all clients, stakeholders, and employees can freely experience the perspectives and contributions of various cultures, groups, and individuals and enjoy equitable opportunities for professional and personal fulfillment.