Wednesday, November 16, 2022
University of Iowa Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

There are many things to celebrate as we approach the end of the semester: the incredible accomplishments of our students, the dedication and hard work of our staff and faculty, and the connection we all share as members of the University of Iowa community.

With this change in the calendar also comes the holiday season, which frequently includes celebrations from many offices on campus.

 Why it matters: Most year-end celebrations aim to show appreciation for our employees. 

Our faculty and staff of our institution do amazing work. For many employees, celebrations help us recognize the vast array of identities of our faculty, staff, and students. They can be a reminder or expressions of these values.

Tips for hosting an inclusive celebration:

  • Please refer to the BMindful calendar as a guide to knowing important religious celebration dates. Please keep these in mind if your organization is planning an event.
  • Ask:
    • How can I include everyone if we have a celebration?
    • Is the celebration inclusive of individuals from all identities? 
    • Is this event tied to a particular religious faith, and if so, who is my intended audience?
  • Consider using inclusive terminology that does not focus on one holiday or religion.

Guidelines on religious symbols

The university celebrates the religious diversity of our community. However, the university should not appear to support any particular religion by displaying religious symbols in public areas as a public institution. However, individuals can display religious symbols in their attire and private workspaces. We encourage you to review the university's religious guidelines if you have questions about religious symbols in the workplace. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to our office.

 Liz