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On the heels of LGBT History Month, we’re now looking forward to celebrating World Unity Week, which starts November 18th and runs through Monday, November 25th 2021.

Here in the US, the NGLCC is meeting in person for the first time since the global pandemic to produce the Back 2 Business Summit in Hollywood Florida, bringing together the bravest and the brightest minds to celebrate unity and promote diversity in business. 

Why Unity? Why Collaborate?

This question reminds me of the early days of 2021 when I had the opportunity to watch “The Year the Earth Changed”, narrated by David Attenborough. One passage in the film struck me with profound resonance. When the world slowed down and the noise of humanity was silenced in the Bay of Alaska, mother Humpback whales could hear their young and communicate again, allowing them to collaborate and hunt together, producing healthier calves and a stronger community.

Since the dawn of time, the animal kingdom has taught us a great deal about the importance of collaboration and communication. Over time as humans evolved, we became somehow disconnected from this critical feature that allows for the survival and development of a species. Communicating and collaborating are now more important than ever to ensure our place on the planet, and our ability to thrive and support our families and protect the precious resources that allow for our existence.

A brief history of Unity Week

In the first week of February 2018, UNITY EARTH, in partnership with the United Religions Initiative, the Inter-Religious Council of Ethiopia and the World Peace Prayer Society, invited more than 65 religious representatives of many faiths and musical artists from a wide range of nations to celebrate World Interfaith Harmony Week 2018 in Lalibela, Addis Ababa and Shashamane, Ethiopia.

In 2020, the National Business Inclusion Consortium (NBIC), with significant leadership by Justin Nelson and Chance Mitchell of the NGLCC, created NBIC Unity Week, uniting the nation’s leading business diversity organizations. The 2020 NBIC Unity Week was a celebration of diversity, opportunity, equity, and collaboration.  Attendees received access to exclusive dayside programming focused on building unprecedented success for diverse communities in the United States, and around the globe.

While these two celebrations of unity are not connected in any way, the fact that they coincide from a timing perspective are just a reminder of how important it is to remember that the power of what makes us the same is stronger than what drives us apart. Whether it be religious affiliation, sexual preference, the color of our skin or our political beliefs and values, we have the power to choose to work together for the common purpose of our planet, its inhabitants and the environment.

Where do we go next?

With so many opportunities to collaborate and work together, it can be overwhelming at times. At GSG, we believe that our greatest achievements are ahead of us but can only be realized by working together with our employees, clients, and communities. Simply acknowledging that we are in this together and that nothing important is truly done alone can help you feel less isolated and comforted as we begin to return to a new normal. 

This week I had the honor and privilege to work side by side in the same room with my team again in our San Francisco headquarters, and the rush I got from interacting in a way that hadn’t been possible the past 2 years was nothing short of amazing. I felt like we got more accomplished in 2 hours than would have been possible in a video meeting.

At GSG, we are starting a sustained campaign to promote collaboration and communication with our employees, clients, and communities. Over the next several weeks and months, you will see a consistent flow of original and re-published content giving you information, tools, tips, and guidance on how you can make a difference by communicating and collaborating. We hope you’ll join us in this journey “back to the future”, where we can overcome division, racial inequities, economic disparity, and religious strife by working together to create a world where everyone feels safe being their authentic selves.

Track the events of Unity Week 2021 around the world by following these hashtags:

#unity #future #culture #communication #collaboration #diversity #inclusion #community #nglcc #lgbtq

When we can communicate, we can collaborate…Together, we can execute.

John Henning is the Chief Client Officer at Granite Solutions Groupe. He has over 35 years of leadership experience in the financial services and technology industries, and currently oversees all client account management, professional services, marketing strategy, business development and sales operations for GSG.