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This year the country—and the world—have seen a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement and a growing emphasis on racial justice and equality.

The highly documented deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others have sparked demonstrations, debates, social media campaigns, policy changes and a general increase of awareness about racial disparities. 

As a result, awareness about the importance of workplace diversity is also on the rise. 

But ethnic diversity in the workplace isn’t just about race—it is also about culture. 

Culture encompasses the customs, social habits, music and art, cuisine, and religion of a particular group. Workplaces with cultural diversity are 33 percent more likely to out-perform their less diverse counterparts. 

Cultural diversity in the workplace means more than hiring individuals from different ethnic backgrounds. It means understanding and incorporating those individuals’ values, beliefs and customs into the company culture. 

Historically Black Colleges and Universities are examples of institutions that thrive on the integration and celebration of cultural diversity. About 76 percent of HBCU students are Black, while about 13 percent are White, 3 percent are Latino and Latina and 1 percent are Asian-American. 

The prevalence of Greek Life, inclusive environments, and focus on social justice gives HBCU students a sense of belonging and of being part of something bigger than themselves.

Notable HBCU alumni such as Kamala Harris, Samuel Jackson and Oprah Winfrey are testaments to the value and importance of HBCUs’ cultural diversity. 

Founded during an era of legal segregation, HBCUs have a lot to teach companies about what inclusion and equality mean outside of corporately-mandated diversity hires.

Cultural diversity in the workplace not only boosts a businesses’ bottom line, but it can help team members recognize and respect other ways of being—leading to an increase of empathy, teamwork and innovation.