With these activities, you can create a more inclusive work environment while meeting your company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.
In this list, you’ll find:
- Atlanta diversity, equity, and inclusion team building exercises
- Ideas for exploring Atlanta’s Civil Rights legacy
- DEI team building activities for corporate offices in Atlanta
- Outdoor diversity team building activities
- The best team building activities in Atlanta
- DEI activities to boost employee engagement
What is diversity?
According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, “diversity” is
- the condition of having or being composed of differing elements: variety. Especially: the inclusion of people of different races, cultures, etc. in a group or organization.
- an instance of being composed of differing elements or qualities: an instance of being diverse
Additionally, there are many types of diversity. For example, consider race, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, size, language, dietary restrictions, and cultural background. This list is not exhaustive – there are many ways to be inclusive.
Why does diversity team building matter?
Planning team building activities around the themes of diversity, equity, and inclusion, can help you accomplish several things. Firstly, these activities create an chance to educate yourself and your team about diversity. The more we learn, the more inclusive we can be.
Secondly, creating a culture of inclusion helps everyone feel they can bring their authentic selves to work. Being appreciated for who you are can lead to feelings of self-confidence and fulfillment. Moreover, this can boost retention, morale, and an overall sense of well-being among your team.
Finally, team building activities help create feelings of connection and belonging. That’s because working together on a shared challenge can improve teamwork and communication skills. What’s more, creating fun memories together helps reinforce the idea that your department is a team.
1. Take a Walking Tour to Learn About Dr. King’s Atlanta Legacy – One of Our Favorite Diversity Team Building: Atlanta Activities
Our Martin Luther King, Jr. Tour is the perfect way to get up-close and personal with our city’s history. During this unforgettable walking tour, your team will learn all about MLK’s Atlanta legacy. This tour has been named by Conde Nast as one of the 16 best things to do in Atlanta.
Learn about the people and locations that inspired Martin Luther King, Jr. During this experience, your team will stroll 1.7 miles and hear the incredible stories of Dr. King’s legacy. Highlights include visiting the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church and seeing Dr. King’s office in the Prince Hall Grand Lodge.
Afterward, you’ll see an amazing skyline view of the city from the Jackson Street Bridge. Lastly, the tour ends at the reflecting pool and memorial where Dr. and Mrs. King are entombed.
View tour details and book your Unexpected Atlanta Martin Luther King, Jr. walking tour.
2. Visit the National Center for Civil & Human Rights
Atlanta companies are fortunate to have a number of cultural gems right in our backyard. For instance, National Center for Civil and Human Rights is a popular option for DEI activities in Atlanta.
This museum Atlanta connects the U.S. Civil Rights Movement to human rights challenges today. Here, you can explore a variety of thought-provoking exhibits. Or plan your visit around one of the museum’s upcoming special events or symposiums.
As part of its mission, the museum is committed to accessibility. As a result, they offer assistive devices and way-finding guides in English and Spanish. Plus, you can use handheld text and audio guides, and wheelchairs are available at no cost.
The museum is located downtown near the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, and SkyView Ferris Wheel.
3. Take a BIPOC Owned Business Tour of the City – One of Our Favorite Diversity Team Building: Atlanta Activities
Have a fun team building day out while patronizing BIPOC-owned businesses in Atlanta. To clarify, BIPOC stands for Black, Indigenous, and people of color. You can find BIPOC-owned Atlanta businesses for just about any team outing: food and drinks, entertainment, and more.
For example, a few of our favorite BIPOC-owned businesses include:
- Just Add Honey Tea Company | Inman Park
- Atlanta Breakfast Club | Downtown
- Sublime Doughnuts | North Druid Hills & GA Tech
- Plant Based Pizzeria | Midtown & Sandy Springs
- Northern China Eatery | Chamblee
- Plaza Fiesta | Chamblee
- Ballethnic Dance Company | East Point
- Respire Spa | Northlake
- Cascade Fun Center & Skating Rink | Adamsville
- Note: our company, Unexpected Atlanta, is also BIPOC-owned and operated!
4. Volunteer with a Nonprofit
As humans, we tend to have more empathy when we are exposed to a wide variety of life circumstances and mindsets. Volunteering is a great way to expand our worldview. Consider making it a part of your work culture by planning a volunteer day.
Hands On Atlanta can help your team connect with the right project based on your group size and interest. For example, you could help with weeding and planting on a nonprofit urban farm like Truly Living Well. Or, assist with distributing food at Ebenezer Baptist Church or the Clarkston Community Food Pantry.
Help your employees feel a sense of accomplishment and purpose from helping a good cause in their community. Be sure to debrief afterward to hear everyone’s insights and feedback from their day.
5. Head to an Atlanta Park for a Diversity Brainstorming Session
Formal audits and professional consulting can be very helpful to ensure an inclusive, supportive workplace culture. That said, your team members can also be a valuable source of feedback and ideas.
Plan a diversity brainstorming session and share an open invite with your team. One idea to shake things up is to host the meeting in a nearby park. That’s because getting everyone out of the office for some fresh air can spark new ideas. Also, your team may feel more comfortable in a relaxing natural environment.
A few of our favorite spots include Grant Park, Lullwater Nature Preserve (Emory), Brook Run Park (Dunwoody), and Chastain Park.
6. Learn American Sign Language Together
Learning a new skill can give your brain a rush of dopamine and create new neural links. Moreover, learning something new with your coworkers can deepen feelings of connection and belonging.
Consider learning American Sign Language together. With 3.1% of Georgians reporting a hearing disability, learning American Sign Language is a fun and practical inclusion activity.
You can plan one session and learn a few basic phrases with YouTube or a professional instructor. Additionally, you can request a virtual American Sign Language for Business class through the Georgia Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
7. Get Involved with a Local Professional Organization – One of Our Favorite Diversity Team Building: Atlanta Activities
Atlanta has many professional and civic association geared toward diversity, equity, and inclusion. Consider joining as a business member. Similarly, you can share information in your company newsletter and set aside funds to sponsor professional dues.
For instance, you could join or support:
- Georgia Diversity Council
- NAACP Atlanta
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta
- Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- OUT Georgia Business Alliance
8. Visit the Etowah Mounds in Cartersville
To learn more about Indigenous peoples and Georgia’s history, pay a respectful visit to a Native American site. For example, see the Etowah Indian Mounds in Cartersville, around 45 minutes northwest of Atlanta. These 63-foot-tall earth mounds were built for ceremonies, defense, and burials.
The mounds are located on a historic site spanning 54 acres. The land includes the six mounds as well as a museum, plaza, village site, borrow pits, and defensive ditch. A nature trail also educates visitors about how early civilizations used native plants for food and medicine.
Etowah Mounds is the most intact Mississippian Culture site in the Southeast. Several thousand Native Americans lived here from 1000-1550 AD.
9. Participate in Atlanta Pride Month
While much of the world celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride Month in June, Atlanta celebrates in October. While the 2021 Atlanta Pride Festival and Parade has been canceled for safety reasons, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate with your team.
For example, visit one of the restaurants, bars, or bakeries on this list of LGBTQ+ owned businesses in Atlanta. The list also includes entertainment options that prioritize LGBTQ+ theatre performances and museum exhibits.
Additionally, you can get involved with the OUT Georgia Business Alliance. They host regularly occurring community events, virtual business lunches, and other networking events.
10. Book a Virtual Diversity Team Building Experience
Does your Atlanta team work remotely or in a hybrid model? If so, try a live, interactive virtual team building experience! For instance, our sister company, Unexpected Virtual Tours, offers turnkey virtual experiences that help meet DEI goals. They’re perfect for small groups and large virtual conferences alike!
In this experience, expert guides will walk your team through interactive lessons, fun competitions, and craft challenges. Breakout rooms will encourage deeper discussion, while games boost team bonding.
Our DEI-focused offerings include Music Evolution, Street Art, and (coming in 2022) Black Empires. Or, choose a seasonal session, such as Black History Month or Juneteenth.
Learn more about Unexpected Atlanta’s team building options here. Discover why we’re trusted by Atlanta companies like Porsche, The Home Depot, Coca-Cola, and more!
11. Take a Field Trip to Honor John Lewis’s Memory & Learn About Civil Rights
See the John Lewis “HERO” mural in Downtown Atlanta and honor the memory of this Civil Rights leader. This mural was created by The Loss Prevention, as part of their “Heroes” mural series honoring Atlantans who have made an impact on the world.
Throughout his life, Lewis led important Civil Rights protests like the Selma to Montgomery bus marches and the 1963 March on Washington. He also created meaningful change during his years in Congress, from 1987 until his passing in 2020.
Additionally, check out the John Lewis statue in the new Rodney Cook Senior Peace Park in Vine City, just west of Downtown Atlanta. The park has 16 acres of greenspace and green infrastructure.