The D&I Digest: October 2020

Featured in this issue: National Disability Employment Awareness Month, National Hispanic Heritage Month and Día de los Muertos.

BR is committed to increasing and retaining diversity of thought, experience and background of our talent base at every level and function, and to actively creating a culture of belonging that embraces all of our employees as they are – because if we’re going to fully serve our clients, we need to show up as our full selves. Our goal is to develop a cross-functional team of employees and agency leaders that celebrates our people, delights our clients, better solves problems, and promotes a passion for diversity and inclusion. 

It is what people CAN do that matters

Volunteer Contributor: Amanda Powell

As a child of a disabled person, I was often surprised how my mom’s inability to walk and clearly communicate later in life made her invisible to lifelong friends and family, let alone complete strangers. She was not alone. Take Alice Wong, for example. Wong is the founder of the Disability Visibility Project. She says her hope for coming out of this pandemic is that we do not return to “normal,” as that’s not great for many people.

“Just because all of the nondisabled people go back to work, or to Burning Man, or to Coachella, that doesn’t mean we should stop thinking about accessibility,” she says.

And there is no better time to think about what we can do to make a difference. October 2020 is the 75th National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) in addition to the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces back to 1945 when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. This year’s theme is “Increasing Access and Opportunity.”

How you can participate:

  • Appropriate disability etiquette in the workplace allows those with different perspectives to be more comfortable and productive. Learn more about Workplace Etiquette: Mobility, Sensory, Cognitive and Psychiatric Impairments.
  • Or read more about Employer Practices and Attitudes toward the Employment of People with Disabilities.
  • Reflect on your experiences by asking yourself: Think about someone you know who has a disability. Do they work? Do they go to school? Have you ever made assumptions about what they can and can’t do? Have they ever surprised you? What are some of the ways you think organizations can benefit from the talents and perspectives of people with disabilities? Can you think of people with known disabilities who are in careers or jobs that you may not expect? If not, do some research. Try searching for “successful people with disabilities.” You’ll likely see some familiar faces and be introduced to some new ones.

Please contact HR if you have questions about disability accommodations. For more resources and information about National Disability Employment Awareness Month, or to share your experiences with disability in the workplace, please visit the D&I SharePoint site.

Hispanic Heritage Month

Volunteer Contributors: Mandy Reilly, Taylor Dei, Maureen Connolly and Lauren Cook

For the first half of Hispanic Heritage Month, we invited you to learn about what the month means to us here in the U.S. while also encouraging you to support your local Hispanic-owned businesses. While we recognize and celebrate how special it is to be surrounded by contributions from the Latin American community, who’ve given us more than we may have realized, it’s important that we dig deeper to understand them through and beyond our line of work. Here’s what we learned about the Hispanic consumer:

Hispanics today continue to advance communities across the country as small business owners, veterans, teachers and public servants, among many other professions. And they are a driving force in bringing food to our tables. We want to take this moment to recognize an important perspective that The Growing Debate team brought center stage that’s relevant to us as an agrimarketing business. In its first season, Episode 5, “La Agricultura,” we learned how immigrants — documented and undocumented — impact the world of agriculture and our livelihood. A driving force in bringing food to our tables, we were motivated to question what our world would look like without their vital labor.

Looking ahead to the new year, we will be inviting local educator and community organizer, Andrea Rodriguez-Strock, to teach us about the distinction of Hispanic versus Latinx terminology and ways we can grow our cultural competency on the Latin American community. Thank you for joining us to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month! We are proud to highlight the Hispanic community’s achievements and contributions to our national story.

Dia de los Muertos

Volunteer Contributors: Taylor Dei and Sarah Kmet-Hunt

Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated on Nov. 1 and 2 that combines indigenous Aztec traditions with Spanish Catholic influences. Today, many other Latin American countries also celebrate, each with their own distinct ways of welcoming back passed loved ones. 

Although most of us might imagine mourning and sadness on a day honoring the dead, Día de los Muertos celebrates the lives of the deceased with food, drink, costumes, parties and activities the dead enjoyed in life. During these two days, it is believed that the passageway between the real world and the spirit world is open so our loved ones can come back to visit us. Hence, a time to celebrate!

Even in this nontraditional year, there are plenty of local and at-home ways to celebrate this vibrant and engaging holiday. Check out the Mitchell Park Domes in Milwaukee for its virtual event and even pick up a celebration kit in advance. For those open to in-person, the Día de los Muertos Ofrendas exhibit awaits at Latino Arts, Inc. on S. 9th St. Thanks to Google Arts & Culture, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home to discover all of the beauty and rich tradition this holiday has to offer. 

Looking to get the kids involved? We recommend some at-home coloring! Try these beautiful online or printable pages. You can also visit or for activities and educational opportunities. Finally, consider Disney’s Coco for your next family movie night, a recommendation from Jess Ayala: “They did an excellent job staying relevant to traditions during Día de los Muertos, and the narrative overall is one to love.” After watching, check out this article from the Hollywood Reporter to see how an early misstep spurred protest, but ultimately led to community collaboration and a more beautiful, culturally respectful film.

Together We Rise.

Volunteer Contributors: Amber Williams, Kate Daniels, Dan Wolf, Kelly Hunter, Kate Joachim, Eric Kirkhofer and Breanne Rentschler

This October, Bader Rutter is proud to celebrate two important events: LGBT History Month and National Coming Out Day.

LGBTQ History Month recognizes the important roles of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning and/or queer people in our history. This annual month-long observance was created in 1994 by Rodney Wilson, the first openly gay public-school teacher in Missouri.

National Coming Out Day is observed annually on Oct. 11 to raise awareness for, and support individuals within, the LGBTQ+ community. This annual celebration was inspired by a single march: 500,000 people participated in the Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights on Oct. 11, 1987.

We can’t let homophobia thrive in silence. BR would like to celebrate, recognize and show support to our fellow BR LGBTQ+ employees and the community as a whole this month and every month in between. We encourage you to wear this pride T-shirt to show your support and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.








Give More:

We invite each of you to donate to this GoFundMe campaign, supporting the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center. Bader Rutter will match all employee donations up to a total of $1,500.  The campaign will remain open until Nov. 6.

Special Thanks:

We had 59 employees take the open book abolition of slavery quiz back in August (where Bader Rutter pledged to donate $5 for each completed quiz).  That total came to $295, but Bader Rutter decided to “Give More” and has donated $500 to Milwaukee Urban League. Thank you to those who participated!

Want to help the D&I Leadership Council? Have an idea on something that should be highlighted next month? Send us a note.

Let’s Do This


Dig in further on our SharePoint site that highlights our four pillars. 

Learn More: BR supports each employee’s process of self-discovery about topics related to diversity, inclusion and belonging. We do this by providing resources and opportunities for employees to educate themselves.

Listen Harder: BR leadership commits to listening to employees about topics related to diversity, inclusion and belonging, and encourages employees to have open and honest conversations with each other. We do this by providing a range of feedback channels and spaces for discussion.

Change Faster: BR executes on action plans to become a more diverse and inclusive organization that fosters a sense of belonging. We do this by providing training for our employees, implementing talent acquisition plans and tracking our progress.

Give More: BR gives of its resources to support diversity, inclusion and belonging, and encourages employees to do the same. We do this by offering our employees service days, partnering with local organizations on pro bono work and making monetary donations.