RALIANCE Reading: Halloween

Pumpkin basket of halloween candy held by child in skeleton costume. View of child is shoulder to leg.

As Halloween approaches, there are complicated issues that accompany the holiday. From cultural appropriation to accessibility issues, there’s more to it than just trick or treating and dressing in costume. In this blog, we’ve compiled a list of resources and articles on the potentially difficult aspects of October 31 in an effort to make the holiday more inclusive for all.

Is it OK for white kids to dress up like ‘Encanto’ characters? Experts discuss cultural appropriation (The Today Show) – This article from the Today Show last year provides an overview of how parents can identify potentially offensive aspects of their children’s Halloween costumes and provides advice for parents on how to discuss these topics with kids.

This Halloween, Remember That Disability Is Not A Costume (The World Institute on Disability) – The World Institute on Disability provides guidelines on how to avoid potentially emulating or claiming disability as part of a Halloween costume and highlights the need to include disability in the broader inclusion conversation.

Disney Cast Member Helps Make Halloween Dress Up More Inclusive (Disney Parks Blog) – A Disney costume designer is working to make costumes more accessible, creating wheelchair wraps, size inclusive costumes, and otherwise adaptable versions of Disney’s most well-known characters.  

A culture, not a costume (The Washington Post) – This Washington Post article from 2019 was part of a larger effort to explore issues of identity in the United States, highlighting how the burden of educating people on issues of cultural appropriation often falls on those whose culture is being appropriated.

Why Halloween Is Not an Inclusive Holiday for Disabled People— Or At All (Love Disabled Life) – Author and disability advocate Jody Yarborough discusses her experiences with disability on Halloween throughout her childhood, the issues she sees with the holiday and the negative emotions that may be associated with it for the disability community.

RALIANCE is a trusted adviser for organizations committed to building cultures that are safe, equitable, and respectful. RALIANCE offers unparalleled expertise in serving survivors of sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse which drives our mission to help organizations across sectors create inclusive environments for all. For more information, please visit www.RALIANCE.org.


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