Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Recognitions
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Recognitions
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This observance was launched in 1945 when Congress declared the first week in October as “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1998, the week was extended to a month and renamed. The annual event draws attention to employment barriers that still need to be addressed.
October is LGBT History Month, a U.S. observance started in 1994 to recognize lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history and the history of the gay-rights movement.
October is Global Diversity Awareness Month, a month to celebrate and increase awareness about the diversity of cultures and ethnicities and the positive impact diversity can have on society.
October 1: The beginning of Black History Month in the UK, Ireland, and The Netherlands.
October 1: Native American Women’s Equal Pay Day. The aim is to raise awareness about the wider-than-average pay gap between Native American women and White men. Native American women are paid 57 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
October 4: St. Francis Day, feast day for St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment, celebrated by many Catholic denominations.
October 4: Blessing of the Animals, in congruence with St. Francis Day. Many Unitarian Universalists have picked up on the Catholic tradition of blessing animals, particularly pets, as St. Francis was known for his special connection to animals.
October 6-14: Navaratri, the nine-day festival celebrating the triumph of good over evil. It worships God in the form of the universal mother commonly referred to as Durga, Devi or Shakti, and marks the start of fall.
October 10: World Mental Health Day. First celebrated in 1993, this day is meant to increase public awareness about the importance of mental health, mental health services, and mental health workers worldwide.
October 11: National Coming Out Day (U.S.). For those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, this day celebrates coming out and the recognition of the 1987 march on Washington for gay and lesbian equality.
October 11: Canadian Thanksgiving, a chance for people to give thanks for a good harvest and other fortunes in the past year.
October 11: National Indigenous Peoples Day, an alternative celebration to Columbus Day, gives recognition to the indigenous populations affected by colonization.
October 15: Dasara, Dussehra, or Vijayadashami, in the eastern and northeastern states of India, marks the end of Durga Puja, remembering goddess Durga's victory over the buffalo demon Mahishasura to help restore dharma.
October 16: Milvian Bridge Day, a one-day festival in Fayetteville, West Virginia. It is the only day of the year people can BASE jump off a bridge into New River Gorge.
October 18-19 (sundown to sundown): Eid Milad un-Nabi, an Islamic holiday commemorating the birthday of the prophet Muhammad. During this celebration, homes and mosques are decorated, large parades take place, and those observing the holiday participate in charity events.
October 19: Mawlid Al-Nabi, the observance of the birthday of Islam founder Prophet Muhammad, celebrated during the month of Rabiulawal, the third month of the Muslim calendar. Shi’a Muslims celebrate it five days later than Sunni Muslims.
October 20: Sikh Holy Day, the day Sikhs celebrate Sri Guru Granth Sahib, their spiritual guide.
October 20: International Pronouns Day seeks to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace. Each year it is held on the third Wednesday of October.
October 29: Latinx Women’s Equal Pay Day. The aim is to raise awareness about the wider-than-average pay gap between Latinx women and White men. Latinx women are paid 54 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
October 31: All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween), a celebration observed in a number of countries on the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day. It begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs and all the faithful departed.
October 31: Reformation Day, a Protestant Christian religious holiday celebrated alongside All Hallows' Eve (Halloween) during the triduum of Allhallowtide in remembrance of the onset of the Reformation.
October 31-November 1 (sundown to sundown): Samhain, a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year.
November is National Native American Heritage Month, which celebrates the history and contributions of Native Americans.
November is National Family Caregivers Month, proclaimed in 2012 by Former President Barack Obama. It honors the more than 40 million caregivers across the country who support aging parents, ill spouses or other loved ones with disabilities who remain at home.
November 1: All Saints’ Day, a Christian holiday commemorating all known and unknown Christian saints. (In Eastern Christianity, the day is observed on the first Sunday after Pentecost.)
November 2: All Souls’ Day, a Christian holiday commemorating all faithful Christians who are now dead. In the Mexican tradition, the holiday is celebrated as Dia de los Muertos (October 31- November 2), which is a time of remembrance for dead ancestors and a celebration of the continuity of life.
November 4: Diwali, the Hindu, Jain and Sikh five-day festival of lights celebrates new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and lightness over darkness.
November 5-6 (sundown to sundown): Birth of Báb, a Bahá’í holiday celebrating the birth of the prophet Báb.
November 6-7 (sundown to sundown): The birth of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í religion.
November 11: Veterans Day, a U.S. federal holiday honoring military veteran. The date is also celebrated as Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day, in other parts of the world and commemorates the ending of World War I in 1918.
November 19: International Men’s Day emphasizes the important issues affecting males, including health issues that affect males, improving the relations between genders, highlighting the importance of male role models and promoting gender equality. This holiday is celebrated in over 70 countries.
November 20: Transgender Day of Remembrance, established in 1998 to memorialize those who have been killed as a result of transphobia and to raise awareness of the continued violence endured by the transgender community.
November 21: Feast of Christ the King, a Catholic holiday established in thanking God for the gift of time and a rededication to the Christian faith.
November 25: Thanksgiving in the United States. It began as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.
November 26: Native American Heritage Day, held annually the Friday after Thanksgiving, encourages Americans of all backgrounds to observe and honor Native Americans through appropriate ceremonies and activities. The day was signed into law by George W. Bush in 2008.
November 28-December 6: Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday that is celebrated around the world for eight days and nights. Hanukkah celebrates the victory of the Maccabees, or Israelites, over the Greek-Syrian ruler, Antiochus, approximately 2,200 years ago.
November 28-January 6: Nativity Fast, a period of abstinence and penance practiced by the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches in preparation for the Nativity of Jesus.
November 28- December 24 Advent, a Christian season of celebration leading up to the birth of Christ.
November 30: St. Andrew’s Day, the feast day for St. Andrew within various Christian denominations.
December 1: World AIDS Day, commemorating those who have died of AIDS, and to acknowledge the need for a continued commitment to all those affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
December 3: International Day of Persons with Disabilities, designed to raise awareness in regards to persons with disabilities in order to improve their lives and provide them with equal opportunity.
December 8: Immaculate Conception of Mary, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception celebrates the solemn celebration, by various Christian denominations, of belief in the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
December 8: Bodhi Day, the Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama (Shakyamuni), experienced enlightenment, also known as bodhi in Sanskrit and Pali.
December 10: International Human Rights Day, established by the United Nations in 1948 to commemorate the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
December 12: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a religious holiday in Mexico commemorating the appearance of the Virgin Mary near Mexico City in 1531.
December 13: St. Lucia’s Day, a religious festival of light in Scandinavia and Italy commemorating the martyrdom of St. Lucia, a young Christian girl who was killed for her faith in 304 C.E. She secretly brought food to persecuted Christians in Rome while wearing a wreath of candles on her head so both her hands would be free.
December 16-24: Las Posadas, a nine-day celebration in Mexico commemorating the trials Mary and Joseph endured during their journey to Bethlehem.
December 21: Yule Winter Solstice, celebrated by Pagans and Wiccans. The shortest day of the year represents a celebration focusing on rebirth, renewal and new beginnings as the sun makes its way back to the Earth. A solstice is an astronomical event that happens twice each year when the sun reaches its highest position in the sky.
December 25: Christmas Day, the day that many Christians associate with Jesus’ birth.
December 26: Boxing Day, a secular holiday celebrated in the U.K., Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and South Africa.
December 26-January 1: Kwanzaa, an African-American holiday started by Maulana Karenga in 1966 to celebrate universal African-American heritage.
December 26: Zartosht No-Diso (Death of Prophet Zarathushtra), a day of remembrance in the Zoroastrian religion. It is a commemoration of the death anniversary of the prophet Zoroaster, or Zarathushtra.
December 26: St. Stephen’s Day, a day to commemorate St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, or protomartyr.
December 26: Feast of the Holy Family, a liturgical celebration in the Catholic Church in honor of Jesus, his mother and his foster father, St. Joseph as a family. The primary purpose of this feast is to present the Holy Family as a model for Christian families.
December 27: St. John’s Day, Apostle and Evangelist, feast day for St. John, celebrated by Christian denominations.
December 28: Feast of the Holy Innocents, a Christian feast in remembrance of the massacre of young children in Bethlehem by King Herod the Great in his attempt to kill the infant Jesus.
December 31: Watch Night, a day for Christians to review the year that has passed, make confessions, and then prepare for the year ahead by praying and resolving.
January and February
January is Poverty in America Awareness Month
January 1: Global Family Day/World Peace Day
January 4: World Braille Day
January 18: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Jan. 18, 2021, is the 26th anniversary of the day of service that celebrates the Civil Rights leader’s life and legacy. Observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.
January 19: World Religion Day
January 23: World Freedom Day
January 26: International Customs Day
January 27: International Holocaust Remembrance Day
American History Month
Black History Month
Canadian History Month
February 1: Chinese New Year 2022
February 15: Nirvana Day
February 20: World Day of Social Justice
February 26: Ash Wednesday
Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
Greek-American Heritage Month
Gender Equality Month
Irish-American Heritage Month
Ethnic Equality Month
National Women’s History Month
National Multiple Sclerosis Education and Awareness Month
March 8: International Women’s Day
March 8: United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace
March 9-10: Purim
March 11: World Day of Muslim Culture, Peace, Dialogue and Film
March 21: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
March 21: Naw-Ruz (Baha’i New Year)
March 25: International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
March 30: National Doctors Day
March 31: Advisor Appreciation Day
March 31: Equal Pay Day
UM Campus Pride Month
Community Service Month
Autism Awareness Month
Arab-American Heritage Month
Tartan (Scottish-American) Heritage Month
Celebrate Diversity Month
April 2: World Autism Awareness Day
April 4: Easter
April 7: International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda
April 8-16: Passover
April 11: National Day of Silence
April 12: Ramadan Begins
April 15: Youth Homelessness Matters Day
April 19: First Day of Ridvan – Festival of Ridvan
April 20-21: Administrative Professionals Day
April 22: Earth Day
April 27: The Ninth Day of Ridvan
National Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month – recognizes the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture and achievements of the United States.
Haitian Heritage Month
Gender Equality Month
Jewish-American Heritage Month
Mental Health Month
South Asian Heritage Month
Personal History Awareness Month
Speech and Hearing Awareness Month
Older Americans Month
May 9-15: Hospital Week
May 1: The Twelfth Day of Ridvan
May 5: Cinco de Mayo
May 8: Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for those who Lost their Lives during WWII
May 12: Ramadan Ends
May 21: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
May 22: International Day for Biological Diversity
May 23: Declaration of the Bab in Shiraz, Shavuot
May 25: Memorial Day
May 27: Ascension of Bahau’llah
June and July
National Caribbean American Heritage Month
AIDS Awareness Month
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month
Black Music Month
June 8: Race Unity Day
June 12: Loving Day; Women’s Veterans Day (also referred to as Women’s Veterans Recognition Day and Women’s Veterans Appreciation Day
June 19: Juneteenth
French-American Heritage Awareness Month
July 4: Filipino-American Friendship Day
July 9: The Martyrdom of the Bab
July 11: World Population Day
July 17: Tisha B’Av
July 24: Pioneer Day
July 26: American with Disabilities Act Signed “Disability Independence Day”
- August 4: Birthday of Barack Obama (Black American): Happy Birthday to the United States’ first Black president!
- August 9: International Day of the World’s Indigenous People (United Nations): created by the UN, celebrates the cultures of indigenous peoples around the world
- August 30: Al-Hijri (Islamic): This holiday marks the start of the New Year in the Muslim faith. It begins the prior evening
- August 15: Feast of the Assumption (Roman Catholic): marks the entry of Mary (mother of Jesus), body and soul, into Heaven
- August 18: Birth of Lord Krishna (Hindu): also called Janmashtami, this day celebrates the birth of one of the most popular deities in the Hindu faith, celebrated with a great festival
- August 24: Birthday of Marlee Matlin (People with Disabilities): Marlee Matlin is the only hearing-impaired actor to win the Oscar for best actor/actress
- August 26: Women’s Equality Day: commemorates the American women gaining the right to vote in 1920
- August 31: Ganesh Chaturthi (Hindu): festival celebrating the birth of Lord Ganesha, the God of new beginnings and a fresh start
- September 15 - October 15: National Hispanic Heritage Month: This month honors the culture and contributions of both Hispanic and Latino Americans
National Recovery Month: This month helps to educate all Americans on treatment and mental health services for those with substance use disorder
- September 20: HeForShe (Women): initiated by the UN to promote gender equality
- September 22: Autumnal Equinox: As summer moves into fall, the autumnal equinox is a time for various religious observances worldwide
- September 25 – September 27: Rosh HaShanah is the Jewish New Year. The biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah, literally "day of shouting or blasting." It is the first of the Jewish High Holy Days, as specified by Leviticus 23:23–25, that occur in the late summer/early autumn of the Northern Hemisphere.
- Oct 4-5: Yom Kippur is the holiest day in Judaism and Samaritanism. It occurs annually on the 10th of Tishrei, the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar. Primarily centered on atonement and repentance, the day's observances consist of full fasting and ascetic behavior accompanied by intensive prayer as well as sin confessions.
- October 10: World Mental Health Day (People with Disabilities): promotes mental health awareness and education, and advocates against social stigma relating to mental health
- October 10: Indigenous Peoples’ Day (United States): formerly called Columbus Day, honors the indigenous people of North America
- October 14: Defender of Ukraine Day – honors all who have fought for the sovereignty of Ukraine
- October 21: Spirit Day (LGBTQ+): wear purple on this day to support LGBTQ youth and speak out against bullying
- October 24: Diwali (Hindu): Significant celebration in the Hindu faith in which they praise diverse deities