March can still be a bit chilly, but you can always count on April to bring more sunshine! The month brings the blooming of flowers – and the celebration of numerous religious holidays and recognition of diversity.
Our April 2020 diversity calendar focuses on a variety of significant religious holidays as well as some multicultural events. Here are some big dates to keep in mind.
One of the top April diversity celebrations! Our country would not be what it is if it weren’t for the diversity that defines us. The people all around you — your neighbors, best friends, classmates, fellow citizens, and coworkers — all come from various walks of life. April is the month to recognize and honor them. Looking for a good way to celebrate? Perhaps pick another holiday from the list below and learn more about it. And to help your employees be more aware and inclusive, check out our online diversity training.
4/4: Maya Angelou’s Birthday
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made the feel.” Our April diversity days including the birthday of a true diversity leader, Maya Angelou. She’s remembered for being a writer, poet, civil rights activist, Renaissance women, and winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. As a Black American, Angelou gained international recognition and acclaim for her work. In her honor, search online for a poem or two of hers (or check out one of her books from the library!).
4/8: The Birth of Buddha
April diversity topics include a number of religious observances. Around the world, more than 535 million people are Buddhist. Yet it all started with a single prince who turned into a monk. Named Siddhartha Gautama, he realized that peace could be found through spiritual discipline. Thus he renounced his worldly life and sought a spiritual quest. For more interfaith events, see our religious calendar 2020.
4/9: Passover Begins
April diversity events also include Passover, a Jewish holiday that lasts for eight days. It marks the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Passover begins the previous evening with a Seder, or a meal, where the Haggadah (the book of Exodus and related writings) are recited in order. During this holiday, it is forbidden to eat leavened food products (think bread, pasta, etc.). If you’ve never tried matzah, give it a try during this week to recognize Passover! This is an unleavened bread that Jewish families often eat during this time.
Christians (except Greek Orthodox) will celebrate Easter on this day. This is the most important Christian holiday in the world’s largest religion. Easter always falls on Sunday, with the preceding Friday the day Jesus was crucified. Then, according to scripture, “On the third day He rose again from the dead.” The third day is Easter Sunday, and Christians rejoice!
Our April multicultural calendar includes the first day of Ramadan, which is considered the holiest month of the Muslim year. During this month, no water or food may be taken from sunrise to sunset. It is during this month that the Quran was first revealed to the prophet Muhammad by Allah. If you are curious about the fasting process that Muslims undertake during Ramadan, try it for a day!
4/23: Native American Gathering of Nations
Our April multicultural month concludes with this event, at which over 500 tribes will gather for three days to honor the culture of Native Americans. It is an annual gathering, and tribes travel from both the United States and Canada to participate. There are different events like dance competitions, Miss Indian World, knowledge of tribal traditions, and Indian Traders Markets for different crafts and art.
April is absolutely blossoming with diversity days and events! Our April multicultural calendar speaks to the variety of different topics and celebrations occurring this month. Get a head start on next month, with our May 2020 Diversity Calendar. If you’re curious for what else is coming up, check out our 2020 Diversity Calendar.
March marks the beginning of spring, bringing warmer weather, new growth, and a colorful variety of events celebrating diverse ethnicities, cultures and religions.
Our March 2020 Diversity Calendar commemorates influential individuals and multicultural festivities that make this month diverse and inclusive. Greater respect and inclusion is one of the benefits of diversity training in the workplace.
One of the key March diversity celebrations is Women’s History Month, honoring the powerful females that fought for equality, freedom and acceptance. Help ensure a respectful and safe workplace for women, with our online interactive harassment training.
March 3rd – Hispanic American/Women: Geisha Williams
March diversity topics highlight the accomplishments of women. Geisha Williams is the first Latina woman to run a Fortune 500 company. Immigrating from Cuba over 50 years ago, Williams received an engineering degree at the University of Miami, after which she climbed the ladder to success. She was named one of Fortune’s most powerful women in 2017 and, up until January of 2019, she was the CEO of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
March 6th – Black American/Muslim: Shaquille O’Neal
March diversity month includes the birthday of Shaquille O’Neal. An American NBA superstar, O’Neal revealed in 2010 that he’s a practicing Muslim, as was his step-father. He plans to to partake in the Hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. O’Neal played professionally for the NBA for 19 years, before announcing his retirement.
March 9th – Hindu: Holi
One of the most colorful of March multicultural holidays, Holi is a traditional Hindu festival. Referred to as the “Festival of Spring”, it’s celebrated widely in India. This social event marks the beginning of the spring harvest and is a time for forgiveness, friendship, love, and a commemoration of personal and seasonal growth. For more interfaith events, see our religious calendar 2020.
March 10th – Black American: Harriet Tubman
One of the key March diversity days. Born into slavery in the early 1800s, Tubman escaped her captors in 1849 and became one of America’s best-known heroes. She aided hundreds of slaves to freedom through the complex tunnels in the Underground Railroad. She later dedicated her life to aiding former plantation workers and the elderly.
March 14th – Jewish German American: Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was a theoretical physicist. He created the theory of relativity and received the Nobel Peace Prize for Physics in 1921 for his involvement in the development of quantum theory. His contribution to science is legendary, allowing for generations of education and technological advancements.
March 17th – Irish: St Patrick’s Day
One the more beloved March diversity events, this celebration honors the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick. Traditionally it’s held on March 17th, the official day of his death. Although a festive occasion for many, St. Patrick’s Day celebrates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, and is a religious observance within many sects of Christianity and Catholicism.
March 31st – Mexican American: Cesar Chavez
Our March multicultural calendar concludes with Cesar Chavez. A Latino American civil rights activist, Chavez fought for freedom and equality, and co-founded the “The United Farm Workers (UFW) Union.” His work within the community helped improve the lives of countless union labor workers.
March blossoms with celebrations, commemorating the people who made history and changed the world. Each diverse individual and holiday celebrated in March has shaped history and positively influenced generations that followed. Get a head start on next month, with our April 2020 Diversity Calendar. To discover more upcoming diversity events, see our 2020 Diversity Calendar
November brings the start of the US holiday season. So that makes this month a great time give thanks and celebrate the diversity that makes our world so dynamic and interesting.
Below you’ll discover our multicultural calendar of events for November 2019, featuring 7 diversity events and multicultural holidays. Some impact work schedules, while others provide an opportunity to celebrate diverse groups.
Native Americans incorporate hundreds of different tribes and approximately 250 languages. This observance was launched in 1976 as Native American Awareness Week. In 1990, Congress and President George H. W. Bush expanded the observance, designating November as National Native American Heritage Month.
Movember is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s suicide. By encouraging men to get involved, Movember aims to increase early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments, and ultimately reduce the number of preventable deaths. Besides annual check-ups, the Movember Foundation encourages men to be aware of family history of cancer and to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
November 1, 2019 – Mexico : Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos)
Our multicultural calendar also features Día de los Muertos. Beginning on the evening of October 31 and celebrated through November 2 by Mexicans and Mexican Americans, this holiday has its roots in two traditions: the Christian observance of All Saints and All Souls Day, and two Aztec festivals in which the souls of the dead were welcomed back to visit those who remembered them.
November 1 – LGBTQ+ : Tim Cook
‘I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me. We pave the sunlit path toward justice together, brick by brick. This is my brick.” -Tim Cook
Our November diversity and inclusion calendar includes Timothy Donald Cook (November 1, 1960 – ). Cook is the Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc., previously serving as the company’s Chief Operating Officer, under its founder Steve Jobs. In 2014, he became the first chief executive of a Fortune 500 company to publicly identify as gay.
November 10, 2019 – Islamic: Mawlid
Our 2019 interfaith calendar features this important Muslim holiday. Occurring on the 12th day of the Muslim month of Rabi ul-Awwal, Mawlid marks the birth of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, in 570 A.C.E. For more religious holidays, see our 2020 Interfaith Calendar
November 20 – LGBTQ+: Transgender Day of Remembrance
Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) is observed annually on November 20. It’s a day to memorialize those who have been killed as a result of anti-transgender violence, and to bring attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community. To create a more inclusive workplace, check out our LGBT training videos.
November 30 – Black American: Shirley Chisholm
Our November diversity and inclusion calendar also features this pioneering politician, educator and author. Chisholm was the first Black American woman elected to the U.S. Congress in 1968, where she served seven terms. While in Congress, she spoke out for civil rights, women’s rights and the poor, and against the Vietnam War. In 1972 Chisholm became a Democratic candidate for President of the United States, the first major party Black American candidate for the U.S. presidency.
Major Religious Holidays, Inclusive Calendar of Holy Days
Being aware of world religions and holidays is key for respectful scheduling and creating inclusion, 365 days a year. To help you, here’s our 2020 interfaith calendar, and inclusive religious calendar of holy days.
This major religious holidays calendar and list of world religious festivals is compiled from a list of all events – as well as inclusion tips, diet restrictions and more – you’ll find in our interactive Electronic Diversity Calendar.
January 2020 Events
01/02 – Sikh: Guru Gobind Singh’s Birthday – honors Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708), the Sikhs’ tenth great master and teacher
01/06 – Christian: Epiphany – celebrated in Hispanic and some European countries, marking 12 days after Christmas and the three kings arriving in Bethlehem with gifts for baby Jesus
01/07 – Coptic Orthodox Christian: Christmas – observed on this date by the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt and several Eastern Orthodox Christian communities (Eastern Europe)
01/14 – Eastern Orthodox Christian: New Year
01/15 – Hindu: Makar Sankranti – harvest festival, marking the beginning of spring in India
01/19 – Baha’i : World Religion Day- celebrates oneness of world religions and a motivating force for world unity
07/10 – Baha’i: Martyrdom of the Bab – commemorates the arrest, torture, imprisonment and execution of the Bab
07/23 – Rastafarian: Birthday of Haile Selassie – one of the holiest Rastafarians holidays, it celebrates Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, believed to be the incarnation of God
07/24 – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: Pioneer Day – commemorates Brigham Young leading believers to the Great Salt Lake, where they would establish their church and Salt Lake City
07/28 – Islamic: The Hajj (7/29-8/2) – begins at sundown, an annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia; all able Muslims must make the pilgrimage at least once
07/29 – Jewish: Tisha B’Av begins at sundown – marks the destruction of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem in 586 BCE and again in 70 CE
07/30 – Islamic: Eid al-Adha – three-day festival ending the Hajj pilgrimage
World Religion Calendar for August
08/01 – Pagan and Wiccan: Lughnasadh – also known as the festival of the first fruits, it’s the first of three harvest sabbats, celebrating the ripening of grains and corn
08/15 – Roman Catholic: Feast of the Assumption – honors the belief by Roman Catholics in Mary’s assumption to heaven
08/19 – Islamic: Islamic New Year – beginning at the sighting of crescent moon, it’s also known as the Hijri or Arabic New Year
08/16 – Jain: Paryushana – also know as the Festival of Forgiveness, it’s the most important Jain religious observance
September Interfaith Holy Days
09/01 – Hindu: Pitru Paksha begins – 16 days when Hindus pay homage to their ancestors, especially through food offerings
09/11 – Coptic Orthodox Christian: Nayrouz (Coptic New Year) – begins the new year for the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt
09/18 – Jewish: Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown – begins the Jewish New Year and the Days of Awe, a period of reflection on the past year and the year to come
09/21 – Pagan and Wiccan: Mabon (Autumnal Equinox) begins at sundown – Sabbat observed on the autumnal equinox
09/28 – Jewish: Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) – ends the Days of Awe or Days of Repentance, 10 days during which Jews reflect on their sins and seek forgiveness
October 2020 Inclusive Calendar
10/02 – Jewish: Sukkot (10/3-10/9) begins at sundown, celebrating the end of the holiday season that began with Rosh Hashanah
10/07 – Islamic: Arbaeen begins at sundown – marks the end of the 40-day mourning period following Ashura, the anniversary of the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali, grandson of Islam’s prophet Muhammad
10/17 – Hindu: Navratri begins – one of the greatest Hindu festivals, honoring the Goddess Durga
10/19 – Baha’i: Birthday of the Bab – marks the birthday of the Bab (1819-1850), who is honored by the Baha’is as the one who announced God’s messenger would soon appear
10/25 – Hindu: Dussehra – meaning ‘the tenth day,’ it’s celebrated at the culmination of the ‘nine nights’ festival of Asuj Navratras
10/28 – Islamic: Mawlid (Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday) begins at sundown, marks the birth of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam
10/31 – Pagan and Wiccan: Samhain – the most important sabbat, it marks the end of the year’s final harvest, a time to remember the dead and celebrate the cycle of life
Major Holy Days in November
11/01 – Christian: All Saints Day – Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) celebrates the memory of the Christian saints and martyrs, and deceased family members
11/02 – Rastafarian: Anniversary of the Crowning of Haile Selassie – commemorates the coronation of Ras (Prince) Tafari Makonnen as Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia
11/12 – Baha’i: Birthday of Baha’u’llah – marks the birthday of Baha’u’llah (1817-1892), prophet-founder of the Baha’i faith
11/14 – Hindu: Diwali – one of the most important Hindu festivals, combines a number of festivals to honor different gods and goddesses
11/15 – Jain: New Year – also known as Veer Samvat, a joyful celebration the day following the Diwali festival
11/30 – Roman Catholic: St Andrew’s Day – feast honoring the patron saint of Scotland, Greece, Russia, Ukraine, Barbados, and Romania
11/30 – Sikh: Guru Nanak Ji’s Birthday – celebrates the birth of the founder of Sikhism
December Religious Holidays Calendar
12/08 – Roman Catholic: Feast of the Immaculate Conception – celebrates the Roman Catholic belief that Mary, the mother of Jesus, conceived without original sin
12/08 – Buddhist: Bodhi Day (Buddha’s Enlightenment) – Mahãyãna Buddhists celebrate Buddha’s attainment of understanding
12/10 – Jewish: Hanukkah (12/11-12/18) begins at sundown – commemorates the Jewish victory over the Syrian Greeks, ending a three-year period of religious persecution
12/20 – Pagan and Wiccan: Yule begins at sundown – sabbat celebrated on the winter solstice, often observed as the rebirth of the great horned hunter god and the newborn solstice sun
12/25 – Christian: Christmas – celebrates the birth of Jesus, a public holiday in many countries worldwide
12/26 – Roman Catholic: St Stephen’s Day – public holiday
We hope you’ve enjoyed highlights from our interfaith calendar for 2020. To see our list of major religious holidays – and get inclusion tips, religious dietary restrictions and more – see our interactive, online Electronic Diversity Calendar.
According to a Harvard University study, diversity initiatives don’t work unless awareness and inclusion is a daily practice. Being aware of ethnic holidays is key for respectful scheduling and creating inclusion, 365 days a year.
October heralds the wonderful colors of autumn. That makes October an ideal time to better see – and appreciate – our colorful differences and similarities. Indeed, there are three major October diversity month themes below.
To help you, here are 7 multicultural events in October 2019. These diversity holidays might respectful scheduling – such as Yom Kippur. Others offer an opportunity to give a shout out to diverse groups, ranging from LGBTQ+ to people with disabilities. Check out our Online Diversity Calendar™ to see all upcoming 2019 diversity holidays and get inclusion tips for your employees.
October 2019: Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast Cancer Awareness Month, also called National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the USA, is an annual international health campaign. It’s promoted by major breast cancer charities every October, to increase awareness of the disease, and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer.
Another October diversity event in 2019 is Global Diversity Awareness Month. Global diversity awareness focuses on understanding differing cultural perspectives, and valuing the diverse perspectives of all people from all places. Fueled by the belief that workforce diversity is a major business advantage, global diversity awareness promotes cultural diversity training and an inclusive global environment.
October 9, 2019 – Jewish : Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)
A key October multicultural holiday is Yom Kippur. The ten days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur are known as the Days of Awe or the Days of Repentance. During this time Jews are to remind themselves of their sins, and seek forgiveness for their wrongdoings. Many Jews observe Yom Kippur, the holiest Jewish holiday, by taking no food or water from sundown the day before through sundown the following day. It is also common for Jews not to work the night before or day of Yom Kippur. For more religious holidays, see our 2020 Interfaith Calendar
October 10 – People with Disabilities : World Mental Health Day
World Mental Health Day is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health. The federation is a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries. Every October 10, advocates promote this annual awareness program to bring attention to mental illness, as well as promote workplace wellness training .
October 11 – LGBTQ+ : National Coming Out Day/March on Washington
The key LGBTQ+ diversity event in October. On this day in 1987, saw the largest gay and lesbian gathering in history, with estimates ranging from 200,000 to 600,000 protestors. The crowd protested anti-gay discrimination, and demanded a stronger government response to the AIDS crisis.
October 27, 2019 – Hindu : Diwali
A major October diversity holiday, Diwali is one of the most important annual festivals in the Hindu religion. Lasting five days, Diwali encompasses a variety of festivals, celebrating various gods and goddesses, and events in their lives. Since Diwali is a ‘festival of lights,’ candles are an appropriate gift.
National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15-October 15
Leading our September multicultural calendar is National Hispanic Heritage Month. Launched in 1968 as National Hispanic Heritage Week, the celebration includes September 15 and 16, the independence days for Central American nations and Mexico, respectively. In 1988, the period was expanded to National Hispanic Heritage Month.
Each year the National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers and the Hispanic Foundation select a theme for the month, and commission a poster to reflect that theme. An important part of respecting Hispanics is being aware of communication differences, as explored in this training video on cross cultural communication.
This Hindu festival is a key diversity holiday in Sept. 2019. It’s celebrated in honour of the elephant-headed god, Ganesha, usually in August or September. The festival generally lasts ten days, and is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chavithi. For more religious holidays, see our 2020 Interfaith Calendar
September 16 – Mexico : Independence Day (El Día de Independencia)
On September 16, 1810, in the town of Dolores in the province of Guanajuato, a handful of people were summoned by a parish priest to take up arms against the Spanish colonial government. This began the fight for independence that ended 350 years of Spanish rule. Celebrated by people of Mexican origin throughout the world, this is a day when Mexican Americans often hang Mexican flags at their homes.
September 20 – Black American : Ursula Burns
‘I’m a black lady from the Lower East Side of New York. Not a lot intimidates me. Believe that there are no limitations, no barriers to your success — you will be empowered and you will achieve.’ -Ursula Burns
Diversity events include the birthdays of diversity leaders, such as Ursula M. Burns (September 20, 1958 – ). Burns is an American business executive, and the first black woman CEO to head a Fortune 500 company. In 2014, Forbes rated her the 22nd most powerful woman in the world.
September 20 – Women : HeForShe
HeForShe is a solidarity campaign for the advancement of gender equality, initiated by the United Nations. Founded on September 20th, 2014, it’s backed by a number of celebrities, notably actress Emma Watson.
Its goal is to achieve equality by encouraging all genders as agents of change and take action against negative stereotypes and behaviors, faced by people with feminine personalities/genders. Sexual harassment prevention training is key to gender equality.
September 25 – People with Disabilities : Christopher Reeve (1952-2004)
Christopher Reeve was an actor, including starring in the hist Superman, as well as acting in 17 feature films, a dozen TV movies, and more than 150 plays. His career was cut short after an equestrian accident. Reeve landed head first, fracturing the uppermost vertebrae in his spine, instantly paralyzing him from the neck down. After a grueling effort to regain his ability to breathe and speak, Reeve became an advocate for research on healing spinal cord injuries. He became Chairman of the American Paralysis Association and Vice Chairman of the National Organization on Disability. He also became a national spokesperson for and raised funds in support of stem cell research.
September 30, 2019 – Jewish : Rosh Hashanah (New Year) (9/30-10/1)
Rounding out our September 2019 diversity calendar is Rosh Hashanah. Like most Jewish holidays, it begins at sundown the evening before the first (full) day of the holiday. Rosh Hashanah signifies the beginning of the Days of Awe, a period of serious reflection about the past year and the year to come. This period, which continues until Yom Kippur, is a time for asking forgiveness from both God and other people, and committing oneself to live a better life in the year to come.
May is a time of warmth, and thus a great time to have greater awareness – and appreciation – of diversity at home and worldwide.
To help you, here are 7 multicultural events and diversity holidays in May 2019. Some – such as Ramadan – require respectful scheduling, while others are simply provide a great opportunity to celebrate specific diversity groups and say – we appreciate and include you!
Our May 2019 diversity calendar features 4 month-long themes, including Mental Health Awareness Month. Also referred to as Mental Health Month, it’s been observed in May in the United States since 1949. The campaign reaches millions of people in the United States through the media, local events, and screenings. To promote mental health in your workplace, check out our workplace wellness videos.
Older Americans Month
Older Americans Month was established by presidential proclamation to honor the contributions of older Americans to society. For more information, visit the Older Americans Month website
Jewish American Heritage Month
May multicultural events include Jewish American Heritage Month. On April 20, 2006, President George W. Bush issued a presidential proclamation designating this annual theme. In his proclamation, the president said, ‘During Jewish American Heritage Month, we celebrate the rich history of the Jewish people in America and honor the great contributions they have made to our country. As a nation of immigrants, the United States is better and stronger because Jewish people from all over the world have chosen to become American citizens.”
Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month
Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month began in 1979 as Asian Heritage Week, established by congressional proclamation. On October 23, 1992, President George H. W. Bush signed legislation into law that made May of each year Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.
May 4 – LGBTQ+ : Keith Haring (1959-1990)
Pop artist. Haring created a wide variety of public art, such as subway drawings of animals and human images and murals. His work ranged from the first mural in a school yard on New York City’s Lower East Side, to a mural on the Berlin Wall. Haring also created designs for performances and for Swatch watches. In 1987, he used his art to support campaigns for AIDS awareness and created the Keith Haring Foundation to contribute to a wide variety of social concerns. To boost LGBTQ+ inclusion in your workplace, check out the Anyone Can Be an Ally video.
May 6, 2019 – Islamic : Ramadan (5/6-6/4)
One of the key diversity holidays for May 2019. This begins the first day of the Islamic month of Ramadan, a month of fasting and the holiest month of the Muslim year. The fast of Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, and mandatory for every Muslim who has reached puberty except those who are ill, pregnant, or on a journey. During this month, no water or food may be taken from sunrise to sunset. Before inviting someone to lunch or hosting a meal, check to see whether the invitee is observing the fast for this period. To see all upcoming religious holidays, see our online diversity calendar.
May 13 – Black American : Stevie Wonder
Stevland Hardaway Morris (born Stevland Hardaway Judkins on May 13, 1950) is better known by his stage name, Stevie Wonder. One of the most critically and commercially successful musicians of the late 20th century, he’s been blind since shortly after birth. Wonder has sold more than 100 million records worldwide. He has recorded more than 30 U.S. top ten hits and received 25 Grammy Awards, one of the most-awarded male solo artists.
March is the advent of spring, and the hope of colorful flowers under a rainbow of diversity. That makes March an ideal time to better see – and appreciate – our wonderful differences and similarities.
To help you, here are 7 multicultural events and holidays in March 2019 that require respectful scheduling – or just provide an opportunity to shout out and say “we’re different and – together – we are awesome.”
March 2019 – Women’s History Month
Women’s History Month is an annual observance of the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. It is celebrated during March in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, corresponding with International Women’s Day on March 8. The theme for 2019 is “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence.” This makes March an ideal time to support the #metoo movement and promoting training for sexual harassment prevention.
March 1 – Hispanic American/Women: Geisha Williams
Geisha J. Williams (born 1961 or 1962) is an American businesswoman. She became the first female Hispanic CEO of a Fortune 500 company on March 1, 2017, when she became president and CEO of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). Williams was born in Cuba, and emigrated to the U.S. with her family. She joined PG&E in 2007.
March 6 – Black American/Muslim : Shaquille O’Neal
Shaquille O’Neal Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal (born March 6, 1972), nicknamed ‘Shaq’, is an American retired professional basketball. Widely considered one of the greatest players in NBA history, he is a practicing Muslim. O’Neal was raised by a Baptist mother and a Muslim stepfather. In a 2010 interview he confirmed his plans to undertake the Muslim pilgrimage, called Hajj. Discover more about how religion impacts the workplace.
March 6, 2019 – Christian : Ash Wednesday
This marks the beginning of Lent, a 40-day period of prayer and fasting preceding Easter Sunday. It is observed in memory of Jesus’ 40 days of fasting in the desert. In the early centuries of Christianity, there were strict requirements for fasting during the period of preparation for Easter. Although these rules have been relaxed in the Western church, many Roman Catholics and Protestants choose to give up a favorite food or activity during Lent.
March 21, 2019 – Hindu : Holi
Holi, the festival of colors, celebrates the coming of spring throughout India and the new harvest of the winter crop. It is celebrated over two days. Newly harvested grains, coconuts, and sweets are thrown into the fire as offerings, followed by singing and dancing around the bonfire.
March 25 – United Nations : International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
This is a day to honor and remember the more than 15 million men, women and children who were victims of the 400-year transatlantic slave trade, one of the darkest and most tragic chapters in human history. It is also a time to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice in today’s world.
March 26 – Italian American : Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Patricia D’Alesandro Pelosi (born March 26, 1940) is an American politician. She was the first woman to become Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, attaining the highest rank of any female politician in U.S. history. She served as the 52nd House Speaker from 2007 to 2011, the only woman to do so. As Speaker, she became the first woman and the first Italian-American to lead a major party in Congress.
Our December 2018 Diversity Calendar features a diverse array of multicultural holidays calling for respectful scheduling, as well as opportunities for celebrating awareness and inclusion. Here you’ll find 7 key events in December: for a complete list, see our online diversity calendar.
International : World AIDS Day
Also known as United Nations World AIDS Day, this day has been declared by the World Health Organization as a time to increase education and awareness of AIDS.
Jewish : Hanukkah (12/2-12/10)
A key December diversity holiday is Hanukkah. Often misunderstood as the “Jewish Christmas” since it occurs in December, it commemorates the victory of the Jewish people over the Syrian Greeks in 165 B.C.E. This victory marked the end of a three-year period of religious persecution, restored Jewish independence, and ensured the survival of monotheism (belief in one God). Hanukkah is celebrated by lighting a candle on each of the eight days of celebration. This ceremony has given the holiday the additional name of “Festival of Lights.” Hanukkah is joyfully celebrated.
United Nations : International Day of Persons with Disabilities
One of the most important diversity events in December 2018. This international observance was established to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to foster awareness of the importance of integrating persons with disabilities into every aspect of life.
Buddhist : Bodhi Day (Buddha’s Enlightenment)
Among Mahãyãna Buddhists, this holiday celebrates Buddha’s attaining understanding of the truth of existence, freeing himself from all human suffering, and finding perfect happiness. The date is based on the Japanese Buddhist calendar.
Mexico : Las Posadas (12/16-12/24)
Las Posadas, celebrated from December 16 to December 24, commemorates Mary and Joseph’s effort to find an inn, and the events associated with the birth of Jesus. The holiday takes its name from the Spanish word posadas, meaning “a dwelling.” A candlelight procession represents the star in heaven that guided the three wise men on their way. After a religious ceremony on December 24, there is a traditional celebration centering on the piñata, a decorated clay container filled with toys and candy. When the piñata is broken, the children scramble for the candy.
Christian : Christmas
Most Christians observe Christmas to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and it is celebrated as a public holiday in many countries worldwide. Christmas is a family-oriented holiday with special foods, colorful decorations, and exchanging of gifts. Families often have their own traditions, especially concerning when gifts are exchanged and what foods are served. Jehovah’s Witnesses are among those who do not celebrate this holiday.
African American, African Heritage : Kwanzaa
Another essential multicultural holiday for December is Kwanzaa. First celebrated on December 26, 1966, the festival was created in the United States by scholar and cultural activist Dr. Maulana Karenga. Patterned after harvest festivals in Africa, Kwanzaa derives its name from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning “first fruits.” Kwanzaa decorations traditionally use a color scheme of red, black, and green. A Pan-African holiday, Kwanzaa is also celebrated in Africa, the Caribbean, South America, and in African communities in Europe.
These are just 7 highlights from our December 2018 diversity calendar. See our online diversity calendar, to find out key diversity events in the coming months, get inclusion tips, and more.