Growing up, you may have loved February for Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day or Presidents’ Day that rewarded you with a day off from work or school.
But our February 2020 Diversity Calendar holds much more than a few nationally recognized days of celebration. It’s a month packed full of opportunities for diversity shouts-out: women, Blacks, Christians, Buddhists, and LGBTQ+, which is essential for diversity training in the workplace. Here are the events you should mark on your calendar in February 2020.
Black History Month
Get ready to celebrate February diversity month – all month long! Black History Month is part of a greater history of recognition. The theme for 2020 is “African Americans and the Vote.” The observance began in 1915 when historian Carter G. Woodson and minister Jesse E. Moorland started the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. This group sponsored the very first “Negro Week.” It was held in February, coinciding with the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, the commemoration was expanded to a full month by President Ford.
2/11 – LGBTQ+: Tammy Baldwin
Our February diversity days include Baldwin’s birthday. In 2012, Baldwin made headlines and history as she became the first openly LGBTQ+ politician elected to the U.S. Congress. She was also the first Wisconsin woman elected to the Senate. In an era when representation matters, she demonstrates to all the importance of diverse voices in government leadership. For more, check out our LGBTQ+ sensitivity training.
2/15 – Buddhist: Nirvana Day
February multicultural celebrations include Nirvana Day, or Parinirvana, an annual Buddhist festival. It commemorates Buddha’s death in 483 BC and his final nirvana. Many Buddhists celebrate Nirvana Day by visiting Buddhist temples or monasteries and meditating. Even if you’re not Buddhist, why not spend the day in reflection? The concept of nirvana speaks to death, rebirth, and spiritual enlightening until one is relieved of all suffering. For more religious holidays, see our 2020 Religious Holidays Calendar.
2/15 – Women: Susan B. Anthony Day
Happy Birthday to Susan B. Anthony – one of the key February diversity events! As one of the most revered women in the women’s suffrage movement, Anthony led the effort that enabled women play an active part in our government today. On this day, remember not only Anthony but the cause she stood for. Encourage those in your community (women or men!) to register to vote in the upcoming 2020 Presidential Election.
2/21 – Black, Women: Barbara Jordan
Our February diversity topics include firsts by Black women. Individuals like Barbara Jordan help us remember how far the U.S. has come in history. She was the first Black woman elected to the Texas State Senate and became known as an eloquent individual during the Watergate impeachment of President Nixon. Her emphasis on local issues illustrates to all of us that we can strive to make change in our communities on the issues that matter to us.
2/26 – Christian: Ash Wednesday
For Christians everywhere, Ash Wednesday is an important day that begins the Easter season. Our February multicultural celebrations include the start of this period: the 40 days (not including Sundays) of “Lenten” that lead up to Easter. You’ll often hear people refer to Ash Wednesday as the start of Lent. It’s customary for Christians to “give up” something during this time to show mourning and repentance for their sins. Why not do the same? Regardless of your belief system, perform random acts of kindness to others on this day. For more religious holidays, see our 2020 Interfaith Calendar.
And that wraps up the calendar for this month! Be sure to keep in mind each of these individuals and events, to reflect on how diversity has contributed to this country and your life. To plan out the coming year, see our 2020 Diversity Calendar