July is the peak of summer, and thus a great time for a sunny celebration of diversity. That makes July a wonderful time to be more aware – and appreciative – of our wonderful differences and similarities.
To help you, here are 7 multicultural events and holidays in July 2019, from our Online Diversity Calendar. These provide a terrific opportunity to say “we’re different and – together – we are awesome.”
July 2 – Black American : Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993)
Civil rights leader and Supreme Court justice. Marshall was head of the legal services division of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People from 1938 to 1962. He thus led the legal effort to advance the civil rights of all Americans, particularly those belonging to minority groups. His most famous victory was the 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, which ended racial segregation in public schools.
July 6 – Mexican : Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)
Painter. Kahlo was born in the outskirts of Mexico City three years before the beginning of the Mexican Revolution. She was one of the most individualistic painters of the first half of the twentieth century. Known for her distinctive self-portraits filled with rich colors and symbolic imagery, Kahlo expressed in form and color her innermost feelings and states of mind.
July 6 – Tibetan : 14th Dalai Lama (1935 – )
The 14th Dalai Lama, born 6 July 1935, is the current Dalai Lama. He assumed full temporal (political) duties on 17 November 1950, at the age of 15, after the People’s Republic of China’s invasion of Tibet. During the 1959 Tibetan uprising, the Dalai Lama fled to India, where he currently lives as a refugee. The 14th Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. He has traveled the world and spoken about many topics. Although in exile from his home in Tibet, he remains a prominent political figure for the people of Tibet.
July 14, 2019 – France : Bastille Day
This celebrates the fall of the Bastille prison, marking the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789. The revolution led to the end of monarchial rule and the creation of a French Republic. Given their French heritage, many Louisiana ‘parishes,’ hold Bastille Day festivals featuring Cajun food, music, and dance. These include New Orleans and Kaplan, sometimes called ‘the most Cajun place on earth.’
July 18 – United Nations : Nelson Mandela International Day
In November 2009, the United Nations General Assembly declared Nelson Mandela’s birthday, July 18, to be Nelson Mandela International Day. The UN made the declaration, in recognition of his humanitarian achievements, and his contribution to racial reconciliation, democracy, and peace throughout the world.
July 20 – People with Disabilities: First Special Olympics Games (1968)
On this date in 1968, the first Special Olympics opened at Soldier Field in Chicago. Founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, it’s an athletic competition for children and adults with cognitive disabilities. The competitions are held every two years, alternating between summer and winter games. The World Summer Games are held in the year before the regular Olympics. For more information, see our disability awareness training videos.
July 26 – People with Disabilities: Americans with Disabilities Act (1990)
Signed into law on this date, the ADA is a milestone of U.S. civil rights legislation. It protects people with disabilities from discrimination in the areas of employment, transportation, and public accommodation. The law requires a wide range of public and private establishments to make new and renovated facilities accessible to people with disabilities, and ‘readily achievable’ changes to existing facilities in order to increase accessibility.