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December 2018 Diversity Calendar

According to a study by Harvard University, diversity training usually fails unless awareness and inclusion is a daily practice.

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.

July 2018 Diversity Calendar

Our July 2018 Diversity Calendar highlights a number of events that call for respectful scheduling, as well as multicultural holidays presenting opportunities for awareness and inclusion. Here you’ll find 7 key events in July: for a complete list, see our online diversity calendar.

Black: Thurgood Marshall – July 2

Thurgood Marshall

Civil rights leader and Supreme Court justice. As head of the legal services division of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People from 1938 to 1962, Thurgood Marshall 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 ending racial segregation in public schools. He continued to work for civil rights and equal opportunity as a judge most notably as the first Black American associate justice of the Supreme Court.

Tibetan: 14th Dalai Lama – July 6

Dalai LamaThe

14th Dalai Lama, born 6 July 1935, is the current Dalai Lama. Dalai Lamas are important monks of the Gelug school, the newest school of Tibetan Buddhism. 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 has spoken about the welfare of Tibetans, environment, economics, women’s rights, non-violence, interfaith dialogue, physics, astronomy, Buddhism and science, cognitive neuroscience, reproductive health, and sexuality, along with various Mahayana and Vajrayana topics.

Mexican: Frida Kahlo – July 6

Frida KahloPainter. Born in Coyoacán on the outskirts of Mexico City three years before the beginning of the Mexican Revolution, Frida Kahlo 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 on canvas her innermost feelings and states of mind. One of her self-portraits, The Frame, was purchased by the Louvre—the museum’s first purchase of a work by a twentieth-century Mexican artist.

France: Bastille Day – July 14

Bastille Day

This celebrates the fall of the Bastille prison, marking the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789 and the eventual end of monarchial rule and the creation of a French Republic.

South African: Nelson Mandela – July 18

Nelson Mandela

Anti-apartheid activist, lawyer, politician, humanitarian, and first Black president of South Africa. (See Nelson Mandela, Nelson Mandela International Day, and Reconciliation Day.)

Disabled: Americans with Disabilities Act  – July 26

Americans with Disabilities

Signed into law on this date, this milestone of U.S. civil rights legislation 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 to make “readily achievable” changes to existing facilities in order to increase accessibility.

Jewish: Milton Friedman July 31

Milton Friedman

Economist. Awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1976, Milton Friedman was one of the most influential economists of the twentieth century, making major contributions to the fields of macroeconomics, microeconomics, economic history, and statistics. Friedman served on President Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board and in 1988 was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

These are only 7 diversity events for July 2018. For a complete list, plus tips for inclusion, see our web-based diversity calendar.

April 2018 Diversity Calendar

Here are 7 highlights from our April 2018 Diversity Calendar; for a complete list of 2018 diversity events, plus dozens of inclusion tips, see our interactive Online Calendar.

Christian: Easter – date varies

April 2018 Diversity Event: Easter

Easter is one of the most important holiday days in the world’s largest religion. It celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, after he was crucified and died in Jerusalem. Easter is a joyous holiday, marking for Christians the fulfillment of the Biblical prophecy of the coming of the Messiah. In addition to its religious significance, Easter is celebrated as a spring holiday with themes of rebirth, gathering with family and friends, and sharing special foods.

Black: Maya Angelou – April 4

April Multicultural Events: Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou was a Renaissance woman. Her versatility was reflected in the many roles she excelled in: poet, writer, journalist, actress, dancer, singer, educator, director, producer, and civil rights activist. She is perhaps best known for her poetry and autobiographies, including “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” In 2010, Angelou received the country’s highest civilian honor when President Barack Obama named her a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Scottish American: Tartan Day – April 6

Diversity Calendar Scottish American Tartan Day

Our April 2018 multicultural calendar includes Tartan Day, established by an act of Congress in 1998 to recognize the role Scottish Americans played in the founding of the nation. It also acknowledges the many contributions that have been made by people of Scottish ancestry, including Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Carnegie, Woodrow Wilson and more.

Jewish: Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust – date varies

Jewish Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust April 2018

This eight-day-long observance runs from the Sunday on or before through the Sunday after Yom Hashoah, the Jewish observance of Holocaust Memorial Day. It’s a time of civic commemorations to remember the Holocaust victims, and educational programs to teach the lessons of the Holocaust. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., sets a theme for each year’s programs.

Buddhist: Buddha’s Birth – April 8

April Religious Observances Buddha's Birth

This is key diversity holiday in April 2018. Siddhartha Gautama, who became known as Buddha or “enlightened one,” was an Indian prince who left his family at the age of 29 to seek the truth of life. After years of wandering, meditation, and self-denial, he attained the enlightenment. The religion he founded spread throughout central and Southeast Asia, China, Japan, and Korea, and has also attracted followers in the West.

French: David Servan-Schreiber – April 21

David Servan-Schreiber

A psychiatrist and neuroscientist, Servan-Schreiber was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor at the age of 31. He created his own treatment program of integrative approaches to lifestyle and health, keeping the cancer in check for 15 years. His books include Healing Without Freud or Prozac: Natural Approaches to Curing Stress, Anxiety and Depression (2003) and Anticancer: A New Way of Life (2007), a revolutionary approach to the understanding and treatment of cancer.

Native American: Gathering of Nations – date varies

Native American: Gathering of NationsThis three-day event, held annually at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, is the largest powwow in North America. More than 500 tribes from Canada and the United States come every year to participate in this celebration of American Indian culture. The Gathering of Nations organization seeks to dispel stereotypes, and promote the traditions and culture of the American Indian people in a positive manner.

Find out what you missed last month, in our March 2018 diversity calendar. Or get a preview of next month with our Multicultural Events Calendar for May 2018.

February 2018 Diversity Calendar

Opportunities for Awareness and Inclusion, Respectful Scheduling

Our diversity calendar for February 2018 includes many events that require respectful scheduling. The month also offers a colorful array of opportunities to demonstrate awareness and practice inclusion.

Below are 7 key events for February, 2018. Please see our Online Diversity Calendar, to access all 100+ February events, moveable dates, and inclusion tips.

February Theme: Black History Month

Created in 1926, it was originally a week-long celebration of the contributions of African Americans to history. It was honored during the week of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. In recent years, the observance expanded, and the entire month of February is celebrated as African American History Month. The theme is also known as Black History, Black Experience, and Afro-American History Month. Every year, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History sets a theme for the month.


Feb. 3- LGBT: Gertrude Stein

February 2018 LGBT Events

A ground-breaking American writer, Stein was the most celebrated lesbian author of the early 20th century. Her Paris home became a salon for the leading artists and writers of the period between World Wars I and II. She lived with her lifelong companion, Alice B. Toklas. Stein named her most famous work, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, after her partner.


Date Varies* – Christian: Ash Wednesday

Christian Events Feb 2018

This marks the beginning of Lent, a 40-day period of prayer and fasting preceding Easter Sunday. It’s observed in memory of Jesus’ 40 days of fasting in the desert. Many Roman Catholics and Protestants choose to give up a favorite food or activity during Lent. The placing of ashes on the forehead, in the shape of a cross, is part of the preparation for fasting and resistance to temptation.

*for the 2018 date of this and other moveable holidays, see our Online Diversity Calendar

Date Varies – Hindu: Parinirvana or Nirvana Day

Hindu Events Feb 2018

In the Mahãyãna Buddhist tradition, this day marks the death of Buddha in 483 B.C.E. and commemorates his attainment of final Nirvana. The date is based on the Japanese Buddhist calendar.


Feb. 15 – Women: Susan B Anthony

Women's Diversity Events FebruaryA leading women’s rights activist, Anthony was a leader of the movement to gain women the right to vote. As co- leader of the Women’s Temperance Movement, she secured the first laws in New York State giving women control over their children, property, and wages.


Date Varies – Chinese New Year

Feb 2018 Intercultural CalendarAlso called Spring Festival, this is the beginning of a three-day celebration of the Chinese New Year. The festivities mark the beginning of year 4716 (The Year of the Dog) since the mythical founding of the Chinese people. Celebrations include fireworks, a dragon dance and the beating of drums and cymbals, visits to temples, and prayers for blessings in the new year.


Feb. 21 – Black: Barbara Jordan

Feb 2018 Black Diversity EventsIn 1966, Jordan was the first Black woman elected to the Texas State Senate. She later became the first woman and first African American elected to Congress from Texas. Jordan graduated magna cum laude from Texas Southern University and Boston University Law School.

Those are 7 events from our February 2018 Diversity Calendar. To view all 100+ events, moveable dates, and inclusion tips, please see our Online Diversity Calendar.

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