Diversity Events for July-December 2010
(see also January-June)
July 4 Independence Day was first celebrated on July 8, 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was read to the public. Congress declared the day a federal legal holiday in 1941. The holiday is celebrated with parades, fireworks, picnics, sporting events, and music, including the "Star-Spangled Banner" and several marches of John Philip Sousa.
Independence Day or Fourth of July
July 26 The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is a law that was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1990 “to establish a clear and comprehensive prohibition of discrimination on the basis of disability." It was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H. W. Bush, and later amended with changes effective January 1, 2009.
Anniversary of the Signing of Americans with Disabilities Act (United States)
August 11-September 9
During Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, Muslims all over the world abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs during the daylight hours. This is a time to purify the soul, refocus attention on God, and practice self-sacrifice.
Bon Festival (Feast of Lanterns)
The Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the departed spirits of one's ancestors has evolved into a family reunion holiday, during which people return to ancestral family places to visit and clean their ancestors' graves. Celebrated for over 500 years, the event lasts for three days. (In some regions of Japan, the Bon Festival is celebrated in mid-July.)
Feast of the Assumption
For Catholics, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary commemorates the departure of Mary, the mother of Jesus, from this life, and the assumption of her body into heaven. It is the principal feast of the Blessed Virgin.
Hawaii Admitted to Union
On this day in 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States of America. It is also the last state to be admitted to the union. Hawaii has the largest percentage of Asian Americans of any U.S. state.
Women's Equality Day
Introduced by Rep. Bella Abzug (former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, lawyer, writer, news commentator, and feminist) and established in 1971, this day commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, the Woman Suffrage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which in 1920 gave women in the United States full voting rights. Visit the National Women's History Museum for more information.
Teacher and NEA member Christa McAuliffe (1948–1986) was America’s first "ordinary citizen" in space. Along with six other crew members, she perished in 1986 on board the Space Shuttle Challenger.
Christa McAuliffe's Birthday
Celebrated since 1965, when it was established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), this event focuses on reading from a global perspective. Visit the National Institute for Literacy and UNESCO and International Reading Association for information and activity ideas.
International Literacy Day
Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year)
The Jewish New Year, also known as the Days of Renewed Responsibility, begins at sunset on day one and ends at nightfall the next day. The event is marked by solemn religious observances.
This Muslim feast day celebrates the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. The 3-day festival is known as "Eid" or "Eid al-Fitr," which literally means "the feast of the breaking the fast."September 15-October 15
Hispanic Heritage MonthNational Hispanic Heritage Month is a national observance authorized by Public Law 100-402. The observation was initiated in 1968 as National Hispanic Heritage Week but was expanded in 1988 to include the entire 31-day period. See Hispanic Education Resources, Issues, & Scholarships.
These days celebrate the start in 1810 of Mexico's struggle for independence from Spain. Each year, the president of Mexico rings the bells of the National Palace in Mexico City. September 16 is Independence Day in Mexico and is considered a patriotic holiday.
Mexican Independence Days
On this day in 1787, the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention met to sign the Constitution of the United States of America. By presidential proclamation, the entire week is given to observing this important anniversary. Visit the National Constitution Center and the Constitution Day Web site for more information and teacher resources.
Citizenship Day (or Constitution Day)
Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)
The most solemn day of the Jewish year, and one of the most important, the Day of Atonement is typically spent at synagogue in fasting, reflection, and prayer.
Established by United Nations resolution in 1982, this event is a global holiday when individuals, communities, nations, and governments highlight efforts to end conflict and promote peace. To inaugurate the day, the "Peace Bell" is rung at UN Headquarters. The bell is cast from coins donated by children from all continents, as a reminder of the human cost of war. For information, visit the International Day of Peace site.
International Day of Peace
Beginning at sunset on the first day, this seven-day festival celebrates the harvest and commemorates the Jews’ passage through the wilderness.
Sukkot (Jewish Feast of Tabernacles)
On this day in 1957, nine teenagers became the first African-Americans to attend all-White Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The ensuing events riveted the nation and focused a spotlight on racism. President Eisenhower intervened and sent federal troops to protect the students and ensure compliance with the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision. For more information, go to Central High School National Historic Site. See PBS Newshour Transcript on 40th anniversary.
School Desegregation Comes to Little Rock
Mohandas Karamchand “Mahatma” Gandhi is one of the most respected spiritual and political leaders of the Twentieth Century. Through nonviolent resistance, Gandhi helped free India from British rule. The Indian people called Gandhi “Mahatma,” meaning Great Soul. See Mohandas Gandhi biography.
Gandhi's Birthday & International Day of Nonviolence
Thurgood Marshall Sworn Into Supreme Court
In 1967, Thurgood Marshall became the first African American to sit on the highest court in the land. Opposing discrimination and the death penalty, he championed free speech and civil liberties. See Thurgood Marshall tribute.
In 1974, Robinson became the first African American to manage a major league baseball team when he was hired by the Cleveland Indians.
Frank Robinson Signed as Major League Manager
Proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, this day commemorates the 1683 arrival in America of 13 German families on board a sailing vessel.
German American Day
Celebrated annually on the second Monday in October, this federal holiday honors all explorers and commemorates Columbus’ sighting of the New World in 1492.
Since 1979, this worldwide event has sought to increase awareness, understanding, and informed year-round action to alleviate hunger, malnutrition, and poverty. For more information, see the World Food Day site.
World Food Day
Multicultural Diversity Day
Celebrated on the third Monday in October, this day was adopted as a national event by NEA's 1993 Representative Assembly. See Multicultural Diversity Day for more information.
October 20 One of eleven holy days in the Bahá'í calendar, this day honors the Bab, whose mission was to prepare the way for Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith. To learn more, visit the Bahá'í International Community Web site.
Birth of the Báb
United Nations Day
In the spring of 1945, representatives of fifty nations gathered in San Francisco to put the final touches to a document of far-reaching consequences - the Charter of the United Nations. The UN Charter went into effect on October 24, 1945. Two years later the UN General Assembly adopted a U.S.-sponsored resolution declaring October 24th United Nations Day.
On this day in 1886, President Grover Cleveland dedicated the Statue of Liberty, officially titled "Liberty Enlightening the World." This universal symbol of freedom and democracy was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States.
Statue of Liberty Dedication
Since its founding in 1966, NOW has maintained its goal: to take action to bring about equality for all women. Learn more at the NOW site.
National Organization for Women (NOW) Founded
Also known as All Hallows’ Eve—the evening before All Saints Day or All Hallows Day—this event has roots in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (SOW-an). In Gaelic culture, it is a celebration of the end of the harvest season and a time to remember loved ones who have died. Today, in the United States and some Western countries, it is customary to wear costumes and take part in revelry.
American Indian Heritage MonthNovember was officially recognized as National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month in 1990 when President George H.W. Bush signed it into Public Law. See these sites for more information:
- Native American Heritage Month Web site
- American Indians/Alaska Natives: Education Issues
- Native American Book List
November 5Known as the "Festival of Lights, this major Hindu holiday signifies the renewal of life, and the victory of good over evil. To celebrate, people light lamps and candles, set off fireworks, and wear new clothes.
November 6After becoming a citizen in 1949, Saund became active in the Democratic Party in California. In 1956, he was the first Asian American to win a seat in the U.S. Congress. See more at Asian American Activism in History.
Dalip Singh Saund First Asian American Elected to the U.S. Congress
November 11 Veterans Day is an annual American holiday honoring military veterans. It is both a federal holiday and a state holiday in all states. U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an Armistice Day for November 11, 1919. In 1938, the United States Congress made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday - to be celebrated and known as "Armistice Day." Congress amended this act in 1954, replacing "Armistice" with "Veterans," and it has been known as Veterans Day since then. See more at Military.com.
Dedication of Vietnam Memorial
In 1982, the national war memorial in Washington, D.C. was dedicated after a march to its site by thousands of Vietnam War veterans. The memorial wall was designed by Chinese American Maya Lin, who was 21 years old at the time.
NEA's American Education Week (AEW) spotlights the importance of providing every child in America with a quality public education from kindergarten through college, and the need for everyone to do his or her part in making public schools great. See American Education Week.
American Education Week
This holiday is the Islamic Feast of Sacrifice, the most important feast of Islam. The three-day festival recalls Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son in obedience to Allah. It concludes the Hajj - the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. It occurs approximately 70 days after the end of the month of Ramadan. This year, in North America, it starts on November 17.
November 25 The first recorded observance of Thanksgiving in America was a religious occasion that did not include the feast now associated with the holiday. On December 4, 1619, a small group of English settlers arrived at Berkeley Plantation on the James River in Virginia. In accordance with their charter, the group observed this day by giving thanks to God. A typical Thanksgiving meal in the United States includes turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and rolls. (From the University of Kansas Medical Center Diversity Calendar.)
November 25 In 1999, the UN General Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. At least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime - with the abuser usually someone known to her. Learn more by visiting the World Health Organization web site and the United Nations web site.
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
November 25-December 10 This year marks the 20th 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign. Each year, new partners join the campaign to bring local, national, and global attention to the various forms of violence that women face and to look at the structures in place that permit gender-based violence to exist and persist.
16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign
Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, commemorates the Maccabees military victory over the Greek Syrians and the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The festival is observed by the lighting of a special candelabrum, the Menorah, one additional light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night. See Chanukah resources.
Muharram (Islamic New Year)
The month of Muharram marks the beginning of the Islamic liturgical year. The Islamic year begins on the first day of Muharram, and is counted from the year of the Hegira (anno Hegirae), the year in which Muhammad emigrated from Mecca to Medina (A.D. July 16, 622).
Human Rights Day
The anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly's adoption in 1948 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—a document establishing a common standard for human achievement for all peoples and nations, rooted in the values of freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, respect, and shared responsibility. Learn more about Human Rights Day. See also the United Nations Human Rights web site and Five Ways to Have a Better Human Rights Day in 2010.
Christmas is an annual holiday celebrated on December 25 that commemorates the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. In Christianity, Christmas marks the beginning of the larger season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days. Traditions include the sending of cards, decorating with poinsettias and a Christmas tree, singing Christmas carols, and giving gifts.
December 26-January 1
Kwanzaa is an African-American holiday based on the agricultural celebration of Africa called “the first fruits” celebrations, which celebrate the times of harvest, gathering, reverence, commemoration of the past, recommitment to cultural ideals, and celebration of the good. Learn more about Kwanzaa.
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve is December 31, the final day of the Gregorian year and the day before New Year's Day. In modern Western practice, New Year's Eve is celebrated with parties and social gatherings marking the passing of one year into the next, at midnight.
Status of Diverse Populations in Education
- American Indians and Alaska Natives (2005) (PDF, 1.78 MB, 54pp)
- (2005) (PDF, 604 KB, 46pp)
- (2008) (PDF, 4 MB, 78pp)
- Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender People (2009) (PDF, 2.3 MB, 90pp)
- Hispanics (2007) (PDF, 633 KB, 90pp)
- Focus On What Works for Six Historically Underserved Student Groups (2009-2010)
- 2011 C.A.R.E. Guide - Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gaps
- NCES Report: Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups
- Diversity Resources
- Diversity Toolkit
- Multiculturalism and Diversity
- Online Resources for Culturally Responsive Teachers
- Teacher Diversity
- Black History Month Lessons & Resources
- Women's History Month - Web Resources
- Asian American and Pacific-Islander Education Resources
- American Indians and Alaska Natives Resources
- Hispanic Education Resources, Issues, & Scholarships
- Safe Schools for Everyone: GLBT Students