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COVID-19: News and Campus Updates

Communications from UNC's Chief Diversity Officer

Say My Name, Please

We can demonstrate our inclusivity and care for one another by being aware of how we pronounce someone's name. In the 2012 study titled 'Teachers, please learn our names!: racial microaggressions and the K-12 classroom', it was found that the mispronunciation of names of students of color 'affected their social-emotional well-being and by extension, harmed their ability to learn'. Names, often, have significant cultural and familial meaning connecting a person to their ancestors, ethnicity, or country of origin. While mispronunciations occur for both white and non-white persons, the addition of historical and continued racism for persons of color contributes to a significant negative impact. It leads to the feeling of their cultural heritage being devalued. [READ FULL POST]

Moon Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated in many East Asian communities and is the second most important festival in China after Chinese New Year. Celebration and practices vary country to country. In China, it is a time for family reunions and gatherings, while in Vietnam, it is called The Children's Festival as children are believed to symbolize purity and innocence. Also referred to as the Moon Festival or the Mooncake Festival, it traditionally falls on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese lunar calendar, which is in September or early October. [READ FULL POST]

Latinx Heritage Month and 16 de Septiembre

Today we begin the recognition of National Latinx Heritage Month, which is traditionally held from September 15-October 15. Latinx Heritage Month honors the history, culture, and contributions of Americans whose ancestry may intersect with 20 countries in Latin America, including México, Central, and South America, and the Caribbean. [READ FULL POST]

Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement

Yom Kippur is one of the holiest days of the year in Jerusalem. Its central themes are atonement and repentance as it is believed this is a period of time when they are closest to God. This is a day-long fast with introspective prayer, often spending a full day in a synagogue. [READ FULL POST]

Celebrating and Observing Rosh Hashanah

The two days of Rosh Hashanah usher in the Ten Days of Repentance (Aseret Yemei Teshuvah), also known as the Days of Awe (Yamim Noraim), which culminate in the major fast day of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The Days of Awe represent the climax of a longer process. Starting at the beginning of the previous month, called Elul, the shofar is traditionally sounded at the conclusion of the morning service. A ram’s horn that makes a trumpet-like sound, this is intended as a wake-up call to prepare for the Tishrei holidays. [READ FULL POST]

Suicide Prevention Awareness

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, a time to share resources and stories in an effort to shed light on this highly taboo and stigmatized topic. We use this month to reach out to those affected by suicide, raise awareness and connect individuals with suicidal ideation to treatment services. It is also important to ensure that individuals, friends and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention. [READ FULL POST]

Women's Equality Day

August 26, 2021, we observe the 101st year of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote in a federal election. Indigenous women did not gain the right to vote until 1924 when Congress passed the Indian Citizenship Act. In the first election in 1920 after this amendment passage, only 36% of women actually cast a ballot compared to 68% of men. According to the Pew Research Center, since 1984 women voters have turned out to vote at a greater rate than men in every presidential election. [READ FULL POST]

World Senior Citizen's Day

On Saturday, August 21, 2021, we observe World Senior Citizen’s Day. As we continue to experience shifts in human population, it is important to keep in mind the diversity and equity challenges that may exist among the aging population. The Silver Tsunami (also known as Grey Tsunami, Silver Wave, or Grave Wave) is a metaphor to describe the population of persons over the age of 60. The term initially used when the baby boomer generation entered their 60s and concern rose regarding the effect that the aging population would have on health care, the workforce, and the housing market. [READ FULL POST]

Hate Crime Laws

A report on the analysis of state and federal hate crime laws was recently released by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) in partnership with 16 leading civil rights organizations. This report, Policy Spotlight: Hate Crime Laws, contains an analysis of the challenges and opportunities of current hate crime laws in an effort to both improve those laws and better support communities affected by hate violence. [READ FULL POST]

Americans with Disabilities Act Day

On July 26, 2021 we recognize the 31st anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Initially introduced to Congress in 1988, the ADA was signed on July 26, 1990. The passing of this civil rights law was a major milestone in that it guarantees equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in regards to public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications. Changes to the definition of ‘disability’ were included in the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) that was passed in 2008. [READ FULL POST]

Independence Day

Independence Day has been celebrated since July 1776 when America declared its independence from British rule. Many battles and events led up to the American Revolution. The Seven Years’ War (French and Indian War) between France and Britain, 1756 – 1763, resulted in the need for Britain to raise taxes against the American colonists with the passing of the Stamp Act in 1765 to help cover war debt accumulated. The Stamp Act was followed by other imposed taxes against the American colonists including the Townshend Acts and the Tea Act. Ultimately, the American colonists sought to gain their independence from Britain and, with assistance from the French, were able to do so with the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 although the American Revolution didn’t end until 1783. [READ FULL POST]

Legalization of Same-Sex Marriages

In continuation of the celebration of Pride Month, it is important to recognize and celebrate a major milestone in the advancement of civil rights for the LGBTQ+ community. On June 26, we acknowledge the legalization of same-sex marriages. The Supreme Court ruled on June 26, 2015, that same-sex marriages must be recognized across the United States. [READ FULL POST]