Communications from UNC's Vice President of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
January 20, 2023
2023 Lunar New Year: Year of the Rabbit
The 2023 Lunar New Year will begin on January 22 and will mark the Year of the Rabbit until the 15th day signaling the end with the Lantern Festival. The Lunar New Year is a major holiday in East and Southeast Asian cultures, such as China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, Korea, and many others. It is a time for families to gather, exchange gifts, and celebrate with traditional foods and customs.
May 30, 2022
LGBTQ+ Pride Month
Celebrated annually during the month of June, LGBTQ+ Pride Month is recognized in the United States as well as around the globe. The first organized demonstrations of Gay Pride took place in June 1970 in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco in commemoration of the riots that took place at the Stonewall Inn in June of 1969 in New York. LGBTQ+ Pride month provides a time to recognize and celebrate the progress that so many across the country have worked toward in support of LGBTQ+ rights and, in some countries and even some US cities, the demonstrations are a continued campaign for equal rights. LGBTQ+ Pride month is also a time to remember members of the LGBTQ+ community who were victims of hate crimes and HIV/AIDS.
May 02, 2022
Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, celebrated annually during the month of May, celebrates the various cultures and contributions made by persons of Asian and Pacific Islander decent to the United States. The term Asian and Pacific Islander includes people of an array of diverse cultures, beliefs and languages. Asian American and Pacific Islander descendants in the United States represent 48 countries that make up the continent of Asia and the Pacific Island groups of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. According to the 2020 U.S. Census, an estimated 24 million people identified as Asian and 1.6 million people identified as Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander.
April 11, 2022
Spring Religious Observances
Spring brings religious holidays for those of both Jewish and Christian faiths. The Jewish holiday Passover (Pesach), will be observed this year beginning at sundown on Friday, April 15 and ending at nightfall on Saturday, April 23. Those of Christian faith will observe Good Friday on Friday, April 15 and Easter on Sunday, April 17.
April 04, 2022
This year, the Holy month of Ramadan began the evening of April 1 in the U.S. and will be celebrated through the evening of May 1. Many within our UNC community will begin a spiritual reflection and fast daily from dawn to dusk. Islam, meaning “submission to the will of God”, is the second-largest religion globally, with roughly 1.9 billion Muslim followers. Followers of Islam are known as Muslims, which means “those who have surrendered”. The most concentrated areas of Islam are Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Algeria, and Sudan. Here in the United States, 7 million Muslims reside, and Mosques are represented in all 50 states.
March 28, 2022
National Arab American Heritage Month
National Arab American Heritage Month (NAAHM) takes place annually throughout the month of April. During the month, Arab American heritage, culture and achievements are celebrated and recognized.
March 24, 2022
César Chávez Day
César Chávez, Mexican–American civil-rights activist, practiced nonviolent resistance to improve the working and living conditions of farm workers in the United States. Having experienced injustice growing up in the early 1930’s, César Chávez saw his father work the land where his home was located in Arizona only to have it taken from them in a broken land agreement. Following this life-changing event, the Chávez family moved to California, eventually settling in San Jose where César encountered racism and segregation throughout his early years in school. After the eighth grade, César quit school to become a migrant farm worker when his father was no longer able to work due to an accident. While his formal education ended, César never stopped learning and educating himself through books.
March 10, 2022
Deaf History Month
Introduced in 1997 by The National Association of the Deaf (NAD), National Deaf History Month recognized the accomplishments of people who are deaf and hard of hearing. National Deaf History Month has been celebrated annually from March 13 – April 15 to recognize three key developments for the Deaf community: the opening of the first public school for the deaf, the founding of the first institution dedicated to advanced education for the deaf and hard of hearing, and the hiring of the first deaf president of Gallaudet University.
March 02, 2022
International Women's Day - #BreakTheBias
International Women’s Day, observed annually on March 8, has roots deep in political activism dating back to 1909. Originally held as National Woman’s Day in New York City, the Socialist Party of America organized the event to address both suffragist and socialist causes. Spreading to Europe, the first International Woman’s Day, organized by the socialist government of France, was recognized worldwide with over a million women participating. Declared an official Soviet holiday in 1917 by the communist party founder, Vladimir Lenin. Celebrated primarily by socialist countries until the mid-1970’s, the United Nations General Assembly recognized March 8 as International Women’s Day beginning in 1975.
February 28, 2022
Dreamer Awareness Month
In March, we celebrate DREAMer Awareness Month. The term DREAMer is commonly used by students who relate with the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act movement. The movement also allows students to interrupt socialized ideas and terminology that are often used to describe them, such as illegal, alien, criminal, and so forth. In 2012, the Obama administration provided a reprieve from deportation and initiated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This program allows students to apply for a driver's license, social security number, and work permit. Under this program, approximately 680,000 DACA students are attending college and universities in the United States.
February 23, 2022
Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope
Throughout the month of March, we highlight Women's History Month. Organized by the school district of Sonoma, California, in 1978, Women's History Month was created to reshape American patriarchal history that largely neglected women's achievements. As we recognize Women's History Month, try to learn more about pioneering women, explore unfamiliar women like public health advocate, Annie Dodge Wauneka who was the first Native American to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Nobel Prize recipient Gertrude Elion, pharmacologist and biochemist, who invented an immunosuppressive drug key to organ transplants.
February 16, 2022
World Day of Social Justice
On February 20, we observe and celebrate World Day of Social Justice but what is ‘social justice’? According to Adams, Bell, and Griffin (2007), leading scholars in the field of social justice, “Social justice is both a process and a goal. The goal of social justice is full and equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs. Social justice includes a vision of society in which the distribution of resources is equitable and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure. We envision a society in which individuals are both self-determining and interdependent.”