Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Calendar

Movable Celebration (definition): A movable celebration is a secular or non-secular celebration that occurs on a different date each year.

The term "movable celebration" is used in this calendar instead of the more widely known term "movable feast." Movable feast, while technically correct, has roots in Christianity. Thus "movable celebration" is substituted to support a more culturally inclusive calendar.

If you notice any missing events or celebrations, please email DiversityandInclusion@NJHealth.org with the relevant information, and we will gladly add it.

January Celebration Days 

January 1st New Years Day and Emancipation Proclamation
President Lincoln declared all individuals held in slavery free on January 1st, 1863.
January 4th Louis Braille’s birthday
A French educator who created a reading and writing system known as “braille” for the visually impaired.
January 6th Feast of the Epiphany
This Christian feast day celebrates the star leading the three wise men to baby Jesus closing the Christmas season
January 14th (or 15th if it's a leap year) Makar Sankranti
Hindu festival dedicated to the god of the sun, Surya
January- Third Monday  Martin Luther King Day
Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr., the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
January 27th International Holocaust Remembrance Day
An internation memorial day on the 27 January that commemorates the victims of the Holocaust. murder of one third of the Jewish people, along with countless members of other minorities between 1933 and 1945 by Nazi Germany. The 27th of January was chosen to commemorate the date when the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated in 1945.
January/February- Movable Celebration Chinese New Year- Lunar New Year
The festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. The first day of Chinese New Year begins on the new moon that appears between 21 January and 20 February.
January/February- Movable Celebration Tu BeShevat
A Jewish holiday occurring on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat. It is also called Rosh HaShanah La'Ilanot, literally "New Year of the Trees."

February Celebration Dates

February 1st Black History Month
February was chosen to celebrate African American History because it holds the birthdays of two men who helped eliminate slavery: Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln.
February 2nd Groundhog Day
A North American tradition observed in the United States and Canada starting in the 16th century. If a groundhog emerges from its burrow and sees its shadow, winter will continue for six more weeks. If it does not see its shadow, spring will arrive early. 
February 3rd National Women Physicians Day
This celebration marks the birthday of Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States in 1849.
February 4th World Cancer Day
An international day marked on 4 February to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment.
February 11th International Day of Women and Girls in Science
The International Day of Women and Girls in Science is an annual observance adopted by the United Nations General Assembly to promote the full and equal access and participation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields.
February 11th
Tammy Baldwin’s Birthday
The birthday of the first openly LGBTQIA+ woman elected to both houses of Congress.
February 14th Frederick Douglass’ birthday (observed):
Frederick Douglass was a formerly enslaved man who became a prominent activist, author and public speaker. He became a leader in the abolitionist movement, which sought to end the practice of slavery, before and during the Civil War
February 14th Valentine's Day
It originated as a Christian feast day honoring a martyr named Valentine and through later folk traditions, has also become a significant cultural, religious and commercial celebration of romance and love in many regions of the world.
February 15th Nirvana Day
An annual festival that remembers the death of the Buddha after reaching nirvana; also called Parinirvana.
February 15th Susan B. Anthony’s Birthday
A leader of the women’s suffrage movement,she advocated for abolition, temperance, labor rights, and equal pay for equal work.
February- Third Monday President's Day or Washington's Birthday
A federal holiday in the United States celebrated on the third Monday of February. It is  celebrated to honor all those who served as presidents of the United States, and to honor George Washington.
February 21st International Mother Language Day
International Mother Language Day recognizes that languages and multilingualism can advance inclusion.
Movable Celebration
Festival of Ayyam-i-Ha
This multi-day Baha’i festival highlights charity, hospitality, gift-giving, and preparation of fasting before the New Year.
Movable Celebration (on a Wednesday)
Ash Wednesday
The first day of Lent, occurring six and a half weeks before Easter (between February 4 and March 11, depending on the date of Easter). It is commonly observed with ashes and fasting.

March Celebration Days

March 1st        Women's History Month
This month honors the role that women like Dorothea Dix, Susan B. Anthony, Jane Cooke Wright, Mary Tape, and so many others have played in American history.
March 8th International Women's Day
A day highlighting the political, social, cultural, and economic achievements of women.
March 8th Holi
Hindu holiday that celebrates the winter harvest and onset of spring.
March 10th    Harriet Tubman’s birthday (observed)
American abolitionist who is well-known for her key role in the Underground Railroad.
March 17th St. Patrick’s Day
A feast day of a Catholic saint who inspires cultural and religious celebrations around the world.
March 20th Benito Juarez Day
 A Mexican national holiday celebrating Mexico’s former president and national hero. 
March 21st International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Adopted by the UN on October 26th, 1960, this celebration signifies the struggle to end the policy of apartheid in South Africa, calling to action the international community and asking everyone to redouble their efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.
March 22 to April 21 Ramadan
The start of Islam’s sacred month — during this time Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn until dusk
March 24th World Tuberculosis Day
This annual event commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacillus that causes tuberculosis (TB).
March 30th National Doctors Day
It is a holiday that honors physicians for the work they do for their patients, the communities they work in, and society as a whole.

April Celebration Days

April 1st   Earth Month
It’s a time to raise environmental awareness and create consciousness around the issues that affect mother nature during this time of crisis. 
April 1st Arab American Heritage Month
A month-long celebration of Arab American heritage and culture. This month also pays tribute to the contributions of Arab Americans and Arabic-speaking Americans to American society, art, culture, and more.
April 2nd          World Autism Awareness Day
A celebration devoted to sharing stories and providing opportunities to increase understanding and acceptance of people with autism, fostering worldwide support.
April 3rd Jane Goodall's Birthday
Paving the way for women scientists everywhere, ethologist and conservationist Jane Goodall redefined what it means to be human. Her work with the wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania, set the standard for how behavioral studies are conducted.
April 5th to April 13th Passover
Passover is a major Jewish festival that celebrates the freeing of the Israeli slaves.
April 9th Easter 
Easter is the most important Christian holiday of the year. This day celebrates Jesus’ resurrection. 
April 14th (or the second Friday of April) Day of Silence
A day of action to spread awareness about the effects of the bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning students. In the United States, students take a day-long vow of silence to symbolically represent the silencing of LGBTQ students.
April 22nd Earth Day
Earth Day is a day observed by more than 192 nations. It honors the environmental movement that protects the Earth for future generations. 

Celebrate Earth Week at National Jewish Health by checking out the offerings and activities provided by our SMART committee.
April 25th World Malaria Day
World Malaria Day is an occasion to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control. It was instituted by WHO Member States during the World Health Assembly of 2007.
April 28th (or the last Friday in April) Arbor Day
Arbor Day is a secular day of observance in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant trees.
April 29th (or the last Saturday in April) Independent Bookstore Day
This national one-day celebration is held the last Saturday in April and celebrates independent bookstores across the country. Take the time to visit a local, independent bookstore close to you, or check out one of our favorites- West Side Book

May Celebration Days

May 1st AAPI Heritage Month
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month recognizes the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States. 
May 1st Mental Health Awareness Month
Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in May in the United States since 1949. The month celebrates a national movement to raise awareness about mental health.
May 1st Jewish American Heritage Month
An annual recognition of Jewish contributions to American culture, history, military, science, government, and more.
May 2nd (or the first Tuesday of May) National Teacher Appreciation Day
The National Education Association describes National Teacher Day “as a day for honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives.”

Take a moment to stop by Morgridge Academy today to thank our wonderful teachers in person.
May 5th National Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Da
A report by the U.S. Department of interior’s Office of Justice Services said, “Statistics show is that approximately 1,500 American Indian and Alaska Native missing persons have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) throughout the U.S, and approximately 2,700 cases of Murder and Nonnegligent Homicide Offense have been reported to the Federal Government’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. In total, BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) estimates there are 4,200 missing and murdered cases that have gone unsolved.” Murder is the third highest cause of death for women among American Indians and Alaska Natives, yet most of these cases go unsolved and are treated with indifference and inaction. In May 2021, President Joe Biden designated May 5th as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day to recognize American Indian and Alaska Native people who have lost their lives to violence.
May 5th Cinco de Mayo
Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not the celebration of Mexico's independence. Instead, it commemorates the anniversary of Mexico's victory over the Second French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, led by General Ignacio Zaragoza.
May 17th  International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia
This day raises awareness for the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals worldwide, and incidents of LGBTQ+ rights violations. May 17th was chosen because it was the date that the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases. Celebrate this day by raising awareness and fostering inclusiveness with this great online LGBT Training
May 19th Malcolm X's Birthday
Malcolm X, the Muslim minister and civil rights activist, was assassinated in 1965. Spend today remembering his famous words, “A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything,” and reflect on how you can incorporate this sentiment into your life.
May 26th Buddah's Birthday
The Buddha was born Siddhartha Gautama. This May diversity celebration is also called Buddha Jayanti. It’s the day of his enlightenment and a celebrated Buddhist festival in most of East Asia and South Asia.
May 29th (or the last Monday of May) Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for mourning the U.S. military personnel who have died while serving in the United States armed forces. Veterans, we thank you for your service! 





September Celebration Days

September 5 International Day of Charity
Commemorating the death of Mother Teresa and promoting charitable efforts to alleviate human suffering.
September 8 International Literacy Day
Reminding the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights.
September 11 Enkutatash
Ethiopian New  Year
September 15 Hispanic Heritage Month (end Oct 15)
Celebrating the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.
September 16 Mexican Independence Day
Celebrates Mexico's liberation from Spain in 1810.
September 16 Arba'een
Commemorates the martyrdom of Al-Husayn ibn Ali the grandson of Muhammad.
September 21 International Day of Peace
The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.
September 23 Bi Visibility Day
Recognizing and celebrating the bisexual community.
September 26 Navartri
This is a biannual Hindu festival honoring the Mother Goddess Durga.
September 26, 27                          Rosh Hashanah
Jewish New Year

October Celebration Days

October 1 Jerry Rescue Day
The Jerry Rescue was a public rescue of a fugitive slave who had been arrested during the anti-slavery Liberty Party's state convention in Syracuse, New York.
October 2 International Day of Non-Violence
International Day is an occasion to "disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness". 
October 4 Yom Kippur
Known as the Day of Atonement and the holiest day of the year in Judaism.
October 5 Dassera
Also called Vijayadashami, in Hinduism is a holiday marking the triumph of Rama over Ravana.
October 7 Mawlid Al-Nabi
The birthday of the prophet Muhammad.
October 9 Sukkot
Commemorates the wanderings of the Israelites in the desert after the revelation at Mount Sinai.
October 10 Indigenous Peoples Day
Celebration and recognition of the area's original inhabitants.
October 11 National Coming Out Day
Marks the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights and is the annual celebration of coming out.
October 17 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
The day honoring the Universal Declaration of Human Rights signed in 1948, to honor the victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger. 

Simchat Torah
The day celebrating the conclusion of one and the beginning of another annual cycle of readings from the Torah.
October 24 Diwali
The festival of lights is the most celebrated festival of India.
October 31      Reformation Day
Anniversary of the day Martin Luther is said to have posted his ninety-five Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenburg, Germany which was later identified by Protestants as the beginning of reformation.

Halloween (Eve of All Saints' Day)
A day filled with costumes and candy, originating from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain.

November Celebration Days

November 1 All Saints' Day
The day honoring all saints of the church deemed to have attained heaven.
November 4 Bandi-Chhor Divas
Prisoner Release Day celebrating the right prevailing over the wrong.
November 8 National STEM/STEAM Day
November 11 Veterans Day
Day honoring military veterans.
November 16 International Day for Tolerance
November 19 Guru Nanak Dev Ji's Birthday
November 20 Transgender Day of Remembrance                                                                       
November 23 National Adoption Day
November 24 Thanksgiving
November 25 Day of the Covenant
November 26 Native American Heritage Day
November 28 Advent 
November 30 Day to Remember Chemical Warfare Victims

December Celebration Days

December 3 International Day of Disabled Persons    
December 10 Human Rights Day
December 12 Our Lady of Guadalupe
December 15 Bill of Rights Day
December 21 Winter Solstice
December 24 Christmas Eve
December 25 Christmas
December 26 Kwanzaa
December 29 Wounded Knee Day

Practicing Inclusivity with DEI Holidays - Resource

There are a lot of different holidays through out the year people may be observing in a variety of ways. One way to practice inclusivity and deliberate community is to integrate holidays and annual observances from a wide range of religious traditions into your calendar. This can help as you plan events, schedules, and projects. The University of Denver has outlined a series of best practices for interfaith scheduling. Check out their tools for transforming your work calendar into an interfaith calendar!
Find more monthly DEI holidays: DEI Monthly Holidays.