In recent years diversity, equity and inclusion have become a part of not only our conversation but our agenda around the world.
Businesses are not far behind; most companies are working hard every year to create DEI programs that improve the culture, engagement and diversity of their employees.
We all know that there is a business case for DEI and companies that are not prioritizing it and allocating resources for it are at risk of not only losing their best diverse talent, but their customers as well.
As you prepare your strategy and agenda for the following year, it’s important to be inclusive of diversity observance months, cultural events, religious holidays and celebrations.
January 1 – New Year / Emancipation Proclamation: President Lincoln declared all individuals held in slavery free on this day in 1863
January 4 – Louis Braille’s birthday: Louis Braille created a reading and writing system known as “braille” for the visually impaired.
January 15 – Makar Sankranti: Hindu festival dedicated to the god of the sun, Surya
January 16 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day: celebrates one of the best-known civil rights activists, MLK Jr.
January 22 – Lunar New Year: this festival marks the start of the new year in the lunar calendar used in East Asia, Southeast Asia and elsewhere
January 27 – International Day of Commemoration in Memory of Victims of the Holocaust: a United Nations holiday that remembers the approximately 6 million Jews murdered during World War II
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 11 – Tammy Baldwin’s Birthday: the birthday of the first openly LGBT woman elected to both houses of Congress
February 14 – Frederick Douglass’ birthday (observed): this day celebrates the birth of abolitionist and social reformer
February 15 – Nirvana Day: an annual festival that remembers the death of the Buddha after reaching nirvana; also called Parinirvana
February 15 – 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 22 – Ash Wednesday: a day of prayer and fasting that begins the Christian season of Lent
Women’s History Month: honors the role of women in American history
March 8 – International Women’s Day: Aaday highlighting the political, social, cultural, and economic achievements of women
March 8 – Holi: Hindu holiday that celebrates the winter harvest and onset of spring
March 10 – Harriet Tubman’s birthday (observed): American abolitionist who is well-known for her key role in the Underground Railroad
March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day: feast day of a Catholic saint who inspires cultural and religious celebrations around the world
March 21 – International Day for the Elimination 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
Read more about the days in March to celebrate with our Diversity Calendar 2023.
Celebrate Diversity Month: highlights unique backgrounds, cultures, and traditions
April 2 – World Autism Awareness Day: raises awareness for those with autism that seeking to improve their lives and the acceptance of them in society
April 5 to April 13 – Passover: major Jewish festival that celebrates the freeing of Israeli slaves
April 9 – Easter: the most important Christian holiday, which celebrates Jesus’ resurrection
April 22 – Earth Day: holiday that applauds the planet we live on and all it does for us; Earth Day is observed by more than 192 nations.
Mental Health Awareness Month: raises awareness for those living with mental and behavioral issues. This month also seeks to support families or communities who are impacted by mental illness.
Older Americans Month: celebrates how older Americans contribute to the United States
Jewish American Heritage Month: honors American Jews and their contributions to the United States throughout history
Asian American and Pacific Island Heritage Month: commemorates people with Asian and Pacific Island ancestry and their contribution to the United States
May 5 – Cinco de Mayo: Mexican-American holiday that celebrates Mexico’s defeat of the French Army
May 17 – International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia: this event seeks to raise awareness for the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals.
May 19 – Malcolm X’s Birthday: well-known Muslim minister and civil rights activist, who was assassinated in 1965
May 26 – Buddha’s Birthday: celebrates the Buddha, who founded one of the world’s most practiced faiths
LGBT Pride Month: Pride Month recognizes LGBT people and the effect they’ve had on the world. June was selected to commemorate the Stonewall Riots. Explore more with our our LGBTQ inclusion training at the workplace
Caribbean American Heritage Month: This month recognizes those of Caribbean descent and the impact their accomplishments have had throughout American history
June 2 – Indian Citizenship Act of 1924: This act granted Native Americans born in the U.S. citizenship. However, they were not given the right to vote until 1957
June 12 – Loving Day: This day is the anniversary of the court decision that legalizes interracial marriage
Puerto Rican Day Parade: This parade is a demonstration of cultural pride that seeks to raise awareness of issues in the Puerto Rican community
June 19 – Juneteenth: This day commemorates when the last African Americans learned of the Emancipation Proclamation (over two years after it was originally issued)
June 26 to July 1 – The Hajj: This day begins the annual pilgrimage to Mecca that all Muslims must take once in their lives
June 27 – Helen Keller’s Birthday: This day celebrates the birth of Helen Kellen, an individual who was both blind and deaf. She was a leading humanitarian in the 20th century as well as one of the co-founders of the ACLU
July 2 – Thurgood Marshall’s Birthday: The day Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and civil rights activist Thurgood Marshall was born
July 6 – 14th Dalai Lama’s Birthday: The day that Tibet’s leader in exile and Nobel Peace Prize recipient was born
July 6 – Frida Kahlo’s Birthday: A well-known Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo, in the 20th century was born on this day
July 18 – Nelson Mandela’s Birthday: Nelson Mandela served as South Africa’s first black president and was a strong civil rights leader
July 25 – Pioneer Day: This Utah state holiday marks the arrival of LDS church founder Brigham Young to the Salt Lake area
July 26 – Americans with Disabilities Act: This law protects people with disabilities from being discriminated against
30 July – Al-Hijri: this day marks the start of the Muslim New Year — beginning the prior evening.
August 4 – Barack Obama’s Birthday: This day marks the birth of the United States’ first Black president
August 9: International Day of the World’s Indigenous People: This day was created by the UN to celebrate the culture of indigenous people on a global scale
August 15: Feast of the Assumption: This Roman Catholic feast day marks the entry of the mother Mary into Heaven (body and soul)
August 18: Lord Krishna’s Birthday: This day is the birthday of one of the most popular deities in the Hindu faith. Lord Krishna is also known as Janmashtami, and his birthday is celebrated with a festival
August 24: Marlee Matlin’s Birthday: This day celebrates the birth of Marlee Matlin — the sole hearing-impaired actor to win best actor/actress
August 26: Women’s Equality Day: This day marks the anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in the year 1920
August 31 – Ganesh Chaturthi: This Hindu festival celebrates Lord Ganesha’s birth
Find the best speaker for August here
September 15 to October 15 – National Hispanic Heritage Month: This month honors Hispanic and Latino Americans for their contributions to U.S. culture.
National Recovery Month: This awareness month seeks to educate Americans on treatment and health services for individuals with substance use disorder.
September 20 – HeForShe: This movement was started by the UN with the goal of promoting gender equality
September 22 – Autumnal Equinox: This date marks a variety of religious observances across the globe
September 15 to September 17 – Rosh Hashanah: This holiday is the Jewish New Year when Jews reflect on their faith
Find the best speaker for National Hispanic Heritage Month here
Global Diversity Awareness Month: An awareness month with the goal of promoting respect toward various cultures.
National Disability Employment Awareness Month: This awareness month aims to advocate for individuals with disabilities and their inclusion in the workforce.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Breast cancer is a leading cause of death in women; this month seeks to boost awareness of the disease.
National Polish American Heritage Month: A month selected to honor those with Polish heritage.
October 10 – World Mental Health Day: A day that advocates for mental health awareness and education; on this day, you can support the efforts by reflecting on your own biases regarding mental health and advocating against social stigma related to it.
October 10 – Indigenous People’s Day: This day honors the indigenous people of North America; the holiday was formerly called Columbus Day
October 14 – Defender of Ukraine Day: This day celebrates those who have fought for the freedom of Ukraine
October 17 – Spirit Day: This day is aimed specifically at LGBTQ youth and what their community can do to support them. You can participate in this day by wearing purple and speaking out against bullying
Find the best speaker for Global Diversity Awareness Month here
National American Heritage Month: This month celebrates the contributions — cultures, traditions, histories — of Native people to the United States
November: A month-long fundraiser that seeks to raise awareness for men’s issues like suicide as well as prostate and testicular cancer
November 1 – All Saints’ Day, All Souls Day, Día de Los Muertos: These days are dedicated to all those who have passed away in the Christian faith as well as the Mexican and Aztec communities
November 16 – International Day for Tolerance: The UN holiday was founded to encourage respect among various people regardless of culture, language, religion, or ethnicity
November 12 – Diwali: An important celebration in the Hindu faith in which a variety of deities are praised
November 16 – Dutch American Heritage Day: This day applauds the long friendship between the Netherlands and the United States
November 20 – Transgender Day of Remembrance: This day is held as a remembrance for all those murdered because of transphobia
Find the best speaker for National American Heritage Month here.
December 1 – World AIDS Day: This day highlights the importance of HIV/AIDs awareness and raises money for its cure.
December 3 – International Day of Persons with Disabilities: This United Nations holiday raises awareness for the rights of individuals with disabilities.
December 10 – International Humans Rights Day: A holiday adopted by the UN in 1948 following the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
December 16 to December 24 – Las Posadas: A religious festival celebrated in Mexico and parts of the U.S. during the Christmas season.
December 7 to December 15 – Hanukkah: A Jewish holiday celebrating Jew rising up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt.
December 22 – Winter Solstice/Yule: A festival celebrated by Pagan and Wiccan faiths.
December 25 – Christmas: A Christian holiday marking the birth of their lord and savior, Jesus Christ.
December 26 – Kwanzaa: An 8-day holiday often celebrated by Black Americans that was inspired by African harvest celebrations.
Discover more diversity days you can celebrate during the month of December with our 2023 Diversity Calendar.
We hope you’ve found this calendar useful in your quest for DEI. If you are looking for speakers, consulting or any help on building experiences around these holidays and celebrations you’ve come to the right place.