Communications from UNC's Vice President of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
October 28, 2021
Día de los Muertos
Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday celebrated annually on November 1 – November 2. While the celebration may not have looked the same, rituals of honoring the dead date back thousands of years to the Aztec, Maya, and Toltec peoples. With the arrival of the Spanish, the ritual of commemorating the dead was intertwined with the Spanish holidays of All Saints Day and All Soul’s Day. Not to be confused with Halloween, Día de los Muertos celebrates the belief that for a day, the separation of the spirit world and the real word opens to allow the souls of the dead to return and celebrate with their loved ones.
October 21, 2021
United Nations Day
United Nations Day, observed on Sunday, October 24, marks the 76th anniversary of the founding charter. Drafted in 1945, the United Nations charter was formed with representatives of 50 countries at the United Nations Conference on International Organization in San Francisco. While the UN has evolved over the years with our changing world, the one constant has been that ‘it remains the one place on Earth where all the world’s nations can gather together, discuss common problems, and find shared solutions that benefit all of humanity’.
October 14, 2021
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
October 17 marks the 34th observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. First observed in 1987, the United Nations General Assembly officially declared October 17 as the official date of observance in 1992. By acknowledging the observance of international days we are provided the time to educate others and ourselves on global issues of both achievement and concern as well as the opportunity to discuss the organization of political will and resources to address these issues.
October 07, 2021
Indigenous Peoples' Day
Indigenous Peoples’ Day is recognized on the second Monday of October. The day began as a counter-celebration of the resistance and resilience of the indigenous communities of the United States in protest of Columbus Day. Italian explorer, Christopher Columbus, is often touted as the “founder” of the Americas; however, not only is this narrative inaccurate, it is damaging and contributes to the erasure and violence of Indigenous peoples, historically and contemporarily.
October 05, 2021
Gender Equity: Doing The Work
Even when organizations have the best intentions of eliminating gender inequality in the workplace, the approach or strategies are often flawed or fraught with assumptions. Sexism and discrimination contribute to gender inequality and still exist in the United States and continues to be intrinsic within our ethos.
September 30, 2021
Domestic Violence Awareness Month
National Domestic Violence Awareness Month is recognized each October through educational events, community gatherings, and support groups. Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the “Day of Unity” held in October 1981 and conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent behind the “Day of Unity” was to connect advocates across the nation in their work to end domestic violence.
September 27, 2021
LGBTQ+ History Month
LGBT History Month would not exist without Rodney Wilson, a 29-year-old Missouri history high school teacher who came out to his class in 1994. After teaching about the Holocaust, Wilson shared that he could have been killed for being gay had he lived during that time. Wilson’s vision for the informative and celebratory month was to dedicate time to the teaching of LGBT history. Rodney Wilson is quoted as saying “The greatest act of advocacy for civil rights for LGBTQ Americans is the act of coming out.”
September 23, 2021
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.
September 16, 2021
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.
September 13, 2021
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.
September 09, 2021
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.
September 06, 2021
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.