DEI Celebration Resources

In the United States, there are a number of celebrations held each month to acknowledge various historic events and figures from ethnic and marginalized groups. These celebrations serve as an opportunity to educate others on the contributions of various individuals and communities to U.S. History. At Cornell, we've created this page to recognize some of the events that are celebrated with resources and information on how to celebrate each month.

Zoom Background visual for Celebrate Diversity Month (April)
Zoom Background visual in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

History

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a federal holiday that takes place on the third Monday of each January. This day was established in honor of Baptist minister and social justice activist Dr. Marin Luther King Jr. who was assassinated in 1968. King was the first modern private citizen to be honored with a federal holiday and his legacy continues to inspire millions of people around the world.

Resources

Upcoming Events

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Zoom background visual for Black History Month with kente cloth only

History

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history.

Since 1976, every American president has designated February as Black History Month and endorsed a specific theme.

The Black History Month 2021 theme, “Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity” explores the African diaspora, and the spread of Black families across the United States.

[Source: History.com]

Cornell Resources

Additional Resources

Upcoming Events

  • February 1- 28: Join Cornell Wellness throughout the month of February as they celebrate the culture and traditions of our African-American brothers and sisters. Register to get emails with interviews of the day sent directly to you and to receive trivia questions that relate to persons who have had positive impacts on Black History with links to detailed bios of that individual. Please feel free to visit the Celebration of Black History Month webpage to view all content released.
  • Friday, February 26 from 3:30-5:00 PM: Cornell University Library presents "Any librarian…Any study? : Conversations on Being Black and a Librarian at Cornell University Library, Past Present, and Future." Register for this event today!
  • Monday, March 1 at 7:00 PM: Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Event- A virtual conversation featuring Ijeoma Oluo. Join them in a conversation with Ijeoma Oluo as they explore racism in the U.S. and consider how to engage in productive anti-racist action. For more information and to register for this event, visit https://scl.cornell.edu/MLKLecture
  • Thursday, March 4 at 1:00 PM: eCornell will be hosting special guest Jeremy Stewart from Cornell Wellness in an informal Celebration Conversation about his Black History Month project. They will discuss takeaways from his series of interviews with Cornell staff. Register today!

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The image below includes the following individuals starting from left to right, top row: Toni Morrison, President Barack Obama, Madam C.J. Walker, Malcom X, Harriet Tubman, James Baldwin, Ida B. Wells, Muhammad Ali, and Nina Simone.

Left to right, bottom row: Representative John Lewis, Beyoncé, Spike Lee, Oprah Winfrey, Frederick Douglass, Shirley Chisholm, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Maya Angelou, and Nelson Mandela.

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Zoom background visual for Black History Month with kente cloth and 18 cultural and historical figures in front of cloth
Zoom image for Women's History Month with women of different racial/ethnic backgrounds and gender expressions.

History

Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.” Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as “Women’s History Week.” In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.” Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, presidents have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.” These proclamations celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields.

[Source: Women's History Month.gov]

Cornell Resources

Additional Resources

Upcoming Events

  • Monday, March 8 from 7:00-8:30 PM: Join the National Women's History Museum for a special two-part screening of And She Could Be Next, POV’s first broadcast miniseries, in honor of International Women's Day, March 8th. And She Could Be Next tells the story of a defiant group of women of color—candidates and organizers—who are transforming politics from the ground up. Register for part one by clicking here.
  • Monday, March 15 from 7:00-8:30 PM: Join the National Women's History Museum for a special two-part screening of And She Could Be Next, POV’s first broadcast miniseries, in honor of International Women's Day, March 8th. And She Could Be Next tells the story of a defiant group of women of color—candidates and organizers—who are transforming politics from the ground up. Register for part two by clicking here.
  • Monday, March 24 from 12:00-1:00 PM: Join the National Women's History Museum and illustrator Marissa Valdez for a very special Brave Girls Virtual Storytime reading of author Meena Harris' Ambitious Girl. Written by author Meena Harris (Vice President Kamala Harris' niece) and illustrated by Marissa Valdez, Ambitious Girl tells the story of discovery through past, present, and future about the challenges faced by women and girls and the ways in which they can reframe, redefine, and reclaim words meant to knock them down. Registration is required.

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Zoom background visual in honor of César Chávez Day on March 31

History

César Chávez was born on March 31st 1927, in Yuma, Arizona. His family had moved to Northern California to work as migrant farm workers after losing their land in the great depression.

He served in the US navy for two years at the end of the Second World War, returning to work on farms until 1952, when he became involved with the Community Service Organization, a Latino civil rights group, rising to become its national director by 1958.

In 1962, Chávez became a cofounder of the National Farm Workers' Association (now the United Farm Workers). In this new role, he became the best known Latino American civil rights activist. Leading the struggle for better rights for farm workers, his aggressive but nonviolent tactics made the farm workers' struggle a moral cause with wide support. His also gained national awareness as he went on several hunger strikes to highlight his campaigns.

Chávez died on April 23rd 1993 of unspecified natural causes, with some believing that his death may have been caused in part by his hunger strikes.

César Chávez Day is always celebrated on his birthday, March 31st. President Barack Obama declared César Chávez Day a national holiday in 2014.

It is not a federal holiday, but is a state holiday in California. It is either an optional or commemorative day in nine other states - Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Rhode Island.

California, Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin observe César Chávez Day by closing schools and state offices.

[Source: Office Holidays.com]

Cornell Resources

Resources

Upcoming Events

  • Thursday, March 25- Wednesday, March 31 is National Farmworker Awareness Week: A week of actions for students and community members to honor farmworkers' important contributions and to raise awareness about the issues they face. Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF) coordinates the week by providing training, support, and resources to partners across the country to organize actions on college campuses and in local communities. 
  • Wednesday, April 14 from 6-7:30 PM EST: Vet Allies for Farmworkers Workshop- In this event, Mary Jo Dudley from the Cornell Farmworker program will be speaking to the Cornell CVM community about the hardships farmworkers face in the agricultural sector and how veterinarians can become better allies for this community. Her presentation will be followed by a discussion on this topic with Dairy veterinarians that work with this community on a daily basis. Register by logging in to CampusGroups and RSVP to the event.

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Zoom background for Celebrate Diversity Month

History

April is Celebrate Diversity Month, started in 2004 to recognize and honor the diversity surrounding us all. By celebrating differences and similarities during this month, organizers hope that people will get a deeper understanding of each other.

[Source: Diversity Best Practices]

Resources

Upcoming Events

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