Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Community Calendar

At JCU we are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all members of our community. We mark and celebrate diversity and inclusion events throughout the year. The community calendar includes religious observances, key diversity days, and awareness-raising dates. 

If you would like to suggest dates or events to be included in the calendar, please write to: [email protected]

January 2022

Date Month Holiday/Celebration Confession Description
4 Jan World Braille Day   Braille is a tactile representation of alphabetic and numerical symbols using six dots to represent each letter and number. Braille (named after its inventor in 19th century France, Louis Braille) is used by blind and partially sighted people to read.
7 Jan Orthodox Christmas Orthodox Christianity Orthodox Christians celebrate Jesus’s birth in the Julian calendar on this day.
14 Jan The "Old New Year" Orthodox New Year The “Old New Year” celebrates the start of the Julian calendar.
18 Jan Buddhist New Year (Mahayna) Buddhism In Mahayana countries, the new year starts on first full moon day in January. It is a time to reflect on the past and cleanse oneself from the prior year's sins.
20 Jan  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day   This is a holiday in the United States honouring the achievements of Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist minister and civil rights leader who advocated for nonviolent resistance against racial segregation.
24 Jan International Day of Education   The right to education is enshrined in article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The declaration calls for free and compulsory elementary education. The Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted in 1989, goes further to stipulate that countries shall make higher education accessible to all.
27 Jan International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust   27 January marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German Concentration and Extermination Camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau by the Soviet troops in 1945 and was officially proclaimed International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust by the United Nations General Assembly.

February 2022
Black History Month

- Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history.

Date Month Holiday/Celebration Confession Description
1 Feb Lunar New Year / Spring Festival  

Lunar New Year is celebrated in various Asian countries. It begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends on the first full moon of the lunar calendar, 15 days later.  

15 Feb Nirvana Day Buddhism This date marks Buddha’s death and attainment of final nirvana.
20 Feb World Day of Social Justice    World Day of Social Justice is an international day recognizing the need to promote social justice, which includes efforts to tackle issues such as poverty, exclusion, gender inequality, unemployment, human rights, and social protections.

March 2022
Women's History Month
Ethnic Equality Month

- Women's History Month is a celebration of women's key contributions to history, culture and society.
- Ethnic Equality Month is an important time to recognize the similarities all people have, yet acknowledge, appreciate and respect the differences in all of us.

Date Month Holiday/Celebration Confession Description
1 Mar Zero Discrimination Day  

On Zero Discrimination Day we celebrate the right of everyone to live a full and productive life—and live it with dignity. Zero Discrimination Day highlights how people can become informed about and promote inclusion, compassion, peace and, above all, a movement for change.

2 Mar Ash Wednesday Christianity The day in the Christian Church that marks the start of Lent, the 40-day period of prayer and fasting before Easter.
8 Mar International Women’s Day   International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.
17 Mar St. Patrick’s Day (Irish)   This is a cultural and religious celebration, and observes of the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.
19 Mar Holi Hinduism A Hindu festival of colors that welcomes spring and a new harvest.
20 Mar International Day of Happiness   Since 2013, the United Nations has celebrated the International Day of Happiness as a way to recognise the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world. In 2015, the UN launched the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which seek to end poverty, reduce inequality, and protect our planet – three key aspects that lead to well-being and happiness.
21 Mar  International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (United Nations)   This day is observed annually on the day the police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid "pass laws" in 1960. In 1979, the General Assembly adopted a programme of activities to be undertaken during the second half of the Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination.  
25 Mar International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade   For over 400 years, more than 15 million men, women and children were the victims of the tragic transatlantic slave trade, one of the darkest chapters in human history. This day offers the opportunity to honour and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system. The International Day also aims to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice today.

April 2022

Date Month Holiday/Celebration Confession Description
2 Apr World Autism Awareness Day (People with Disabilities)  

The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day (A/RES/62/139) to highlight the need to help improve the quality of life of those with autism so they can lead full and meaningful lives as an integral part of society.

2 Apr Ramadan Islam The holy month of fasting, introspection, and prayer celebrated by Muslims.
15 Apr Passover Judaism A 7-day holiday in the Jewish faith that honors the freeing of the Israeli slaves.
17 Apr Easter Christianity The most important day in the Christian faith when they celebrate the resurrection of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
22 Apr Earth Day   Earth Day is devoted to celebrating the Earth and raising awareness about and taking action on environmental issues, such as climate change and pollution. On this day many events are organized to pledge support for environmental protection.

May 2022
Mental Health Awareness Month

- Mental Health Awareness Month provides a timely reminder that that mental health is essential and that those living with mental health issues are deserving of care, understanding, compassion, and pathways to hope, healing, recovery, and fulfillment.

Date Month Holiday/Celebration Confession Description
2-3 May Eid al-Fitr Islam

An Islamic holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. As it ends fasting, its primary event is a big meal.

3 May World Press Freedom Day    This day serves as a call to affirm the importance of cherishing information as a public good, and exploring what can be done in the production, distribution and reception of content to strengthen journalism, and to advance transparency and empowerment while leaving no one behind.
8 May Birthday of the Buddha Buddhism The day that Buddhists celebrate the Buddha’s birthday.
17 May International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (LGBTQ+)   This day aims to raise awareness of violence and discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community and the violation of their rights. 

June 2022
LGBT Pride Month

- LGBT Pride Month commemorates the Stonewall riots in the United States, which occurred at the end of June 1969. Pride month is about acceptance, equality, celebrating the work of LGBTQ+ people, education in LGBTQ+ history and raising awareness of issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community.

Date Month Holiday/Celebration Confession Description
5 Jun World Environment Day  

The celebration of this day provides us with an opportunity to broaden the basis for an enlightened opinion and responsible conduct by individuals, enterprises, and communities in preserving and enhancing the environment.

4-6 Jun Shavuot Judaism A Jewish holiday that combines a grain harvest and the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.
19 Jun Juneteenth   Juneteenth is a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. It is also called Emancipation Day or Juneteenth Independence Day.
20 Jun World Refugee Day   This is an international day designated by the United Nations to honour refugees around the globe. It falls each year on June 20 and celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. World Refugee Day is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives.

July 2022 

Date Month Holiday/Celebration Confession Description
7 Jul The Hajj Islam

The name for the annual pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mecca required for all Muslims at least once.

9-10 Jul Eid al-Adha   A Muslim holiday that marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage.

August 2022 

Date Month Holiday/Celebration Confession Description
9 Aug International Day of the World’s Indigenous People (UN)  

This day aims to raise awareness and protect the rights of the world's indigenous population. It recognizes the achievements and contributions that indigenous people make to improve world issues, such as environmental protection.

15 Aug Feast of the Assumption Christianity A holy day that commemorates the Virgin Mary being assumed, body and soul, into heaven.
18 Aug Birth of Lord Krishna Hinduism Krishna Janmashtami is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu.
30 Aug Al-Hijri  Islam Also known as Islamic New Year, this is the start of the Islamic lunar calendar, which begins when the crescent moon is sighted
31 Aug Ganesh Chaturthi Hinduism Ganesh Chaturthi is an auspicious Hindu festival which is celebrated for 10 days every year. It marks the birthday of the beloved elephant-headed Lord Ganesha.

September 2022
National Hispanic Heritage Month
Mes Nacional de la Herencia Hispana

- National Hispanic Heritage Month is annually celebrated from September 15 to October 15 in the United States for recognizing the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.

Date Month Holiday/Celebration Confession Description
21 Sep 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.

22 Sep Autumnal Equinox   The  fall equinox is one of the two equinoxes—the times of the year when the amount of daylight and nighttime hours are just about of equal length.
23 Sep International Day of Sign Languages   The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 23 September as the International Day of Sign Languages intending to raise awareness of the significance of sign language in the full realization of the human rights of people who are deaf. It supports and protects the linguistic identity of people who are deaf along with other users of sign languages.
25-27 Sep Rosh Hashanah Judaism The Jewish New Year beginning at sundown that encourages reflection.

October 2022
Global Diversity Awareness Month
National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Breast Cancer Awareness Month

- Global Diversity Awareness Month is a reminder of the positive impact a diverse culture of people can have on society as a whole.
- National Disability Employment Awareness Month is held each October to commemorate the many and varied contributions of people with disabilities to America’s workplaces, economy and society as a whole.
- Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an international health campaign intended to increase global awareness of breast cancer.

Date Month Holiday/Celebration Confession Description
2 Oct International Day of Non-Violence  

The International Day of Non-Violence is the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence. The General Assembly established the commemoration as an occasion to disseminate the message of non-violence. The resolution reaffirms the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence and the desire to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence.

4 Oct Yom Kippur Judaism A Jewish day of atonement to reflect on sins and seek forgiveness from God.
8 Oct Mawlid Islam An Islamic holiday celebrating the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad.
9-16 Oct Sukkot Judaism A day in the Jewish faith that remembers when the Jews journeyed to the desert on the way to the promised land.
10 Oct World Mental Health Day    The  objective of World Mental Health Day is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health. The day is also celebrated to advocate against social stigma associated with mental health issues
10 Oct Indigenous Peoples’ Day (US)   This is a holiday in the United States that celebrates and honors Native American peoples and commemorates their histories and cultures.
21 Oct Spirit Day (LGBTQ+)   Spirit Day aims to create awareness for the bullying and harassment that the L.G.B.T.Q community faces. It is an annual celebration in which millions of people around the world show their support for LGBTQ+ communities.
24 Oct Diwali Hinduism A 5-day festival of light that combines several different festivals in honor of gods, goddesses, harvests, new year’s, etc. It is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains.

November 2022
Native American Heritage Month

Date Month Holiday/Celebration Confession Description
10/31-11/2 Oct/Nov All Saints Day/All Souls Day/Día de los Muertos  

This day honors the saints who have attained heaven in the Christian faith.

20 Nov Transgender Day of Remembrance (LGBTQ+)   This day honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence
25 Nov International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women   The premise of the day is to raise awareness of the fact that women around the world are subject to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence; furthermore, one of the aims of the day is to highlight that the scale and true nature of the issue is often hidden. 

December 2022 

Date Month Holiday/Celebration Confession Description
1 Dec World AIDS Day  

World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. 

3 Dec International Day of Persons with Disabilities (UN)   The observance of the Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
8 Dec Feast of the Immaculate Conception Christianity Feast day celebrated by Roman Catholics that celebrate Mary’s conception without original sin.
10 Dec International Human Rights Day (UN)   International Human Rights Day commemorates the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
18-26 Dec Hanukkah Judaism The 8-day celebration of the “Festival of Lights” that honors the victory of Jews over Syrian Greeks.
25 Dec Christmas Christianity The holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.
12/26-01/1 Dec/Jan Kwanzaa   Kwanzaa is an annual holiday celebrated primarily in the United States. It emphasizes the importance of the pan-African family and corresponding social values. Kwanzaa peaked in popularity during the Afrocentrist movement of the 1980s and 1990s.