July 2: Thurgood Marshall’s Birthday
Thurgood Marshall was the nation’s first Black Supreme Court Justice. This year, we’ll celebrate his birthday with the first Black woman, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, on the court. These individuals are vital reminders of just how much representation matters. In addition to being a justice, Marshall was also a well-known civil rights activist.
July 3: National CROWN Day
When we think about diversity, equity and inclusion, we often forget how biases or perceptions of professionalism can apply to employee hairstyles. While there is currently no federal law prohibiting hairstyle discrimination, several states and localities have passed related laws. National CROWN Day is the commemoration of the inaugural signing of the first CROWN Act legislation in the U.S. in 2019 to “create a respectful and open world for natural hair.”
July 4: Independence Day
From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence. However, it did not become a federal holiday until 1941. The Declaration of Independence states: “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” In America we are afforded freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion. Hopefully, the work we do as diversity, equity and inclusion professionals ensures that America really is a land of opportunity for ALL.
July 6: Dalai Lama’s Birthday
Happy birthday to the 14th Dalai Lama, the most famous Buddhist teacher in the world. The Dalai Lama is widely respected for his commitment to both nonviolence and Tibetan freedom. He was awarded the 1989 peace prize for advocating for solutions based on tolerance and mutual respect. Despite being exiled from Tibet, he has continually sought to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of his people.
July 7: The Hajj
Our July diversity month includes The Hajj, an annual pilgrimage and one of the pillars of Islam. All able-bodied Muslims are required to undertake the journey to Mecca at least once in their lifetime. Once in Mecca, all Muslims perform a series of rituals.
July 18: Nelson Mandela’s Birthday
On this day, we celebrate the birth of the South African civil rights leader. He won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1993. He then served as the country’s first Black president from 1994 to 1999, leading the country’s transition from apartheid to multiracial democracy. Mandela demonstrated that all people can make a positive impact on the world through small acts of kindness. Consider spending this day volunteering for a local cause. And celebrate Mandela’s legacy by fostering greater racial inclusion with diversity training.
July 24: International Self-Care Day
This day puts the spotlight on encouraging people to make a personal commitment to embrace self-care and make it a priority. Self-care is the cornerstone of wellness. Take control of your health and wellness. Practice self-care, even if all you do is take a walk or take some time to meditate. The benefits of self-care last a lifetime and are not limited to a single day. You’ll always be needed by people around you but most importantly, you are needed by you.
July 25: Pioneer Day
Pioneer Day, a July multicultural holiday, is associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the Mormon Church) as well as a Utah State holiday. It officially marks the date when LDS church founder Brigham Young arrived in the Salt Lake area. To celebrate, most people take the day off, watch fireworks, walk the Mormon Trail, go to picnics, etc.
July 26: Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act
In 1990, Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA. This civil rights law made it illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities in areas like employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and access to state and local government programs/services.
Celebrate the anniversary of the ADA by conducting in-house training to increase sensitivity for people with disabilities. Or review physical or architectural barriers in your workplace, and ensure your website and other digital assets are compliant for people with visual and other impairments.