Skip to main content

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Resources and Calendar


Martin Luther King Jr. Day, 1/16

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a tireless advocate for racial equality, working classes, and the oppressed around the world. Commonly called Martin Luther King, Jr. Day or MLK Day, the third Monday of January is a federal holiday to honor his life and legacy of one of the most influential figures in the American Civil Rights Movement. This is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. MLK Day not only commemorates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but also serves as a call to action for individuals to engage in acts of service, promoting unity, equality, and justice. Find volunteer opportunities inspired by this day of service.


World Braille Day, 1/4

World Braille Day on January 4 celebrates international awareness of the importance of braille as a means of communication in the full realization of the human rights for blind and visually impaired people. The date for the event was selected by the United Nations General Assembly via a proclamation in November 2018, and marks the birthday of Louis Braille, creator of this writing system.


Lunar New Year, 1/22

Lunar New Year is one of the most important celebrations of the year among East and Southeast Asian cultures, including Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean communities, among others. Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival or Chinese New Year, is a vibrant and culturally significant celebration observed by billions of people around the world. Based on the lunar calendar, this festival marks the beginning of a new year and is characterized by colorful festivities, family reunions, and rich cultural traditions. The New Year celebration is usually celebrated for multiple days—not just one day as in the Gregorian calendar’s New Year. Lunar New Year is a time of reflection, renewal, and the joyous coming together of families and communities. As people welcome the new lunar cycle, they not only honor ancient traditions but also look forward to the promise of a prosperous and harmonious year ahead. The festive spirit, cultural richness, and sense of unity make Lunar New Year a truly special and meaningful celebration for people of all backgrounds.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day, 1/27

The International Holocaust Remembrance Day, or the International Day in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, is an international memorial day that commemorates the victims of the Holocaust, which resulted in the genocide of one third of the Jewish people, along with countless members of other minorities by Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945. More than just a historical commemoration, International Holocaust Remembrance Day emphasizes the importance of education, remembrance, and the prevention of genocide in the contemporary world. One of the primary objectives of International Holocaust Remembrance Day is to educate future generations about the Holocaust's history, lessons, and the consequences of intolerance. Educational initiatives emphasize the importance of empathy, tolerance, and understanding to prevent the recurrence of such heinous crimes. By learning from the past, societies can actively work toward building a more just and compassionate world.

National Poverty in America Awareness Month

National Poverty in America Awareness Month, observed in January, draws attention to the many ways in which financial insecurity directly and indirectly impacts low-income communities in the United States. This month-long campaign encourages reflection, education, and action to address the root causes of economic inequality and work towards creating a more just and equitable society. 


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. Black History Month is celebrated each February in the U.S. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history. This annual commemoration serves as an opportunity to highlight the achievements, resilience, and cultural impact of the Black community. 

Black History Month has its origins in the efforts of Carter G. Woodson, who, in 1926, initiated a week-long recognition aimed at shining a light on the often-overlooked accomplishments of Black Americans. Over the years, the celebration expanded, and in 1976, it officially became a month-long observance. 

The month provides a platform to honor the achievements of Black individuals in various fields. From literature and arts to science, politics, and sports, African Americans have made indelible marks that have shaped our world. In literature, figures like Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou have left lasting legacies, while musicians like Louis Armstrong and Aretha Franklin have not only entertained but also contributed to the cultural fabric. In science and technology, pioneers such as George Washington Carver and contemporary figures like Dr. Mae Jemison have broken barriers, inspiring future generations. 

February 2024 Black History Month Update

Rosa Parks Day, 2/4

Rosa Parks Day is a holiday in honor of the civil rights leader Rosa Parks, celebrated on her birthday, February 4. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Her courageous act led to a 1956 Supreme Court decision banning segregation on public transportation. Beyond remembering the legacy of Rosa Parks, the day promotes civil rights and equal opportunities in the present day.

Ethnic Equality Month

Ethnic Equality Month is celebrated in February every year. It is a period to recognize the similarities all people have, yet acknowledge, appreciate and respect the differences in all people, and recognize that everyone deserves equal rights and equal opportunities.

Lantern Festival, 2/5

The Lantern Festival is a tradition celebrated in China and other Asian countries that honours deceased ancestors on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunisolar Chinese calendar, during the full moon. The Lantern Festival, which marks the final day of the traditional Chinese New Year celebrations, promotes reconciliation, peace, and forgiveness. During the Lantern Festival, houses are festooned with colourful lanterns, often with riddles written on them; if the riddle is answered correctly, the solver earns a small gift. Festival celebrations also include lion and dragon dances, parades, and fireworks.


Women’s History Month

Every year, March is designated Women’s History Month by presidential proclamation, corresponding with International Women's Day on March 8. The month is set aside to honor women’s contributions in American history. 

We applaud the efforts of UMD Women Trailblazers in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, as well as the efforts of women trailblazers past and present, including: Harriet Tubman, Mary McLeod Bethune, Ida Wells-Barnett, Dorothy Height, Emily Warren Roebling, Dr. Jewel Plummer Cobb, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Mae Carol Jemison, Ellen Ochoa, Joan Baez, Vice President Kamala Harris, among many others.

International Women's Day, 3/8

International Women's Day is a global holiday celebrated annually on March 8 as a focal point in the women's rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women. Spurred on by the universal female suffrage movement, International Women's Day originated from labor movements in North America and Europe during the early 20th century.

Greek-American Heritage Month

Greek-American Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the core components of Greek culture and ideals. Also known as Hellenic History Month, the celebration coincides with National Greek Independence Day on March 25.

Irisi-American Heritage Month

Irish-American Heritage Month is celebrated by proclamation of the President and Congress in the United States to honor the achievements and contributions of Irish immigrants and their descendants living in the United States. The heritage month is in March to coincide with Saint Patrick's Day, the Irish national holiday on March 17.

International Transgender Day of Visibility, 3/31

International Transgender Day of Visibility is an annual event occurring on March 31 dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide, as well as a celebration of their contributions to society.

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month is recognized annually in March, through presidential proclamation, as an opportunity to celebrate the inclusion of people with disabilities in civic and social life to create strong and diverse communities.

Equal Pay Day, 3/14

Equal Pay Day was originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men's and women's wages. Because women earn less, on average, than men, they must work longer for the same amount of pay.

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, 3/25

The International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is a United Nations international observance designated in 2007 to be marked on March 25 every year.  The day honors and remembers those who suffered and died as a consequence of the transatlantic slave trade, in which over 400 years more than 15 million men, women and children were the victims.


April represents Jazz Appreciation Month, a time to pay tribute to the history of Jazz music and its contribution to many musical genres and society. At UMD, we proudly spotlight Mark “Notesmith” Williams – trombonist, Jazz education advocate and Acting Director of Jazz Studies in the College of Arts & Humanities. 

Mark “Notesmith” Williams joined the University of Maryland in the fall of 2023 as the Acting Director for Jazz Studies. His rich career took him all over the United States touring with the famous Chuck Brown Band and the Count Basie Orchestra. Among a long list of achievements and recognitions, the Count Basie Orchestra was awarded the 2024 Grammy Award-Winning Album for Best Large Jazz Ensemble for their album “Basie Swings the Blues.”

Since returning to UMD, Williams has produced, orchestrated, and recorded the first album with the UMD Jazz Ensemble set to be released in late fall ‘24 or early spring ‘25.  Mr. Williams will inaugurate the first Graduate Jazz Fellowship Ensemble, a quintet of upper-class jazz musicians, starting this fall. Learn more about Mr. Williams in his full bio or watch his interview in  A Conversation in Jazz with Antonio Parker.

Click here to learn more about the history of Jazz and its influence. See below for a list of local events and resources related to Jazz Appreciation Month:


The Clarice Performing Arts Center will kick off the month!
Spring Chamber Jazz Concert Nights, April 2 and 3, 2024 at 7:30 pm

The University of Maryland Jazz Ensemble will perform at Blues Alley, on Mon, April 22, at 9 PM. Get tickets here

Jazz Jam with The Hall CP
Wednesday, April 24, 2023 • 7:30 PM

Final Jazz Showcase: UMD Jazz Ensemble, UMD Jazz Lab Band, and University Jazz Band, May 1 at 5:30 pm

Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra - Aspects of Ellington
Friday, April 5, 2024 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m, National Museum of Natural History
Baird Auditorium,  10th St & Constitution Ave, NW, Metro: Federal Triangle

NPR Listening Party with the 2024 NEA Jazz Masters - Tickets
Saturday, April 13, 2024, 10:30 a.m. 
1111 North Capitol Street, NE, Washington, DC, 20002. 

The Kennedy Center is celebrating Duke Ellington, a native Washingtonian with a series of concerts by various performers:
Jason Moran – Solo Ellington
April 10, 2024, at 8 p.m., Eisenhower Theater

Tomeka Reid, Celebrating Ellington
Kennedy Center Co-commission with Pierre Boulez Saal
April 24, 2024, at 7:30 p.m., Terrace Theater

Three Keys to Ellington: Justin Kauflin, José André Montaño, Matthew Whitaker
April 26, 2024, at 7 & 9 p.m., Terrace Theater

Cyrus Chestnut: Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert
April 29, 2024, at 8 p.m., Concert Hall


Mr. Williams was inspired by and recommended To a Young Jazz Musician: Letters From The Road, by Wynton Marsalis, Selwyn Seyfu Hinds.

For kids: This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt. Here is a YouTube list of pieces featuring the various artists in the book 

Arab American Heritage Month

Observed in April, Arab American Heritage Month formally recognizes the achievements of Arab Americans. Across the country, cultural institutions, school districts, municipalities, state legislatures, public servants, and non-profit organizations issue proclamations and engage in special events that celebrate the Arab American community’s heritage and contributions to society.

Below are several videos and articles that help shine a spotlight on Arab American history:

Autism Awareness Month

Autism Awareness Month, observed in April, provides opportunities to increase understanding and acceptance of people with autism, fostering worldwide support.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is an annual campaign to raise public awareness about sexual assault and educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence.

World Autism Awareness Day, 4/2

World Autism Awareness Day is an internationally recognized day annually on April 2, encouraging Member States of the United Nations to take measures to raise awareness about autistic individuals throughout the world.

International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda, 4/7

The International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, which was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2003, marks the beginning of the genocide perpetrated against members of the Tutsi minority by the Hutu extremist-led government. Within just over 100 days, more than 1 million Tutsi were systematically murdered. Moderate Hutu and others who opposed the massacres were also killed during this period. This day provides an opportunity for reflection on these tragic events.

Tartan Day Celebration of Scottish-American Heritage, 4/6

Tartan Day is a North American celebration of Scottish heritage on 6 April, the date on which the Declaration of Arbroath was signed in 1320. It originated in Canada in the mid-1980s. It spread to other communities of the Scottish diaspora in the 1990s. Tartan Days typically have parades of pipe bands, Highland dancing and other Scottish-themed events.


Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is observed in the United States during the month of May, and recognizes the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the U.S.

Jewish American Heritage Month

Jewish American Heritage Month is an annual recognition and celebration of American Jews' achievements and contributions to the United States during the month of May. May was chosen as the month of Jewish American Heritage Month because of the successful 350th Anniversary Celebration of Jews in America marking the Jewish arrival in New Amsterdam.

Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in May in the United States since 1949. May is a time to raise awareness of and reduce the stigma surrounding behavioral health issues, and increase understanding of mental illness and addiction can affect individuals, families, and our society at large.


LGBTQ+ Pride Month

LGBTQ+ Pride Month is a month, typically June, dedicated to celebration and commemoration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender pride, observed in the Western world. Pride Month began after the Stonewall riots, a series of gay liberation protests in 1969, and has since spread outside of the United States.

The following links and videos provide more information about Pride Month:

Juneteenth, 6/19

Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Deriving its name from combining "June" and "nineteenth," it is celebrated on the anniversary of the order, issued by Major General Gordon Granger on June 19, 1865, proclaiming freedom for slaves in Texas.

Black Music Month

Black Music Month was formally introduced to the world on
June 7, 1979, at the White House by President Jimmy Carter. Whether its Jazz, Rhythm and Blues (R&B), Hip Hop, Gospel, Rock & Roll, etc., many forms of modern music can trace their roots back to African culture. Today, Black Music continues to evolve and take on new forms but also continues to be the universal language that brings all cultures and generations together.

Below are some links and videos that provide more information about Black Music Month:

National Caribbean American Heritage Month

National Caribbean American Heritage Month is celebrated by proclamation of the President and Congress in the United States in June to honor the achievements and contributions of Caribbean immigrants and their descendants living in the United States, particularly in government, sports, entertainment, and the arts. Events are held throughout the month celebrating and educating the public about Caribbean-American history and culture.


Disability Pride Month

Disability Pride Month occurs in the United States every July to commemorate the passing of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in July 1990. Disability Pride is also celebrated worldwide, including in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and other countries during various times of the year. Since 1990, Disability Pride Month has celebrated all 1 billion disabled people, their identities and culture, and their contributions to society.

National Disability Independence Day, 7/26

National Disability Independence Day is celebrated every year on July 26. It commemorates the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The ADA gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.

French-American Heritage Month

July is designated as French-American Heritage Month, coinciding with Bastille Day. French-American Heritage Month is dedicated to celebrating and honoring the influences and the contributions that the French have had on the United States in art, culture, language, etiquette, and more.


International Day of the World's Indigenous People, 8/9

The International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples is observed on August 9 each year to raise awareness and protect the rights of the world's indigenous population. This event also recognizes the achievements and contributions that indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection.

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, 8/23

The International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition is celebrated August 23 of each year, the day designated by UNESCO to memorialize the transatlantic slave trade. The date is significant because, during the night of August 22 to August 23, 1791, on the island of Saint Domingue (now known as Haiti), an uprising began which set forth events which were a major factor in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade.


National Hispanic Heritage Month

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 for the United States.


Disability History Month

Disability History Month is an annual, month-long observance of the history of the disability rights movement, and commemoration of the achievements of disabled people. The U.S. Congress also designated the month of October as a recurring, civic holiday called National Disability Employment Awareness Month, to raise awareness of the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities.

National Bullying Prevention Month

October was first declared as National Bullying Prevention Month in 2006. Since then, October has been a time to acknowledge that bullying has devastating effects on children and families such as school avoidance, loss of self-esteem, increased anxiety, and depression. Bullying can occur in multiple ways. It can be verbal, physical, through social exclusion, or via digital sources like email, texts, or social media. Unlike mutual teasing or fighting, bullying occurs when one person or a group of people is perceived as being more powerful than another and takes advantage of that power through repeated physical assaults, threats of harm, intimidation, or by purposefully excluding a person from a valued social group. Being bullied can severely affect a person’s self-image, social interactions, and school performance and can lead to mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and substance use, and even suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). During DVAM, victim advocates, allied professionals, survivors of abuse, their loved ones, and the surrounding community come together to mourn the lives lost to domestic violence, celebrate the progress that has been made to end this epidemic, and connect with others working to create change.

LGBTQ+ History Month

LGBTQ+ History Month is an annual month-long observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements. LGBT History Month provides role models, builds community, and represents a civil rights statement about the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community. LGBTQ+ History Month is celebrated in Australia, Canada, Cuba, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States, among other countries.

National Coming Out Day, 10/11

National Coming Out Day is an annual LGBTQ+ awareness day observed on October 11. First celebrated in the United States in 1988, it was inspired by the idea that homophobia thrives in an atmosphere of silence and ignorance and that once people know that they have loved ones who are lesbian or gay, they are far less likely to maintain homophobic or oppressive views.

AIDS Awareness Month

AIDS Awareness Month, observed every October, supports educational campaigns that disseminate science-based, factual, and clear information to youths, at-risk people, and the general public. With over 37 million people living with HIV worldwide, it is important to share information with the public about its prevention, transmission, and treatment.

Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Each October, Down Syndrome Awareness Month helps to raise awareness and celebrate the many abilities of individuals with Down Syndrome. Down Syndrome Awareness Month seeks to break down barriers and focus on promoting advocacy for people with Down syndrome.

World Mental Health Day, 10/10

World Mental Health Day (October 10) is an international day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries. This annual awareness program brings attention to mental illness and its major effects on people's lives worldwide. In addition, this day provides an opportunity for mental health professionals to discuss and shed light on their work, making mental health a priority worldwide.[5] In some countries this day is part of an awareness week, such as Mental Health Week in Australia.

Italian-American Heritage and Culture Month

Italian-American Heritage and Culture Month is celebrated by proclamation of the President and Congress in the United States to honor the achievements and contributions of Italian immigrants and their descendants living in the United States, particularly in the arts, science, and culture.

Filipino-American Heritage Month

Filipino-American History Month is celebrated in the United States during the month of October. In 1991, the Filipino American National Historical Society board of trustees proposed the first annual Filipino American History Month to commence in October 1992.

German-American Day, 10/6

German-American Day is a celebration of German-American heritage and commemorates the founding of Germantown, Pennsylvania (now part of Philadelphia) in 1683.


Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month provides a platform for Native people in the United States of America to share their culture, traditions, music, crafts, dance, and ways and concepts of life and celebrates the contributions of Native Americans. This gives Native people the opportunity to express to their community, as well as city, county, and state officials, their concerns and solutions for building bridges of understanding and friendship in their local area.

International Day for Tolerance, 11/16

In 1996, the UN General Assembly proclaimed November 16 as International Day for Tolerance. This action followed the adoption of a Declaration of Principles on Tolerance by UNESCO's Member States on November 16, 1995. Among other things, the Declaration affirms that tolerance is neither indulgence nor indifference. It is respect and appreciation of the rich variety of our world's cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. Tolerance recognizes the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of others. People are naturally diverse; only tolerance can ensure the survival of mixed communities in every region of the globe.


World AIDS Day, 12/1

World AIDS Day, designated on December 1 every year since 1988, is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection and mourning those who have died from the disease.

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, 12/2

The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery happens annually on December 2. On this day in 1949, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. This day is dedicated to ending modern forms of slavery, such as sexual exploitation, human trafficking, child labor, forced marriage, and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict. This day is about raising awareness and reinforcing global efforts in combating the scourge of modern slavery.

International Day for People with Disabilities, 12/3

The International Day for People with Disabilities was proclaimed in 1992, by the United Nations General Assembly. Celebrated on December 3 around the world, IDPD mobilizes support for critical issues relating to the inclusion of persons with disabilities, promotes awareness-raising about disability issues and draws attention to the benefits of an inclusive and accessible society for all. UN agencies, civil society organizations, academic institutions and the private sector are encouraged to support IDPD by collaborating with organizations for people with disabilities to arrange events and activities.

World Human Rights Day, 12/10

World Human Rights Day is celebrated annually around the world on December 10. The date was chosen to honor the United Nations General Assembly's adoption and proclamation on December 10, 1948 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the first global enunciation of human rights and one of the first major achievements of the new United Nations.



Back to Top