Recognizing and Celebrating Diversity | AIChE

Recognizing and Celebrating Diversity

As part of AIChE's ongoing efforts to nurture a welcoming and all-inclusive environment, it's important to celebrate and recognize the history, challenges and contributions of diverse communities.

Social Media Messaging Toolkit

Download the social media messaging toolkit and images to help spread the word about AIChE's updated Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Statement.

2024 Calendar

Below are some dates specific to celebrating, recognizing and understanding the history and challenges still faced by different communities.

January 2024

December 26 – January 1 Kwanzaa

  • Kwanzaa begins on December 26th and ends on January 1st.
  • Dr. Maulana Karenga, chairman and professor of Black Studies at California State University, created Kwanzaa in 1966 with the purpose of bringing African-American communities together.
  • The word Kwanzaa means "first fruits" in Swahili, a language used in Africa, and has to do with harvest.
  • Kwanzaa takes place over 7 nights.

Read more here

January 4th – World Braille Day

  • World Braille Day, celebrated since 2019, is observed to raise awareness of the importance of Braille as a means of communication in the full realization of the human rights for blind and partially sighted people.
  • Braille is essential in the context of education, freedom of expression and opinion, as well as social inclusion.

Read more here

January 15 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

  •  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a federal holiday that takes place annually on the third Monday in January.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. was an activist and minister whose accomplishments have continued to inspire generations of Americans.
  • King was the first modern private citizen to be honored with a federal holiday, and many are very familiar with his non-violent leadership of the civil rights movement.

Read more here

January 16 - National Day of Racial Healing

  • Launched in 2017, the National Day of Racial Healing is a call to action for racial healing for all people. It originated as part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s national Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation efforts.

Read more here

February 2024

February 1 - February 28 Black History Month

  • This month celebrates the achievements of African Americans and  recognizes the integral role that African Americans played in the history of the United States.
  • Frustrated with being underrepresented in history, Carter G Woodson, noted historian, set the foundation for Black History Month by first creating "Negro History Week" in 1925.
  • Black History Month was decreed a national observance in 1976, and every U.S. president has celebrated and observed it since.

Read more here

February 1 - February 28 Ethnic Equality Month

  • This is a period to recognize the similarities all people have, yet acknowledge, appreciate and respect the differences in all of us. 

Read more

February 1 - National Freedom Day

  • This day commemorates the day that Abraham Lincoln, who was the nation's president at the time, signed a joint resolution that proposed the 13th amendment to the United States Constitution.  
  • President Lincoln signed the Amendment outlawing slavery on February 1, 1865, although it was not ratified by the states until later.
  • Major Richard Robert Wright Sr., a former slave, believed that there should be a day when freedom for all Americans is celebrated.
  • Major Wright Sr. then founded the National Freedom Day Association, and played a crucial role in creating the observance.

Read more here

February 11 - International Day of Women and Girls in Science

  • The International Day of Women and Girls in Science is the 11th day of February, by resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on 22 December 2015. The day recognizes the critical role women and girls play in science and technology.

Read more here.

February 15 - Susan B. Anthony Day

  • This day celebrates the birth of Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906) and women's suffrage in the United States.
  • Susan Brownell Anthony became one of the most visible leaders of the women’s suffrage movement. Along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, she traveled around the country delivering speeches in favor of women's suffrage.
  • When Congress passed the 14th and 15th amendments which gave voting rights to African American men, they formed the National Woman Suffrage Association, to push for a constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote as well.

Read more here

February 20 - World Day Of Social Justice

  • An international day recognizing the need to promote social justice, and tackle issues such as poverty, exclusion, gender equality, unemployment, human rights, and social protections.
  • The UN General Assembly declared this an annual celebration on November 26th, 2007.

Read more here 

March 2024

March 1 – March 31 National Women's History Month

  • This month honors women and their significant roles and contributions in society.
  • After realizing that women's history was virtually an unknown topic in schools, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women initiated a “Women’s History Week” celebration for 1978.
  • In February 1980, President Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the Week of March 8th 1980 as National Women’s History Week.
  • By 1986, 14 states had already declared March as Women’s History Month. Later, congress declared the entire month of March as National Women’s History Month.

Read more here

March 1 – March 31 Greek American Heritage Month

  •  In the late 1800s, a large number of Greeks immigrated to the United States, and now, over 2.5 million Americans are of Greek origin.
  • The commemoration of Greek American history is on March 25, the same day as Greece’s National Greek Independence Day.

Learn more. 

March 1 – March 31 Irish American Heritage Month

  • This month we recognize not only the overcoming of those obstacles by Irish-Americans but also the depth of their contributions to American society.
  • The U.S. Congress designated March as Irish American Heritage Month in 1991 and the president issues a proclamation commemorating the occasion each year.

Learn more. 

March 1 – March 31 Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

  • National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (D.D.A.M.) is a nationwide event to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities and address the barriers that those with disabilities face. Inclusion is necessary since about 15% of the world’s population lives with a disability. 

Read more

March 1 – March 31 Gender Equality Month

  • The month is dedicated to celebrating the social, political, cultural, and academic achievements of women in the world. March is also important to raise awareness against gender bias in society.

Read more here

March 1 - Zero Discrimination Day

  • The UN first celebrated Zero Discrimination Day on March 1, 2014, after UNAIDS, a UN program on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), launched its Zero Discrimination Campaign on World AIDS Day in December 2013.
  • On this day, UNAIDS highlights the need to take action to end inequalities surrounding income, sex, age, health status, occupation, disability, sexual orientation, drug use, gender identity, race, class, ethnicity and religion that continue to persist around the world.

Read more here.

March 8 - International Women's Day

  • This specific day celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women around the world.
  • The first official National Woman’s Day, organized by the Socialist Party of America, was held in New York City on February 28, 1909. 
  • In 1975, recognized as International Women's Year, the United Nations General Assembly began celebrating March 8 as International Women's Day.

Read more here

March 13 - Deaf History Month begins

  • This is a time to raise awareness about the deaf community and their struggles in our society. The month also focuses on honoring the immense contributions of deaf individuals and the deaf community to our country.

Read more here 

March 21 - World Down Syndrome Day

  • In December 2011, the General Assembly declared March 21st as World Down Syndrome Day in order to raise public awareness of Down syndrome.

Read more here 

March 21 - International Day For The Elimination Of Racial Discrimination  

  • On this day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid pass laws.
  • In 1979, the General Assembly decided that a week of solidarity with the peoples struggling against racism and racial discrimination, beginning on March 21st, would be organized annually in all States.
  • Since then, the apartheid system in South Africa has been dismantled.

Read more here 

March 31 - International Transgender Day of Visibility

  • This day is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of transgender and gender nonconforming people while raising awareness of the work that still needs to be done to achieve trans justice.

Read more here 

April 2024

April 1 - April 30 Diversity Month

  • Diveristy Month was initiated in 2004 to recognize and honor the diversity of the world around us. It is a time to recognize and understand our differences, be it gender, race, ethnicity, faith, sexual orientation, and other factors, while honoring the common essence of humanity.

Read more here

April 1 - April 30 Arab American Heritage Month

  • Celebrating the rich and diverse culture and contributions of the diverse population of Arab Americans, National Arab American Heritage Month has been observed during the month of April since 2017.

Learn more. 

April 1 - April 30 Autism Acceptance Month

  • Autism Acceptance Month, previously named Autism Awareness Month, in April aims to celebrate and promote acceptance for the condition that occurs in one in every 54 children as of 2020 in the United States.

Read more

April 12 - Day of Silence

  • GLSEN's Day of Silence is a student-led national protest.  A vow of silence is taken to highlight the silencing and erasure of LGBTQ+ people at school.
  • This day is for spreading awareness about the effects of the bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning students.

Read more here.

April 15 - Deaf History Month Ends

  • Deaf History Month is observed annually from March 15 - April 15. It's a time to raise awareness about the deaf community and their struggles in our society. The month also focuses on honoring the immense contributions of deaf individuals and the deaf community to our country.

Read more here

May 2024

May 1 - May 31 Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

  • Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPI Heritage Month) is an annual celebration that recognizes the historical and cultural contributions of individuals and groups of Asian and Pacific Islander descent to the United States.

Learn more. 

May 1 - May 31 Jewish American Heritage Month

 Jewish Heritage Month acknowledges the achievements of all Jewish Americans and Canadians. This monthly observance hopes to bring understanding and awareness about the diverse heritage of the community.

Learn more. 

May 1 - May 31 Speech and Hearing Awareness Month

  • May is dedicated to raising awareness for communication disorders, helping patients overcome any type of hearing and speech illness, as well as celebrating the contributions of professionals in the speech-language-hearing industry.

Read More. 

May 16 - International Day of Living Together in Peace

  • The UN General-Assembly recognizes this day as a means of regularly mobilizing the efforts of the international community to promote peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding and solidarity.
  • The Day aims to uphold the desire to live and act together, united in differences and diversity, in order to build a sustainable world of peace, solidarity and harmony.

Read more. 

 May 17- International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia 

  • The date of May 17th was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.
  • The Day represents a major global annual landmark to draw the attention of decision makers, the media, the public, corporations, opinion leaders, local authorities, etc. to the alarming situation faced by people with diverse sexual orientations, and gender identities.

Read more. 

May 21- World Day For Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

  • In 2001, UNESCO adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity.
  • In December 2002, the UN General Assembly, declared May 21st as the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
  • The purpose of this day is to deepen understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to advance the four goals of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions adopted on 20 October 2005.

Read more. 

June 2024

June 1 – June 30 LGBTQ+ Pride Month

  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan.
  • The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.

Read more

June 1 – June 30 Caribbean American Heritage Month

  • Beginning in 2006, this month recognizes the greatness that lies in its diversity, with Caribbean immigrants from founding father Alexander Hamilton, to journalist Malcolm Gladwell, who have helped to shape the American dream.

Read more here

June 11 - Race Unity Day

  • This holiday is celebrated all over the world as an extension of Bahá’í beliefs and principles of racial harmony and as an appeal to the larger society to promote a loving embrace of the social reality of ever-increasing racial diversity. 

Read more

June 19 - Juneteenth

  • Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed.
  • Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday.

Read more here

July 2024

July 1 - July 31 Disability Pride Month

  • Disability Pride Month occurs is observed in the U.S. every July to commemorate the passing of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in July 1990.
  • It is an opportunity to honor the history, achievements, experiences, and struggles of the disability community.

Read more

July 1 - July 31 French American Heritage Month

  • In the United States, July is designated as National French-American Heritage Month and was established to honor the significant contributions made to the country by people of French descent.
  • Currently, approximately 11.8 million Americans of French or French Canadian descent live and work in the United States.

Learn more.

July 18 - Nelson Mandela Day

  • Commemorated on July 18 — Nelson Mandela’s birthday —  this day celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world and the ability to make an impact. 

Read more

July 26 - Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Day

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990 by President George H.W. Bush.
  • Throughout the year and on the ADA Anniversary, the ADA National Network recognizes this landmark event and the important work to promote equal opportunity for people with disabilities.

August 2024

August 12 - International Youth Day

  • In 1999, the General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the  World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth that August 12th be declared International Youth Day.
  • International Youth Day (IYD) gives an opportunity to celebrate and mainstream young peoples’ voices, actions and initiatives, as well as their meaningful, universal and equitable engagement. 

Read more here

August 19 - World Humanitarian Day

  • The day pays tribute to the thousands of humanitarian workers who gave their lives and suffered injuries in the course of their work. 

Read more

August 26 - Women's Equality Day

  • Passed in 1973,  the U.S. Congress designated August 26th as “Women’s Equality Day.”
  • This day commemorates the 1920 adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, prohibiting the states and federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex.

Read more here

September 2024

September 15 - October15  National Hispanic Heritage Month 

  • National Hispanic Heritage Month is a national observance that takes place from September 15 to October 15 in the U.S.
  • This day celebrates and recognizes the achievements, history, and culture of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Read more. 

September 21 - 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.
  • This year’s theme is Actions for Peace: Our Ambition for the #GlobalGoals. It is a call to action that recognizes our individual and collective responsibility to foster peace.

Read more. 

October 2024

October 1 – October 31 LGBTQ+ History Month 

  • Founded in 1994 by Rodney Wilson, a Missouri high-school history teacher, this month is dedicated to the celebration and teaching of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender history.

Read more. 

October 1 – October 31 German American Heritage Month

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan officially designated October 6 as German-American Day in commemoration of the 300th anniversary of German immigration to and cultural contributions in the United States.

Learn more. 

October 1 – October 31 Filipino American History Month

  • A monthlong commemoration and appreciation for the Filipino experience throughout American history stretching as far back as 1587.

Learn more. 

October 1 – October 31 Italian American Heritage Month

  •  During this time, we celebrate the Italian-American culture, and spread the word about the traditions that come with it.
  • Italian-Americans have made many contributions to the U.S., especially in art, humanities, and sciences. 

Learn more. 

October 1 – October 31  National Disability Employment Awareness Month  

  • National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a national observance with the purpose of raising awareness about disability employment issues.
  • This day is also a celebration of the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. 

Read more. 

October 11 — National Coming Out Day

  • This day continues to raise awareness for individuals within the LGBTQ+ community, and champion the idea that homophobia thrives in silence.

Read more

October 15 - Last day of Hispanic Heritage Month

November 2024

November 1 - November 30 Native American Heritage Month

  • Native American Heritage Month is observed in November to call attention to the culture, traditions, and achievements of the nation’s original inhabitants and of their descendants.

Learn more. 

November 13 - November 19 Transgender Awareness Week

  • This is a one-week celebration leading up to the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), which memorializes victims of transphobic violence.

Read more.

November 16 - International Day for Tolerance

  • The International Day for Tolerance is an annual observance day declared by UNESCO in 1995 to generate public awareness of the dangers of intolerance.
  • The purpose of this day is to foster mutual understanding among cultures and to counter influences that lead to fear and exclusion of others.

Read more.

November 20 - Transgender Day of Rememberance

  • Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence
  • This observance started in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998.

Read more.

December 2024

December 3 - International Day of Persons With Disabilities

  • The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) is an annual observance to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

Read more.

December 10 - Human Rights Day

  • On this historical day in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
  • The UDHR is a milestone document that proclaims the inalienable rights which everyone is entitled to as a human being - regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Read more.

December 26 to January 1 – Kwanzaa

  • Created in 1966 by Maulana Ron Karenga, Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday that celebrates history, values, family, community and culture.

Learn more. 

December 26 to January 2 – Hanukkah

  • This Jewish festival celebrates the Jewish people’s uprising against the Greeks and Syrians attempting to take Jerusalem.

Learn more.