Month-long observances:

French-American Heritage Month

French-American Heritage Month was established to honor the significant French contributions to American culture. Today, there are about 11.8 million French Americans living in the United States, and their heritage has influenced American laws, art, language, and social etiquette.
Observance Suggestion: Talk to your nearest Alliance Francaise and see if anyone would be willing to share information on French culture with your organization. Learn about historical bonds between French and American nations and possibly be surprised about what comes from French influence.

South Asian Heritage Month (UK)

The theme for UK’s South Asian Heritage Month is “Advancing Leaders Through Opportunity” highlighting the importance of organizations taking intentional steps to ensure paths to leadership for members of of the AANHPI communities.
Observance Suggestion: Assess your organization’s AANHPI representation. Research how AANHPI people have influenced your company and industry and share with employees. Have a book club featuring a current AANHPI author. 

Calendar dates:

July 1 – Canada Day (Canada) (same every year)

Today marks the anniversary of the Constitution Act, consolidating three separate territories into the single nation of Canada. Formally known as Dominion Day, Canadians celebrate their independence with gatherings and fireworks.
Observation Suggestion: If you have employees or partners based in Canada, be sure to mark your calendars to avoid major meetings and deadlines on and around July 1st. Let employees know about local Canada Day celebrations happening that weekend. 

July 4 – Independence Day (USA) (same every year)

Americans get together for backyard barbeques, parades, and fireworks to celebrate the approval of the Declaration of Independence. As a day commemorating freedom, many citizens who still face barriers to equality choose not to celebrate with equal enthusiasm.
Celebration Suggestion: Provide an opportunity for employees to choose to celebrate. If you’re planning on giving extra time off before the holiday, give plenty of advanced notice so employees can adjust their plans. 

July 7-8 – Hijri New Year (Muslim)

Also known as the Islamic New Year and Arabic New Year, this celebration ushers in a new beginning and the opportunity to leave sins in the past. This is an extremely important celebration for Muslims and a time to surrender to God.
Observance Suggestion: Ask Muslim employees how they would like to celebrate or be respected within your organization. Allow for time off for employees to spend time with family. 

July 8-9 – Martyrdom of the Bab (Baha’i) (same every year)

July 9th marks the 1844 execution of the Bab, one of the founders of the Baha’i religion. His martyrdom is commemorated through prayers and scripture signifying the passing of an important figure to the faith.
Observance Suggestion: Baha’i followers take this day to commemorate the history of their faith. Allow these employees to take PTO so they can go to their temples in memory.

July 11 – World Populace Day

Today, there are 7.8 billion people in the world, and the population increases every year. World Populace Day encourages everyone to consider what this means for the future. Not just for their country, but for others with cultures who may or may not be equipped to handle the growing population.
Observance Suggestion: Take the time to learn more about the variety of issues that are impacted by a growing population from climate change to discrimination to identify ways your business, industry, or employees can make a positive impact. 

July 14 – Bastille Day (same day every year)

Bastille Day, honor of the French Revolution’s impact on the country’s democracy, is one of the most memorable days in French history. The Bastille was a medieval prison in Paris, widely associated with the monarchy’s harsh rule. When French rrevolutionaries invaded the Bastille, it started the road to democracy.
Observance Suggestion: The holiday isn’t called Bastille Day in France. Instead, they refer to it as ‘Fete Nationale’ and celebrate the liberty that comes with it. As a symbol of unity, take a moment to understand the history of the celebration.

July 18 – International Nelson Mandela Day (same every year)

A human rights lawyer, international peacemaker, and first democratically elected president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela spent 67 years in service to the public leaving behind a legacy of persistently pursuing peace. This day embodies the idea that every individual has the power to transform the world.
Celebration Suggestion: This day is traditionally celebrated with 67 minutes of public service. Consider finding a simple service project employees can participate in together, or allow employees time off to do a service project of their choosing.

July 24 – Pioneer Day (Mormon) (same every year)

Pioneer Day pays homage to when members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints arrived in Utah. Today, members of the community celebrate with the same enthusiasm as any patriotic day by holding rallies, parades, and even fun contests.
Observance Suggestion: Allow Mormon employees time for their own observation regardless of whether or not they’re based in Utah, where the holiday is primarily celebrated. 

July 26 – National Disability Independence Day (commemorates the signing of the Americans With Disabilities Act) (same every year)

In 1990, the Americans of Disability Act was signed, protecting citizens with disabilities from discrimination. Since then, increasing steps have been taken to allow anyone with disabilities to participate in the community as an independent person covering areas such as employment, transportation, public accommodation, and government services.
Observance Suggestion: Take a look at the culture within your organization to find gaps in your accommodations for disabled people. Consider supports like braille on signage, sign language interpretation, building accessibility, and assisting with invisible disabilities.  Consider hiring a culture consultant to fully audit your organization and create a plan to ensure you are providing access for everyone.

July 27 – Black Women’s Equal Pay Day 

For every dollar a white man makes, Black women are paid 58 cents in the same positions and with the same amount of education. This day calls attention to the fact that institutional racism exists. Equal pay can become a reality, but we need to intentionally advocate for Black women to see that happen.
Observance Suggestion: Call attention to who is working within your organization. Do you have Black women in your teams who are silently suffering this pay gap? Now is the time to be part of the solution by paying them the same rate as their white male counterparts.

July 30 – International Day of Friendship (same every year)

Designated by the United Nations General Assembly, this day promotes peace, happiness, and solidarity among individuals and communities. Friendship is one of the simplest ways to bring people together to confront our shared challenges.
Celebration Suggestion: Encourage work friendships by holding an event within your organization that fosters communication, thankfulness, and the best part of friendship – fun.

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