Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15th-October 15th, 2023)
This month is dedicated to recognizing the achievements and contributions of Hispanic Americans who have inspired others to their own successes. This year’s theme is “Latinos: Driving Prosperity, Power, and Progress in America” reflecting on the significant strides Hispanics have made.
Observance Suggestion: Take a deep dive into the official Hispanic Heritage Month toolkit to learn more about the theme, messages, social media engagements, and ways to create visibility for the contributions of the Hispanic community in your organization and around the world.
National Guide Dog Month
Guide dogs go through rigorous training at a young age to provide support and mobility to those who might otherwise not have it. In September, we honor and appreciate the work of guide dogs and raise awareness for the need for these service dogs.
Observance Suggestion: If you were looking for an excuse to bring dogs into the office – this is it! Invite a local service dog trainer or human companion to come in and share about their training and support.
National Suicide Prevention & Awareness Month
Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. National Suicide Prevention & Awareness Month aims to raise awareness, remove the stigma, and provide comfort and hope for people affected by suicide.
Observance Suggestion: Share resources like these from the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline to empower employees to change the conversation around suicide prevention and be part of the solution.
Important D&I calendar dates:
September 4 – Labor Day
While Labor Day signals the end of Summer and the start of a new school year, it’s more than a celebration of barbeques and backyard play. Consider all the benefits of modern-day work: lunch breaks, paid vacation, weekends off. We have labor unions and the United States labor movement to thank for those. On this day, we celebrate and reflect on American workers’ contributions to our communities.
Observance Suggestion: Create a holiday weekend swag bag with American union-made products. And make sure any employees that had to work during the holiday have comparable time off.
September 6-7 – Krishna Janmashtami (Hindu)
Janmashtami is one of the biggest religious festivals in the world, celebrating the birth of Krishna, a major deity in Hinduism. Over 900 million people worldwide (including 2 million in the US) celebrate this festival with feasts, dancing, rituals, and prayer.
Observance Suggestion: Allow employees who observe to take time off to celebrate with their families and community, and invite them to share about their personal experiences celebrating Janmashtami with fellow employees.
September 11 – Patriot Day (U.S.A.) (same every year)
Patriot Day serves as a day of remembrance for the 3,000 victims including people on the ground, on the planes, and first responders, who died in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
Observance Suggestion: Fly the flag at half-mast and observe a moment of silence to correspond with the attacks, beginning at 8:46 a.m. (Eastern Daylight Time), the time the first plane, American Airlines Flight 11, struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
September 15 – International Day of Democracy (same every year)
Democracy and human rights are intrinsically linked and not to be taken for granted. This is particularly apparent in the US today as gerrymandering and restrictive voter laws have reversed equal access to the right to vote in a nation founded on democracy. This day reminds people around the world that democracy is a cause worth fighting for.
Observance Suggestion: Exercise your democratic rights. Go online to contact your representatives and advocate for the causes important to you. Encourage your employees to do the same. Provide your own research to make it easier for them to speak up about what they hold important as well.
September 16 – Mexican Independence Day (same every year)
Filled with colorful parades, mariachi concerts, and lots of food, Mexico celebrates its Independence Day with joyful fiestas in their streets. In 1810, Mexico declared independence from Spain, and church bells rang. Today, the same bells ring to kick off all the celebrations.
Celebration Suggestion: Every year, Mexico’s president delivers the El Grito de Dolores speech, complete with ringing the same church bells that rang over 200 years ago. This broadcasts live at 11:00 pm on September 15. Tune in. Listen and watch. And feel the celebration of an independent culture that is celebrated all over the world.
September 18 – Rosh Hashanah begins (Jewish)
Rosh Hashanah translates to “head of the year.” It’s the Jewish New Year, starting on the Jewish calendar’s first month (Tishrei). This year, it’s celebrated from sundown September 18 to sundown September 20 by attending Holy services, gathering with loved ones, and preparing foods such as apples, honey, challah, and dates.
Observance Suggestion: Keep in mind that Jewish employees may need a few days off work. Allow them that time without repercussion. This includes preventing work from piling up on their time off.
September 21 – International Day of Peace (same every year)
Also known as World Peace Day, this day is dedicated to strengthening the ideals of peace within all nations and all people. We allow this to remind us of what we can create together, an inspiration to focus on connection, kindness, and peace.
Observance Suggestion: Bring in a discussion panel of diverse speakers to talk about different concepts that promote peace and connection like conflict resolution, peaceful dialogue, and consensus-building.
September 21 – 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.
September 22 – American Business Women’s Day (same every year)
September 22nd marks the founding of the American Business Women’s Association in 1949 as a way to support women in the workforce across occupations through networking, education, and recognition. While major advancements have been made since then, this day reminds us that there’s still a long way to go toward equity in the workplace and that community will get us there.
Observance Suggestion: Allow your women’s employee resource group to create an event for the day, or create a women’s ERG and launch it. Set up a day of mentoring for young women employees to connect with women with more experience. Spotlight women-owned businesses your organization partners with.
September 22 – Native American Day
Celebrated on and around September 22nd by various states across the US, Native American Day recognizes the history and contributions of indigenous people native to the states established on their land.
Observance Suggestion: Take the opportunity to recognize the native land where your organization is based through education, conversations with local indigenous organizations, and supporting community and political actions that improve the lives of local indigenous people.
September 24 – Yom Kippur (Jewish) (begins sundown September 24)
The holiest day in Judaism, Yom Kippur is a day of fasting and prayer in the spirit of atonement. The holiday starts at sunset through sunset the following day.
Observance Suggestion: Avoid scheduling major meetings and events throughout the night and day of Yom Kippur to allow Jewish employees time for prayer and to be mindful of the effects of fasting as part of their observance.
September 26 – European Day of Languages (same every year)
Our world is full of culturally rich languages, and those in Europe are a true testament to that. Today they celebrate the love of language and need to preserve that love and knowledge through practice.
Celebration Suggestion: Bring in someone who can teach a second language to your staff. Perhaps a language that would be beneficial to communicating within your community, or that would help staff members understand the nuances of your work better.
September 27 — World Tourism Day
Tourism employs one in ten people worldwide and this year’s theme “Investing in People, Planet, and Prosperity” highlights a new focus on sustainable changes to the industry that support underserved people, green initiatives, and entrepreneurialism.
Observance Suggestion: Business travel is a major contributor to the tourism industry. If your employees travel for work, consider sharing tips on responsible, sustainable travel habits and set expectations for how employees represent your organization on the road.
September 29 – Sukkot begins (Jewish)
Sukkot commemorates the gathering of the harvest and the protective dwellings Jews lived in as they escaped Egypt. Jewish people traditionally build temporary sukkahs (or dwellings) to live and eat (including 4 special kinds of vegetation) in for the joyous week-long celebration.
Observance Suggestion: Allow those who observe time off on the first day of Sukkot when work is prohibited and any additional time for special observances and celebrations.