A good start for incorporating more diverse and inclusive programming and practices into your organization is through a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) calendar.
Now that Juneteenth has been recognized as a national holiday to commemorate the end of slavery in the U.S., many organizations are looking for more ways to honor their diverse teams and support social justice issues.
While recognizing Juneteenth is important, knowing and learning about other diverse celebrations and holidays is a great way to enhance your workplace culture and keep DEI top of mind throughout the year.
To help you contemplate how to bring opportunities to learn about DEI into your company’s engagement calendar, we created this list of diversity holidays, observances, and celebrations.
Note: the list isn't exhaustive – there are so many amazing global holidays and events you can choose to honor! But this is a great starting point for HR leaders who want to level up their DEI programming in a way that will be fun and engaging to their teams.
Downloadable DEI Holiday Calendar
Scroll below to see the full list of DEI holidays and events — or download our PDF version by filling out the form below. You'll get a printable twelve month calendar for 2022 with all of the holidays.
Google DEI Holiday Calendar
If you prefer Google, you can add our DEI Holiday Calendar right to your Google calendar. Aside from 2021 holidays, we've also set dates on the calendar to repeat annually.
Tap the "+" symbol in the lower righthand corner of the calendar below to add it to your own Google calendar.
List of DEI Holidays, Events, and Observances
Now for the full list! (You can also find more tips on incorporating these events into your DEI programming below.)
- Poverty in America Awareness Month
- Third Sunday in January: World Religion Day
- January 4: World Braille Day
- January 7: Christmas (Eastern Orthodox)
- January 7: Mahayana New Year (Buddhist)
- January 16, 2022 (third Sunday in January): World Religion Day
- Third Monday in January: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- January 27: International Holocaust Remembrance Day
- Black History Month
- February 1: National Freedom Day
- February 1: Chinese New Year
- February 14: Valentine’s Day
- February 15: Parinirvana Day (Nirvana Day - Buddhist)
- February 20: World Day of Social Justice
- National Women’s History Month
- Ethnic Equality Month
- Gender Equality Month
- March 1: Mardi Gras (day before Ash Wednesday)
- March 2: Ash Wednesday
- First Friday in March: Employee Appreciation Day
- March 8: International Women’s Day
- March 16: Purim
- March 17: St. Patrick’s Day
- March 25: International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
- Celebrate Diversity Month
- Autism Awareness Month
- National Volunteer Month
- National Arab American Heritage Month
- Stress Awareness Month
- 3rd week of April: National Volunteer Week
- April 2: World Autism Awareness Day
- April 2: Ramadan begins
- April 7: World Health Day
- April 10: Palm Sunday
- April 15: Passover begins
- April 17: Easter
- April 22: Earth Day
- April 23: National Day of Silence
- Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
- Jewish American Heritage Month
- Mental Health Awareness Month
- Older Americans Month
- May 5: Cinco de Mayo
- May 12: Ramadan ends
- May 13: Eid al-Fitr
- May 17: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia
- May 22: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
- May 30: Memorial Day
- LGBT Pride Month
- Immigrant Heritage Month
- June 12: Loving Day
- June 19: Juneteenth
- June 21: National Indigenous Peoples Day
- June 28: Pride Day
- Social Wellness Month
- July 4: Independence Day
- July 10: Eid al-Adha (falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah of the Islamic calendar and lasts for four days)
- July 11: World Population Day
- July 14: Bastille Day
- July 18: Nelson Mandela International Day
- July 26: National Disability Independence Day
- July 30: International Day of Friendship
- August 5: Tisha B'Av (the ninth day of the month of Av (which month coincides with July and/or August)
- August 9: International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
- August 15: India Independence Day
- August 17: Marcus Garvey Day
- August 26: Women’s Equality Day
- August 31: Ganesh Chatuthi
- Hispanic Heritage Month
- First Monday in September: Labor Day
- Fourth Friday in September: National Native American Day (California and Nevada)
- September 26: European Day of Languages
- Global Diversity Awareness Month
- LGBT History Month
- National Disability Employment Awareness Month
- National Disability Employment Awareness Month
- October 2: Gandhi Jayanti
- October 4: Yom Kippur
- October 10: World Mental Health Day
- Second Monday in October: Indigenous Peoples' Day
- October 11: National Coming Out Day
- Second Monday in October: National Native American Day (South Dakota and Wisconsin)
- October 16: World Food Day
- October 24: Diwali
- National Native American Heritage Month
- Fourth Friday in November: Native American Heritage Day
- November 11: Veteran's Day
- December 1: World AIDS Day
- December 10: International Human Rights Day
- December 16 - December 24: Las Posadas
- December 18 - December 26: Hanukkah (always on the 25th day of Kislev in the Hebrew calendar)
- December 25: Christmas
- December 26 to January 1: Kwanzaa
Deciding Which Holidays to Observe
With so many diversity and inclusion events and religious observances, it can be a challenge to determine which to observe. When building your DEI calendar for the year, be sure to ask your employees what holidays would mean the most to them.
You can do this by leveraging your ERGs, building a task force, or sending out a quick pulse survey. The important thing is to listen carefully to your team and take their thoughts into consideration.
Example Programming for DEI Holidays
So how do you bring diversity, equity, and inclusion into your engagement programming? Cooleaf offers DEI programming to help you foster a more inclusive culture, along with a digital platform to build a sense of belonging and encourage employees to grow deeper connections. Here's a few examples of DEI holiday programming hat has helped our customers spark conversations on their teams.
May - Cinco De Mayo
Cinco de Mayo is widely celebrated in the U.S., but the holiday’s origins are often misunderstood.
In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of the first battle of Puebla, when the Mexican Army successfully defended the city against invading French forces in 1862. In fact, many U.S. citizens make the common mistake of identifying Cinco de Mayo as the Mexican Independence Day, which is in September.
To celebrate this holiday, we encouraged employees to learn more about the real history of Cinco de Mayo. By sharing resources and guiding employees to start having conversations, you can strengthen the culture intelligence of your team.
July - Nelson Mandela International Day
Nelson Mandela International Day celebrates the legacy of the former President of South Africa and anti-apartheid revolutionary and the light that he shined on the world. Celebrated annually on his birthday July 18, Nelson Mandela International Day is a global call to action that celebrates the belief that every individual is capable of transforming the world.
For this holiday, we challenged employees to consider their beliefs around making an impact. In the example below, employees used the Cooleaf platform to connect with one another and share how they define a commitment to social purpose.
Additionally, simply taking the time to share information and resources about diverse national events in your communication channel of choice (such as Slack or Microsoft Teams) can be a great way to start a conversation and bring DEI into daily work life!