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Notable International and National Human Rights Events and Diversity Holidays for the Month

Information from a calendar of annual human rights observances on the Morgantown City website and from Diversity Resources.

May: Older Americans Month
In 1963, Older Americans Month was established. This May diversity month celebrates Americans over 65 and how they contribute to society in the U.S. When it was founded, only 17 million Americans had reached their 65th birthday, and about a third of those people lived in poverty. Acknowledging their contributions and creating programs to meet their needs is critical to ensuring everyone is cared for.

May: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
In 1990, the U.S. government established Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This May diversity holiday seeks to recognize the achievements and contributions of these individuals. We recommend celebrating AAPI Heritage Month by watching a documentary about Asian American History or buying books from AAPI-owned bookstores.

May: Mental Health Awareness Month
It’s Mental Health Awareness Month. The observance raises awareness for this May diversity topic, and those living with mental and behavioral issues. So during May, support those who live with mental health challenges, as well as their families and loved ones. They are also affected by mental illnesses. Some great ways to support others with mental health difficulties include staying calm, being patient, avoiding judgment, and maintaining social contact.

May: Jewish American Heritage Month
This May heritage month honors American Jews and their contributions to the United States. If you’ve never celebrated Jewish American Heritage Month before, consider participating by visiting a Jewish museum or a site of historical interest, making a Jewish recipe, or listening to a Jewish podcast.

May 1: International Worker’s Day
Also known as May Day, it celebrates the social and economic achievements of workers worldwide. The day commemorates the Haymarket Riot of 1886 in Chicago, in which police and protesters clashed following a worker’s strike for an eight-hour day.

May 3: World Press Freedom Day
Serves as an occasion to inform the public of violations of the right to freedom of expression and as a reminder that many journalists brave death or jail to bring people their daily news.

May 5: Cinco de Mayo
Some think of Cinco de Mayo as the day to eat tacos and drink margaritas, but this multicultural May holiday has real significance for Mexican Americans. It celebrates Mexico’s defeat of the French Army. Read the real story and support a Mexican business in your community as a way to celebrate.

May 15: World Health Day
Celebration of two or more persons providing a continuity of support for each other usually in terms of affection, nurture, security and protection.

May 17: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia
May diversity days include this event, which aims to raise awareness for the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals worldwide and incidents of LGBTQ+ rights violations. May 17 was chosen because it was the date that the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases. Celebrate this day by raising awareness and fostering inclusiveness with our online LGBT Training in the Workplace.

May 19: Malcolm X’s Birthday
May diversity events include a Happy Birthday to Malcolm X! The Muslim minister and civil rights activist was assassinated in 1965. Spend today remembering his famous words, “A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything,” and reflect on how you can incorporate this sentiment into your life.

May 21: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
Recognizes cultural diversity as a source of innovation, exchange, and creativity, as well as the obligation to create a more peaceful and equitable society based on mutual respect.

Religious Holidays for the Month

Information from a calendar of diversity events from Diversity Resources.

May 26: Buddha’s Birthday
Happy Birthday to the founder of one of the world’s most practiced faiths! The Buddha was born Siddhartha Gautama. This May diversity celebration is also called Buddha Jayanti. It’s the day of his enlightenment and a celebrated Buddhist festival in most of East Asia and South Asia