Diversity Committee October Update
Tuesday, September 28, 2021

October is here and brings with it numerous celebrations to highlight the value of diversity to our community. Continuing our Tippie DEI committee’s mission to foster diversity, equity and inclusion, we highlight below a few of this month’s celebrations, along with an invitation to our first Tippie Monday Memoir of this academic year, on October 4th at 12:00 PM.

Please consider joining us for our first storytelling event of this Fall semester.

Latinx Heritage Month

National Latinx/a/o Heritage Month continues until October 15th. It celebrates and recognizes the contributions Latinx Americans have made to American society and culture. Latinx heritage month began on September 15 on the anniversaries of independence for several Latin American countries which include Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua (all on September 15th), Mexico (on September 16th), and Chile (on September 18).

The statewide festival was held this past weekend, September 25-26th, but details are still available online: https://www.latinoheritagefestival.org.

Monday Memoir with Gabriela Rivera

We celebrate National Latinx/a/o Heritage Month in Tippie with our first Tippie Monday Memoir of this academic year, on Monday, October 4th, at 12:00 PM, featuring our own Gabriela Rivera, Associate Director, Diversity Equity and Inclusion. As a reminder, our Tippie Monday Memoir series is a storytelling initiative that encourages us to understand our community better and expand our perspectives. Thus, in each episode of our Tippie Monday Memoir series, we hear from different Tippie voices, reflecting on the question Who Am I?

Please mark your calendars and join us on Monday, October 4th, at 12:00 PM, via Zoom: https://uiowa.zoom.us/j/97438801841

Global Diversity Awareness Month

October is Global Diversity Awareness Month, a month to celebrate and increase awareness about the diversity of cultures and ethnicities and the positive impact diversity can have on society. https://nationaltoday.com/global-diversity-awareness-month/

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is also National Disability Employment Awareness Month and it celebrates the accomplishments in the workplace of persons with disabilities and reaffirms the commitment to ensuring equal employment opportunities to all citizens. The theme for NDEAM 2021, “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion,” reflects the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement during the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, please see: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/odep/initiatives/ndeam

LGBTQ+ History Month

October is LGBTQ+ History Month, a US observance created in 1994 by Rodney Wilson, a high school history teacher in Missouri. In 1995, a resolution passed by the General Assembly of the National Education Association included LGBT History Month within a list of commemorative months. October was selected to coincide with National Coming Out Day (October 11), which was already established, and the anniversary of the first march on Washington for gay and lesbian rights in 1979.

Italian and U.S. flags

October is Italian-American Heritage and Culture Month, a month that recognizes the contributions and achievements of Italian immigrants and their descendants living in the United States. It was first celebrated in 1989 and it is set in October to coincide with Columbus Day, which is a federal holiday set during the second Monday of the month. Over 26 million Americans of Italian descent currently reside in the U.S, making up America’s seventh largest ethnic group.

From the Library of Congress, Immigration and Relocation in U.S. History, Italian: “Although Italy as a unified nation did not exist until 1861, the Italian peninsula has sent millions of its people to the shores of North America. These new arrivals thought of themselves as Neopolitans, Sicilians, Calabrians, or Syracuseans. They might not have understood each other’s dialects, but on arrival in the United States they became Italian Americans. By the turn of the 20th century, they would be ready to change the continent once more.”

Indigenous People's Day

Indigenous People’s Day (October 11)
In 2018, Governor Kim Reynolds replaced state-wide observance of Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day, following a trend of other states and cities. In that year’s press release she noted, “This day recognizes the land now known as the State of Iowa, named in recognition of the Iowa Tribe, as well as the language used to identify many of our lakes, rivers, cities, counties, schools, buildings and considerably more, and reflects the inherent imprint of Indigenous People. This land has been home to Indigenous People since time immemorial, and without whom, the building of this state would not have been possible.” Read the full proclamation here: https://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/IACIO-21219ce

Dussehra celebration

Dussehra (October 15)
Dasara, Dussehra, or Vijayadashami, in the eastern and northeastern states of India, marks the end of Durga Puja, remembering goddess Durga’s victory over the buffalo demon Mahishasura to help restore dharma. The festival’s name is derived from the Sanskrit words dasha (“ten”) and hara (“defeat”). Symbolizing the victory of good over evil, Dussehra is celebrated on the 10th day of the month of Ashvina (September–October), the seventh month of the Hindu calendar, with the appearance of the full moon, an event called the “bright fortnight” (shukla paksha). Dussehra coincides with the culmination of the nine-day Navratri festival and with the tenth day of the Durga Puja festival. For many, it marks the beginning of preparation for Diwali, which occurs 20 days after Dussehra.

Dogs in ghost costumes

Halloween (October 31)
All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween) is a celebration observed in a number of countries on the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. It begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs and all the faithful departed.

Samhain (October 31 – November 1)
Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter or “darker-half” of the year. The Festival of Samhain marked the end of the Celtic year and the beginning of the new one and as such can be seen to the equivalent of New Year’s Eve.

In the northern hemisphere, it is held on November 1st, but with celebrations beginning on the evening of October 31st, as the Celtic day began and ended at sunset. Samhain is thought to be the inspiration behind Halloween, as – during this day – a family’s ancestors were honored and invited home, whilst harmful spirits were warded off. People wore costumes and masks to disguise themselves as harmful spirits and thus avoid harm. Bonfires and food played a large part in the festivities.

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