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  • Writer's picturePTA Team

Embracing Inclusive Holidays: May

It’s often hard to remember all the holidays that happen in a month, especially in understanding what they are, who celebrates them, and how to acknowledge them in an inclusive way. As such, we at Plan to Action have curated a few of the more notable holidays in the upcoming month here for you to garner some information on them. 

The month of May is… 

  • Jewish Heritage Month (May 1 – May 31, 2024). Jewish Heritage Month is a time to honor and celebrate the cultural, historical, and religious contributions of the Jewish community. It serves as a reminder of the impact and legacy of Jewish culture worldwide, whether through art, literature, cuisine, music, or language. Also in this month is Holocaust Remembrance Day which is on May 5-6, 2024. 

    • Inclusion Tip: With the Israel and Palestine war, many Jewish individuals throughout the world are being discriminated against (as well as Palestinian people). It is important to separate our thoughts on the war and actions being taken by the Israeli government, from how we treat our Jewish friends and colleagues. Discrimination based on ethnicity is never ok. We’ll be sharing a blog to discuss this topic in more detail in the near future. 

  • Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Month (May 1 – May 31, 2024). AANHPI month remembers and commemorates the achievements and challenges faced by those in the AANHPI communities over the years. This month also serves as a reminder of the xenophobia faced by the community, especially post-COVID.  When considering AANHPI month, remember that it is not only those of East Asian countries, but also the Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians are included in the discussion as well. 

    • Inclusion Tip: Spend some time learning about the Asian diaspora and how to break down the Asian monolith term of AANHPI communities.

  • Mental Health Awareness Month (May 1 – May 31, 2024). Mental Health Awareness Month aims to raise awareness, provide support, and advocate for greater understanding and acceptance of mental health conditions. This month is an opportunity to destigmatize mental illness, encourage people to seek help when needed, and promote the importance of self-care and mental wellness practices. 

    • Inclusion Tip: Explore your company’s HR policies on whether there is a way for people to take mental health days, or whether your company provides benefits related to mental health.  

  • National Military Appreciation Month (May 1 – May 31, 2024). National Military Appreciation Month is dedicated to honoring and recognizing the service and sacrifices of the members of the United States Armed Forces. In this month, people come together to express gratitude, support, and appreciation for those who have served and continue to serve their country. 

    • Inclusion tip: We already discussed mental health awareness month. Service members have a high rate of mental health needs such as PTSD. It is important that as an ally, you believe someone if they say they are in need, and if you're able, offer to support them.

May single-day holidays: 

  • Cinco de Mayo (May 5, 2024). Cinco de Mayo is not that important in Mexico. In Mexico, they honor Independence Day on September 16, which is the nation's most important national holiday. In the United States, though, Cinco de Mayo has become a way to honor Mexican culture and heritage. 

    • Inclusion Tip: Avoid cultural appropriation on Cinco de Mayo, rather than simply indulging in tacos and tequila, read about the Battle of Puebla in 1862 where the holiday originates to better understand the history of their independence.

  • Mother’s Day (May 12, 2024). Mother’s Day is a day to show appreciation and celebrate mothers and mother figures (e.g., grandmothers, aunts, sisters, mentors). 

    • Inclusion Tip: Be sensitive to those who may not have a mother or mother figure in their life, or those who may have recently lost a mother or mother figure in their life. It’s okay to celebrate those who choose to observe the holiday but avoid assumptions that it is celebrated by everyone. 

  • Global Accessibility Action Day (May 16, 2024). Global Accessibility Action Day is a day dedicated to promoting digital accessibility and inclusion for those with disabilities. This day seeks to raise awareness, spark conversations, and inspire actions to make technology and digital content more accessible to all.  

    • Inclusion Tip: Ensure the communications that you’re using are accessible, for example, including alternative text for images, avoiding the color Red in presentations (opt for Orange and Blue instead!), and using the accessibility checker in programs when available. 

  • International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (May 17, 2024). This day is observed to raise awareness of the discrimination, violence, and challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community. It serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle that those in the LGBTQIA+ community face in their fight for equality and rights. 

    • Inclusion Tip: When describing a person’s significant other, try describing them as a “partner” or “spouse” to avoid making gendered assumptions regarding their relationships. Always be sure to ask for an person’s pronouns and apologize if you use the wrong pronouns.

  • Memorial Day (May 27, 2024). Memorial Day, generally observed on the last Monday of the month of May is a day to honor and pay tribute to those who have sacrificed while serving in the US Armed Forces. It is a time for people to reflect on the courage of those who have given their lives to defend freedom and protect their nation.  

    • Inclusion Tip: While Memorial Day is often the unofficial start of summer with picnics and barbeques, don’t forget to take some time to honor those who have given their lives. Consider coordinating a moment of silence at your Memorial Day celebration. 

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