Diversity & Inclusivity Committee

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The mission of the Diversity & Inclusivity Committee is to foster the growth and participation of under-represented* populations at our school, and to build awareness through education in order to accept and appreciate all members in our community.

*These differences and similarities include age, ethnicity, language and culture, economic status, educational background, gender, geographic location, housing status, marital status, mental ability, national origin, organizational position and tenure, parental status, physical ability, political philosophy, race, religion, sexual orientation, body shape and size, and work experience.

Next meeting: Wednesday, January 10th, 4:00 p.m.

Our regular meeting time is usually the first Wednesday of every month after school (4:00 p.m.) in the Library, please join us!! We will always have a Spanish speaking person present at our meetings who can translate.

Questions? Email the committee co-chairs
Perri Klein perrineufeld@gmail.com or
Sara Hatayama sarahatayama@gmail.com

Calendar | Resources

December 2017

A monthly calendar of holidays and important days in various cultures and religions around the world.

  • December 1: Mawlid al-Nabi – Islam
    The anniversary of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad in Mecca in ca. 570 C.E., observed by Sunni Muslims beginning at sundown. Shi’a Muslims celebrate five days later, on December 6th.
  • December 3: First Sunday of Advent (hope) – Christianity (Western churches)
  • December 3: Sanghamittā Day – Buddhism
    Celebrating the anniversary of the arrival of King Asoka’s daughter Sanghamittā, who founded an order of nuns in Sri Lanka and carried with her a branch of the original tree under which the historical Buddha found enlightenment (it still survives in the ancient capital of Anuradhapura). This festival occurs on the full moon day in December.
  • December 8: Bodhi Day (Rohatsu) – Buddhism
    Celebration of the time when Prince Gautama (also later known as Shakyamuni Buddha) took his place under the Bodhi tree, vowing to remain there until he attained supreme enlightenment.
  • December 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception – Catholic Christianity
    A Roman Catholic holiday celebrating the belief that Mary, mother of Jesus, was preserved from original sin for her entire life.
  • December 10: Human Rights Day
    This day marks the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, including Article 18 which states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.”
  • December 10: Second Sunday of Advent (peace) – Christianity (Western churches)
  • December 12: Chanukah [Hanukkah] begins (through December 20) – Judaism
    The Jewish Festival of Lights commemorates the Maccabean victory over Syrian-Greek oppressors and the recapture and re-dedication of the Jerusalem Temple in 165 B.C.E. Special readings and songs focus on liberty and freedom. Each night a new candle is lit on the Menorah culminating in 8 full candles by the last night. Symbolic foods are cooked with oil to commemorate the oil that burned for 8 nights and include latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly donuts). Dreidel games are played and gifts are given.
  • December 12: Feast Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe – Catholic Christianity
    Commemorating the appearance of the Virgin Mary near Mexico City in 1531 C.E. Juan Diego, a native American living during the Spanish conquest of Mexico, saw a vision of the Virgin Mary. He was told to build a church in her honor exactly where he stood, and in that spot the Basilica of Guadalupe was erected. Thousands of pilgrims from all over the world travel to that church every year and venerate the icon of the Virgin that is there, imprinted on Diego’s cloak; it is believed that Our Lady of Guadalupe can intercede with God so that faithful believers’ prayers can be answered, and miracles can occur. She is also the patron saint of Mexico.
  • December 15: Bill of Rights Day
    This day marks the signing into law of the ten original amendments to the United States Constitution in 1791, including the First Amendment that protects citizens’ freedoms of speech and of religious expression.
  • December 16: Posadas Navideñas begins (through December 25) – Christianity (Western churches)
    A Latino/Latina Christian feast of the Lodgings, commemorating the journey of Mary and Joseph toward Bethlehem in preparation for the birth of Jesus.
  • December 17: Third Sunday of Advent (joy) – Christianity (Western churches)
  • December 21: Winter Solstice
  • December 21: Winter Feast – Native American spirituality
    A time when Native Americans of the Woodland tribes share food with the spirits of winter.
  • December 21: Yaldā – Zoroastrianism
    The “night of birth” which marks the longest night of the year, after which days begin getting longer—thus symbolizing the victory of light and goodness over dark and evil. This festival is celebrated with storytelling, poetic readings, family reunions, and feasting.
  • December 21: Yule – Wicca
    A celebration symbolizing the rebirth of the sun by the Goddess. A present-day Wicca event that ritually marks the shedding of the dross of the past year and contemplating one’s future spiritual development.
  • December 21: Tohji-Taisai [Grand Ceremony of the Winter Solstice] – Shintō
    This day marks the end of the sun’s decline (the yin period) and the beginning of its growth (the yang period). In Japanese spirituality, the sun is expressive of Amaterasu Omikami, the sun goddess and guiding spirit of the Japanese people.
  • December 23: Birthday of the Prophet Joseph Smith – Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    Commemorating the birth of Joseph Smith, Jr., in 1805 C.E. in Vermont. He translated what became known as the Book of Mormon and became the first president of the LDS Church when it was founded in 1830 in Fayette, New York.
  • December 24: Fourth Sunday of Advent (love) – Christianity (Western churches)
  • December 24: Christmas Eve – Christianity (Western and Eastern churches)
    Celebration of the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus. It is observed with worship, carols, candle lighting, manger scenes and festive meals.
  • December 25: Christmas Day/Feast of the Nativity – Christianity (Western and Eastern churches)
    Celebration of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, observed by prayers, exchanging of gifts, and family parties.
  • December 26: Boxing Day – United Kingdom
    Started as a day to collect money for the poor.
  • December 26: St. Stephen’s Day – Christianity
    Remembrance of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr.
  • December 26: Kwanzaa begins (through January 1) – African American heritage
    A seven-day festival that celebrates values highly regarded by people of African American ancestry. The values include umoja (unity), kujichagulia (self-determination), ujima (collective work and responsibility), ujamaa (cooperative economics), nia (purpose), kuumba (creativity), and imani (faith). Each of these principles, collectively known as the Nguzo Saba, is represented by a red or green candle, each of which is lit on successive days using a central black candle.
  • December 26: Zaratosht Diso [Anniversary of the death of the prophet Zarathustra (Zoroaster)] – Zoroastrianism
    Estimates of when he lived vary from the sixth to the second millenium B.C.E., but this date memorializes the death of the prophet Zoroaster, whose hymns (gathas) are preserved in the Zoroastrian scriptures.
  • December 28: Holy Innocents’ Day – Christianity
    A day of solemn memory for the male children of Bethlehem killed by King Herod in an attempt to destroy Jesus.
  • December 29: Wounded Knee Day – Lakota
    On December 29, 1890 more than 200 Lakota Sioux were massacred by U.S. troops at Wounded Knee in South Dakota.
  • December 31: New Year’s Eve
  • December 31: Ghambar Maidyarem (through January 4) – Zoroastrianism
    A celebration for the creation of animals, and a time for the equitable sharing of food with others.

Resources

Denver Public Schools – Safe and Welcoming School District, includes Immigration Rights FAQ
https://www.dpsk12.org/safe-and-welcoming-school-district/

Denver Public Library – Services to Immigrants and Refugees
https://www.denverlibrary.org/services-immigrants

City of Denver – Immigrant and Refugee Assistance
https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/human-rights-and-community-partnerships/our-offices/immigrant-and-refugee-affairs/immigrant-and-refugee-assistance.html