Diversity Message

February has been generally known for Valentine’s Day on the 14th and President’s Day, which falls on the 17th this year. While many consider Valentine’s Day more of a boon to the flower and candy industries, it’s easy to forget that it is the one day in the year when we celebrate the expression of love. That seems to me to never be a bad thing and in fact is a holiday to cherish. Additionally, the celebration of President’s day can also double as a celebration of American democracy.

  • February is also Black History Month when we celebrate the many contributions of African Americans in American culture. We also celebrate the birthdays of Langston Hughes (February 1), Fredrick Douglas (February 14), Marion Anderson (February 17) and W.E.B. DuBois (February 23).
  • February marks the beginning of Lent which marks a 40 day period of prayer and fasting preceding Easter Sunday in the Christian tradition, and often involves giving up one’s favorite food or activity as well as the placing of ashes on the forehead in the shape of a cross.
  • February 8th in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition marks the death of The Buddha in 483 BCE and commemorates his attainment of final Nirvana. In the Hindu tradition this is called Parinirvana.
  • February 15th is Susan B. Anthony Day. To quote Ms. Anthony, “No man is good enough to govern any woman without her consent.” Here, Here.
  • Tibetans celebrate Losar starting on February 27th, which is also their New Year.
  • And while spring is generally a few months away for us in the upper Midwest, many cultures celebrate the arrival of spring. Hindus honor Vasant Panchami, which signifies for them the arrival of spring.
  • In the Gaelic tradition February 2ed is a traditional festival marking the beginning of spring.
  • February 5th is Mexican Constitution Day.
  • February 11th is National Foundation Day in Japan.

And finally, there are some rather dubious celebration days in February, but nevertheless, ones we should think about. February 9th is National Stop Bullying Day, which seems like a fine goal to me; however, it is also Read In The Bathtub Day. This also seems to beg the question of whether we are also to celebrate one’s bath on a yearly or monthly basis? February 11th is Make A Friend Day. This is a nice touch as this is three days before Valentine’s Day. February 16 is Do A Grouch A Favor Day, which too is appropriate since February 17 is Random Acts Of Kindness Day. February 20th is National Love Your Pet Day. I did think, however, that EVERY day was Love Your Pet Day. It certainly is in my house. This comes just before February 27th, which is Spay Day (also appropriate) and finally, one of the strangest Days of all is February 26th, which is Toad Hollow Day of Encouragement. I truly have no idea what it is we should be encouraging during this occasion but let us all think warm thoughts for all the toads out there, not just the ones who live in hollows.

Scott Cullen-Benson

"NIEAPA members shall seek to develop an awareness of their own personal and cultural values and beliefs as one way of appreciating the importance of multicultural identities in our own lives and in the lives of those we serve.  NIEAPA members shall have and continue to develop specialized knowledge and understanding about the values, traditions and systems of all employees at the workplaces they serve."

Northern Illinois Chapter Employee Assistance Professionals Association (NIEAPA)

Address: 400 E. Randolph #2305, Chicago. IL 60601Phone: +1 (312) 756-7756
Email: nieapa@corpevent.com

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