Diversity Message


September, the end of summer, is marked by the Labor Day holiday. When Labor Day began in the late 1800’s it truly was to celebrate the labor movement and the many hard-fought accomplishments of the Union movement. Like most commemorative holidays, Labor Day’s meaning is lost on most people. What makes the day special can get lost over time without effort. Examples of those successes include:  

  • The eight-hour workday 
  • Weekends 
  • Fair wages 
  • Overtime 
  • The end of child labor 
  • As well as a host of other benefits  

September begins our slide into fall and winter, marked by the Autumnal Equinox, when the sun passes over the equator and the day and night are of equal duration. Which, I like to think of, (at least metaphorically), as the balance of light and dark.  

The Jewish High Holy Days, Rosh Hashanah (9/18 – 9/20/2020) and Yom Kippur (9/27 -9/28/2020), occur according to the Hebrew calendar, and are interconnected. (The Hebrew calendar is a lunisolar calendar, meaning that months are based on lunar months, but years are based on solar years). Holidays always begin and end at sundown. Rosh Hashanah is a celebration of the new year (this is the year 5781 on the Hebrew Calendar) and then eight days later, having acknowledged the new year, Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement is the culmination of the days of repentance, reflection and aspiration, acknowledging the failures and wrongs of the past year, seeking forgiveness where necessary and expressing the desire to do and be better in the new year.  

A weeklong celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month proposed in 1968 has grown into a month-long celebration that begins on September 15th and runs through October 15th.  Honestly, a month does not seem long enough to honor and celebrate the rich traditions, customs, and diversity of Hispanic Americans. The impact of Hispanic culture and traditions will continue to grow as the percent of Hispanics in the U.S., now at 18%, is expected to grow to almost 30% by 2060. 

For me September will always be a time of remembrance of the shock, fear, sadness, courage, and kindness that we experience and witnessed on September 11, 2001. As the planes slammed into the World Trade Center's Twin Towers, the shock, what is happening, how is this possible, why is this happening? The fear, who is doing this, what else will happen, what other places are at risk, will we be hit next? As the day wore on the sadness, the realization of the tremendous loss of life, the ripples of devastation that tore through families across the country and the world. The courage and kindness as we watched ordinary people help one another find safety in the streets and harbors of NYC, at the Pentagon, in the lonely fields of Pennsylvania. The courage and commitment of first responders across the country as they converged to help with the rescue and recovery efforts. In our own way, in our offices as my colleagues worked tirelessly to assist, comfort and support so many people who could not find a loved one and did not know what to do next. I will never forget that day or the days that followed that demonstrated the tremendous evil that we as humans are capable of, while also showing our near limitless capacity for courage, perseverance, and kindness.  

Thank you to Bill Heffernan for this message

NIEAPA Resource Directory 

The Resource Directory is a central source of services that fall under the EAP umbrella and is a great tool for all.  We encourage you to use and share with your colleagues.

Behavioral Health Program Information

Please use the above link if you are looking for up to date information on treatment centers' recent changes, additions or reduction of services. The link also provides contact information for each center's outreach professional. 

This list has been provided by the Chicagoland Professional Liaison Association, which is an organization for outreach professionals in the behavioral health field working in the Greater Chicagoland area. We thank the group for sharing this information with their NIEAPA colleagues.


In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and much deliberation, it is with great sadness that to inform you that we've cancelled this year's conference.  We are working diligently on creating and sharing additional programming for our stakeholders to earn CEU's and network with each other. Please contact Kim Branch or Tricia Fusilero if you have any questions, need additional information or want to be added to our email list. NIEAPA@corpevent.com

"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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