Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

October 2021 DEI Celebrations Round-Up

On behalf of the GSWNY Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee, every month we’re highlighting different holidays and events that are celebrated by people around the world. DEI Celebrations in October include Hispanic Heritage Month, Down Syndrome Awareness Month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, World Mental Health Day, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Canadian Thanksgiving, International Day of the Girl, GLAAD Spirit Day, Samhain, Halloween, and Juliette Gordon Lows’ birthday.


Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15)

Every year, the United States observes and celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15. Originally started as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 by President Lyndon Johnson, it was expanded to a full month 20 years later by Ronald Reagan. This month is all about celebrating the people, cultures, contributions, and history of Americans whose ancestors are from Spanish-speaking countries, including Central America, South America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Spain.

The span of dates encompasses several important days within the Hispanic community:

  • September 15: Anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua
  • September 16: Mexico’s independence day
  • September 18: Chile’s independence day
  • October 12: Día de la Raza (also known as Indigenous Peoples’ Day or Columbus Day). Spanish speaking countries, including Mexico, Ecuador, Uruguay, El Salvador, and more, celebrate October 12 as Dia de la Raza, or Day of the Race. It honors and celebrates the different countries and people conquered by turning the focus from the European explorers to the traditions and cultures destroyed by colonization.

Learn more about how you can celebrate!


Down Syndrome Awareness Month

For 40 years, October has been recognized as Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Together we can celebrate people with Down syndrome and learn more about who they are and what they can do. Learn more >>>


Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Starting in 1987, Domestic Violence Awareness Month is about more than just raising awareness. It helps connect people and organizations working on these issues while supporting survivors and holding abusers accountable. Learn more >>>


Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Many people associate October with Breast Cancer Awareness month due to the attention it receives and its national partners, including the NFL. The impact of breast cancer touches so many lives so continuing support and awareness is crucial. Learn more >>>


World Mental Health Day (October 10)

World Mental Health Day brings attention to mental health issues on a global scale. It focuses on the work being done and what still needs to happen to support people around the world. Learn more >>>


Indigenous Peoples’ Day (October 11)

For many years, this holiday was celebrated as Columbus Day. While that is still true in some places, many now use it as a chance to celebrate the Native American people and culture, instead of colonization. Learn more >>>


Canadian Thanksgiving (October 11)

Celebrated more than a month before Thanksgiving in the United States, this holiday may pre-date the American celebration as well. It was celebrated around the harvest season, but was actually more of a time to thank God for safety as people explored the New World. Learn more >>>


International Day of the Girl (October 11)

Now in its 10th year, International Day of the Girl is a resolution from the United Nations to bring attention the challenges faced by girls around the world. Learn more >>>


GLAAD Spirit Day (October 21)

This is a day to “go purple” in support of LGBTQ+ youth in a stand against bullying. You can be a part of the largest LGBTQ+ anti-bullying campaign by wearing purple this Spirit Day. Learn more >>>


Samhain (October 31)

Originating from a Celtic spiritual tradition, this is a pagan religious festival ushering in the dark half of the year. Learn more >>>


Halloween (October 31)

Speaking of Samhain, Halloween actually has its roots in the same festival. Click here to learn more about the origins of this widely-enjoyed holiday.


Juliette Gordon Low’s Birthday (October 31)

The founder of Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low, was born on Halloween in 1860. Learn more >>>


The Celebrations Subcommittee of GSWNY’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee strives to include as many cultural and religious holidays as possible every month. If we’re missing something, or misrepresenting a holiday, please let us know by emailing communications@gswny.org.

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