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 February include Black History Month, Lunar New Year, Women’s Wear Red Day, Valentine’s Day, Susan B. Anthony Day, and World Thinking Day.
Black History Month
Did you know that Dr. Gloria Dean Randle Scott was the first African American president of Girl Scouts of the USA? In her younger years, Dr. Scott was a part of Junior Girl Scout Troop #155 at Jack Yates School in Houston, TX, which at the time was a segregated troop. In 1965, Dr. Scott received her Ph.D. in education from Indiana University. Just ten years later, she would become president of GSUSA. Read more about the amazing life of Gloria Dean Randle Scott here.
We at the Girl Scouts of WNY are incredibly excited to be celebrating Black History Month this February. Did you know that our council offers both Freedom Seekers and Freedom Rites badges? Both badges give Girl Scouts the opportunity to increase their knowledge about the brave individuals who escaped enslavement through the Underground Railroad in WNY. Additionally, young members are able to earn the Black History Month Celebration “I’m a Girl Scout” Fun Patch by completing their choice of activities to commemorate Black History Month.
Lunar New Year (February 1)
Every year, the Lunar New Year (also referred to as the Chinese New Year) is celebrated on a day between January 21 and February 20. The celebration routinely takes place near the end of winter and commemorates happiness and good fortune in preparation for the upcoming year. The honoring of the Lunar New Year is an ancient tradition. It is believed that the first celebrations occurred under the rule of the Shang Dynasty as early as 1600 BCE. This special time allows families and communities to come together in high spirits. Learn more about the origins and celebrations of Chinese New Year here.
Women’s Wear Red Day (February 4)
Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association’s specialty initiative for women. This programming seeks to raise awareness about how heart issues impact women uniquely, what the signs and symptoms of heart issues may look like and how we can all work on our heart health together! On February 4, we celebrate Women’s Wear Red Day to bring attention to these very important concepts. Read more about Women’s Wear Red Day and the Go Red for Women initiative here.
Valentine’s Day (February 14)
In the United States today, Valentine’s Day is one marked by plenty of red, commercial hearts, and an abundance of sweet treats. The first commercial valentines in the US were printed in the mid-1800s. Did you know that this holiday began with religious origins? There are many different stories of a few different St. Valentines, as many have shared the name throughout history. Today, St. Valentine is recognized as the Patron Saint of epilepsy.
Susan B. Anthony Day (February 15)
Susan Brownwell Anthony was born on February 15th 1820 in Adams, Massachusetts. She is most prominently known for her activism work related to women’s suffrage, though it is important to note that Anthony also made many strides in other areas such as labor rights and temperance. She is credited with founding the International Council of Women, which remains active today.
Each year we celebrate Susan B. Anthony on the anniversary of her birthdate as a way to pay homage to all of her amazing achievements in the advancement of American women, which has helped paved the way for the establishment of historically female-based organizations like the Girl Scouts.
In 1845, Anthony and her family moved to the outskirts of Rochester, where she remains buried today. In 1872, Anthony was arrested in Rochester for choosing to vote at a time when women were prohibited to do so. Learn more about Susan B. Anthony on the National Women’s History Museum website.
How can you celebrate Susan B. Anthony Day this year? Take the time to explore the Susan B. Anthony patch offered through our council. Today, the National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House in Rochester is one of our Program on Demand (POD) partners. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your tour of this wonderful and local historic site today!
World Thinking Day (February 22)
Every year over 10 million members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) come together across over 150 counties to celebrate a day of international friendship on February 22. It is a day dedicated to the celebration of one another, but it is also a time for members of WAGGGS to learn about ways to improve the everyday life of girls around the world. Each year, the theme of World Thinking Day changes. This year, World Thinking Day’s theme is “Our World: Our Equal Future: The Environment and Gender Equality.”
Categories: Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion