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Ethnic Equality Month – February 2023

Ethnic Equality Month is celebrated in February every year. It is a period to recognize the similarities all people have, yet acknowledge, appreciate and respect the differences in all of us. So no matter what race you are, or what ethnicity you belong to, everyone is equal and deserves equal rights and equal opportunities. Ethnic Equality Month is a good time to reflect and challenge ourselves, as a group and individually. It brings to light the unfortunate biases that still exist in our society, how far we’ve come in achieving equality, and what each one of us can do to contribute to something the world should be striving to achieve; social equality and justice.

History of Ethnic Equality Month

Ethnic equality has been in the conversation for as long as colonization started. People of different races or ethnicity co-habiting brings out similarities between everyone but also brings out the differences, which should be appreciated. There have been a lot of mishaps over the years related to ethnic equality, but there have been positives as well. Recognizing that there are issues to be solved is a very big step when it comes to breaking bias. The next step is to look for practical ways to solve these issues. Achieving equality is the goal for everyone. We’re not there yet but we are continually striving towards it every single day. One thing that is clear is that it is a journey that will only be a success if everyone contributes within their abilities.

Ethnic diversity means people have been socialized through different customs, beliefs, traditions, languages, and experiences so it shapes the way they feel and behave. Leveraging these diverse perspectives makes the World a more dynamic place. To make the world a more dynamic place, we have to be more conscious of our individual biases, stereotypes, or the prejudices we may sometimes have about other individuals or groups of people. To recognize these thought patterns, you have to look at yourself and think about what shapes your actions and decisions. The process can be exhausting but it’s worth it.

Continuous efforts such as the establishment of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), an African-American civil rights organization in the U.S., founded in 1942, play a pivotal role in achieving equality for not just different races, but ethnicities as well. Its stated mission is “to bring about equality for all people regardless of race, creed, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion or ethnic background”.

Ethnic Equality Month timeline

1968
The Hispanic Heritage Month is Established

President Lyndon Johnson signs off on the bill to make September, Hispanic heritage month.

1970
The Black History Month is Established

Perhaps the most popular one, this day is celebrated in February.

1989
Italian-American Heritage and Culture Month is Established

October is set aside as the month for this important holiday.

1991
Irish-American Heritage Month is Established

George W. Bush proclaims March as Irish-American month

Ethnic Equality Month FAQs

Do we have a Gender Equality Month?

Yes. It is marked in March every year.

What is Celebrate Diversity Month all about?

It is not so different from Ethnic Equality Month but Celebrate Diversity Month focuses more on celebrating people’s different cultures.

What is International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination all about?

It is directly linked to the activities of 1960 in South Africa when at the height of apartheid, police shot and killed 69 peaceful demonstrators.

How to Observe Ethnic Equality Month

  1. Read up on some books

    To observe Ethnic Equality Month, read up on some books about ethnic equality. This will give you a deeper understanding of what this month is all about.

  2. Join a community

    There’s nothing better than having like-minded people on the same mission as you. Play your part in exercising ethnic equality by accepting everyone around you just as they are.

  3. Spread the word

    Something as simple as a social media post on what the month is about will go a long way. This would be a brilliant way to observe Ethnic Equality Month.

5 Advocates Of Ethnic Equality

  1. Mahatma Gandhi

    Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi led efforts to free his fellow Indians from an oppressive British colonial rule.

  2. Martin Luther King

    He is known the world over as a vocal leader in the civil rights movement that pushed for equality for all blacks in the U.S.

  3. Abraham Lincoln

    As the sixteenth President of the U.S., he used his position to put an end to slavery and declare freedom for all slaves.

  4. Nelson Mandela

    This world-renowned anti-apartheid activist spent 27 years in prison for speaking out against the mistreatment of blacks in South Africa.

  5. Sukhgerel Dugersuren

    Dugersuren has established herself as a defender of the rights of rural Mongolians whose rights are often violated by large corporations looking to invest in the region.

Why Ethnic Equality Month is Important

  1. It shows how similar we are

    No matter what race or ethnicity you belong to, Ethnic Equality Month shows that we all have the same genetic material. There are differences but they are to be appreciated.

  2. It helps to educate the younger generation

    Without months like these, the younger generation might not fully get to grasp how important these topics are. Observing months like these help to keep everyone educated.

  3. It helps appreciate fallen heroes

    Let’s face it, you don’t get to remember everyone every time unless they’re family or close friends. Observing months like these help us remember heroes that have fought for equality for all.

Ethnic Equality Month dates

YearDateDay
2023February 1Wednesday
2024February 1Thursday
2025February 1Saturday
2026February 1Sunday
2027February 1Monday
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