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Race Unity Day – June 11, 2023

Race Unity Day, which is also known as Race Amity Day, is observed annually on the second Sunday of June. This year, it takes place on . It started in 1957 in the United States by the Bahá’í National Spiritual Assembly. The purpose was to combat racism by focusing attention on racial prejudice. Racism is the belief that humans are divided into exclusive entities called ‘races,’ that there is a link between personality and physical traits, and also that some races are superior to others. The Bahá’í understood that racism is a hindrance to peace so they started this day to promote racial harmony and understanding.

History of Race Unity Day

The Bahá’í National Spiritual Assembly started Race Unity Day. The assembly, which was founded in 1844, is a nine-member elected council given the responsibility of coordinating, guiding, and reviving the affairs of both the local spiritual assemblies as well as the Bahá’í community’s individual members in a country. The National Spiritual Assembly must encourage the development and enthusiasm of the national Bahá’í community, answer questions from people and Local Spiritual Assemblies, and strengthen the Bahá’í community’s role in societal life at the national level.

Although Race Unity Day is organized by Bahá’í National Spiritual Assembly, it is neither a religious event nor a Bahá’í holy day. The holiday is celebrated all over the world as an extension of Bahá’í beliefs and principles of racial harmony and as an appeal to the larger society to promote a loving embrace of the social reality of ever-increasing racial diversity. The holiday is not a holy day in the traditional sense but it can be regarded as a day that contributes to what some scholars call ‘civil religion’ as part of cultural ideas that keep evolving.

Racism is not just applicable in cultural settings, it also applies to legal, economic, or political institutions and systems that engage in racial discrimination or encourage inequalities due to race in education, wealth, and civil rights. With the introduction of critical race theory which was an extension of the critical legal studies movement, institutional or systemic racism became a focus of scholarly studies in the 1980s. Since the late 20th Century, the concept of biological race has been acknowledged as a cultural fabrication with no scientific foundation.

Race Unity Day timeline

19th Century
Racial Ideas Spread

Racial ideas develop and spread around the world in different countries — later, to be discredited completely.

1950s
The Civil Rights Movement

The Civil Rights Movement gradually eliminates racial segregation and discrimination in the U.S.

1965
Race Amity Day

The name changes from Race Amity Day to Race Unity Day.

2010
The Race Unity Rally

Bahá'í’s in Illinois assist in sponsoring the 13th annual Race Unity Rally at the state capital.

Race Unity Day FAQs

Is unity important in a country?

Unity is the most important factor that contributes to the overall development of a country.

Why is unity important in school?

Unity is a critical value in the development of a successful institution and a better nation.

What is the power of unity?

The power of unity is that once a group of people is united, they can work together to accomplish many great things.

How to Observe Race Unity Day

  1. Educate yourself

    You can celebrate this holiday by spending the day educating yourself about other races and cultures. Understanding other people’s cultures will bring you closer to them and would make you realize how similar we all are.

  2. Join up with diverse groups

    Check your community for any educational or socially diverse group that you can join. Joining a diverse group and being on a team with people of different backgrounds will allow you to better understand people from different backgrounds and cultures.

  3. Throw an interracial party

    You might not be able to find an interracial group to join, so another way of being in the midst of people from different races is to throw an interracial party. A party is always a good idea to get people to let their guards down and have fun.

5 Sobering Facts About Racism

  1. Black students face prejudice

    In the U.S., Black students represented 15% of the total student enrollment in the 2015 to 2016 school year, yet accounted for 31% of students arrested.

  2. Police stops mostly involve Black people

    In 2018, 80% of the police stops involved Black and Latino people.

  3. More students experience racial discrimination

    According to a U.S. survey, 15.8% of students experience race-based harassment.

  4. White Americans don’t get arrested as much

    White Americans are less likely to get arrested than Black Americans.

  5. Racism affects job opportunities too

    People with white-sounding names are called for interviews more often than people with black-sounding names.

Why Race Unity Day is Important

  1. It promotes racial unity

    Race Unity Day aims to promote harmony among different races. It is a day that reminds us that regardless of our race, we can all live and co-exist as one.

  2. It has a long history

    This holiday has been celebrated since 1957. The Bahá'í National Spiritual Assembly has long known the importance of unity among different races.

  3. It promotes peace

    Racial harmony will improve the peace in the land which will hasten the development of the country. This holiday raises awareness of the importance of racial harmony.

Race Unity Day dates

YearDateDay
2022June 12Sunday
2023June 11Sunday
2024June 9Sunday
2025June 8Sunday
2026June 14Sunday

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