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Diversity and Difference

Diversity and Difference

The Dean of Students Office Recognizes Important Events in February

February 7th
Winter Olympics Starts

The symbol of the Olympic Games is 5 interlocking rings of various colors, which combined showcase the colors of all nations. The emblem of the union was 2 interlaced rings and originally was the idea of psychologist, Carl Jung. The Olympics themselves can be seen as a symbol for cooperation and peace of all nations in the world.

February 8th
Parinirvana- Nirvana Day (Buddhist)

Observed by many Mahayana Buddhists, Parinirvana celebrates the day in which Buddha achieved complete Nirvana, upon the physical death of his body. It is an important day to think about one's own future death. Observances can include reading from the Nirvana Sutra, meditation, or visits to the Buddhist temples and monasteries.

February 14th
St. Valentine's Day (Christian)

Who is St. Valentine? One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first "valentine" greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl--possibly his jailor's daughter--who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed "From your Valentine," an expression that is still in use today.

Check out more on the origins of valentine's day and traditions!

February 19th
Day of Remembrance (For incarcerated Japanese Americans of WWII)

February 19th is a day of commemorating the Japanese American internment during World War II. The day takes significance as the date that Executive Order 9066 was signed, requiring internment of all U.S. residents of Japanese ancestry. Over 110,000 people of Japanese heritage were forced to live in "War Relocation Camps" as a reaction to Imperial Japan's attach on Pearl Harbor in which they suffered extensively for two years.

February 20th
United Nations World Day of Social Justice

Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations. We uphold the principles of social justice when we promote gender equality or the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants. We advance social justice when we remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, or disability.

"As we seek to build the world we want, let us intensify our efforts to achieve a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable development path build on dialogue, transparency, and social justice." – United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

February 21st
International Mother Language Day

This 21 February 2014 marks the fifteenth International Mother Language Day to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The day was established in 1999 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the day has been celebrated across the globe since February 2000.

International Mother Language Day aims to promote linguistic and cultural diversity, as well as multilingualism. On the day, the International Symposium on Translation and Cultural Mediation will be held to discuss preserving and developing our heritage and spreading awareness of our mother tongues in order to encourage diversity and even inspire us to take up learning a new language!

February 24
Estonia Independence Day

On 24 February 1918, Estonia issued a declaration of independence from the new Soviet Russia, which was followed by a war with the Soviets to maintain Estonian liberty. On 2 February 1920, the war ended with the Tartu Peace Treaty which guaranteed Estonia's independence for all time. The Soviets went on to break this pact, however, and Estonia was under Soviet control for 75 years. Estonians celebrate their Independence Day with a parade, church services, speeches, and concerts in the capital city, Tallinn

February 28th
Taiwan Peace Memorial Day

On this day we commemorate the 228 Incident or 228 Massacre in which more than ten thousands of Taiwanese were killed while thousands others were imprisoned on 28 February 1947. This incident caused uproar among the citizens who were fed up with the corruption of the government that many people should depend on black market items to make living. On the next day, people gathered outside the police station to express their opposition of the incident. Feeling pressured by the act, the officers fired upon the mass. The situation became worse when groups of soldiers arrived from mainland China and started firing people at random. Although there is no evidence, many people believe that about 10,000 until 30,000 people were died at that time.

228 Massacre became forbidden topic in Taiwan for several decades. Only in 1995, President Lee Tung Hui touched the topic and apologized to every family member of the victims on behalf of the government. The date of 228 Incident was then acknowledged as a public holiday while monuments were built and Taipei New Park was renamed with 228 Memorial Park as a commemoration of the incident.

Black History Month

Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of "Negro History Week," the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans.

The story of Black History Month begins in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. That September, the Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and the prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), an organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by black Americans and other peoples of African descent. Known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the group sponsored a national Negro History week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

At mid–century, mayors of cities nationwide issued proclamations noting Negro History Week. The Black Awakening of the 1960s dramatically expanded the consciousness of African Americans about the importance of black history, and the Civil Rights movement focused Americans of all color on the subject of the contributions of African Americans to our history and culture. President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history."

Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. On January 31, President Obama proclaimed, once more, February as African American History Month This year the theme "Civil Rights in America", affirms that we celebrate historic achievements and persons, well-known and unknown, who fought to secure rights long denied. But as we hail our successes as a nation, we must also acknowledge that there is more work to be done.

Sourced from:

Online Collections of African Americans in Culture, Politics, Military, Performance Arts and much more!

David Gilmore: WWII Veteran recalls fighting for his country and not being able to come back home

Civil Rights Act of 1964

Rosa Parks wasn't the first to refuse bus segregation

Jackie Robinson Shatters the Tradition of Segregation in Major League Baseball

Separate But Not Equal

African American Writers, Artists, and Intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance

Contact Information

If you would like to be included in future profiles on this site, please contact Josh Cooper at

Updated 3/10/14

News & Events Archives

Sep/Oct 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

Nov/Dec 2013

October 2013
National Coming Out Day, October 11

June 2013
Pride Month

March 2013
Recognizing Women's History Month

February 2013
Recognizing Cultural Ethnic Differences

November 2012
Recognizing our Military Community

October 2012
National Coming Out Day, October 11
Disabilities Awareness Month

September 2012
Hispanic Heritage Month

June 2012
Pride Month and Haitian Flag Day

February 2012
African American/Black History Month

November 2011
Recognizing our Military Community

September 2011
Hispanic Heritage Month

June 2011
Equality Month

March 2011
Women's History Month

February 2011
African American/Black History Month

January 2011
Happy New Year!

November 2010
Recognizing Student Veterans

October 2010
National Coming Out Day, October 11

September 2010
Hispanic Heritage Month

Recognizing Ramadan

June 2010
Equality Month

May 2010
Older American's Month

March 2010
Women's History Month

February 2010
African American/Black History Month

November 2009
The Office of Multicultural Affairs recognizes our student veterans and military during the month of November

October 2009
National Coming Out Day: October 11th and Disability Awareness Month: October

September 2009
Hispanic Heritage Month

The Changing Face of Immigration: Legal Debates, Controversies and the Implications for Clinical Practice (PDF)

May 2009
Weil Grant Training: Leading Culturally Sensitive Parent Education Support Group

April 2009
Latino Mental Health Professional Networking Evening

Diversity Training: Hurricane Katrina Disaster Victims

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