Diversity and Difference
The Dean of Students Office Recognizes Important Events in May
World Press Freedom Day
World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO's General Conference. Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights states that everyone "has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to see, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers." World Press Freedom Day is celebrated on May 3rd, the date on which the Windhoek Declaration was adopted which emphasized the need of a free press for developing and maintaining democracy and for economic development. It is an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, assess the state of press freedom throughout the world, defend the media from attacks on their independence, and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Check out 30 Days of Freedom, a project that profiles the plight of 30 journalists currently imprisoned for their work.
Cinco De Mayo
Not Mexico's Independence Day, as is commonly thought, this festival celebrates the victory of the Mexican army over the French at the battle of Puebla. The French loss forced them to withdraw support for the Confederate Army (then embroiled in the American Civil War), contributing to the victory of the Union troops.
For more on the History Of Cinco De Mayo: Battle Of Puebla.
Day of Vesak
"Vesak", the Day of the Full Moon in the month of May. It represents the birth, the Nirvana (enlightenment) and the Parinirvana (death) of Gautama Buddha and is the most significant day of the Buddhist calendar. The Day of Vesak acknowledges the contribution that Buddhism, one of the oldest religions in the world, has made for over two and a half millennia and continues to make to the spirituality of humanity.
"From the Buddhist point of view, therefore, the purpose of life is to put an end to suffering and to realize peace and real happiness" - Read more about the significance of Vesak
World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue & Development
This day provides us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to learn to live together better.
On 5 May 2014, the UN General Assembly held a day-long debate on culture and sustainable development. Speakers underscored how culture, in its manifold expressions ranging from cultural heritage to creative industries, from sustainable tourism to cultural infrastructure, drives and enables the social, environmental and economic pillars of sustainable development.
In 2011, a grassroots campaign 'Do One Thing For Diversity and Inclusion', was launched by UNESCO and the UN Alliance of Civilizations. By encouraging people and organizations from around the world to take concrete action to support diversity, the campaign aims to: -Raise awareness worldwide about the importance of intercultural dialogue, diversity and inclusion.
To build a world community of individuals committed to support diversity with real and every day-life gestures. -To combat polarization and stereotypes to improve understanding and cooperation among people from different cultures.
Visit their facebook page
May 31 through June 2nd
Dragon Boat Holiday
The festival occurs on the fifth day of the fifth month on the Chinese lunar calendar. Many believe that the Dragon Boat Festival originated in ancient China. Legend has it that the holiday honors the tragic death of Qu Yuan, who died in 288 BC.
At the time of Warring States, Qu Yuan was the minister of the state. The King was captured during fighting and in honor and remembrance of the old King, Chu Yuan wrote a poem called "Li Soa." This angered the new King. Qu Yuan's wisdom and intellectual ways antagonized other court officials, thus they accused him of false charges of conspiracy and was exiled by the king.
During his exile, Qu Yuan composed many poems to express his anger and sorrow towards his sovereign and people. Instead of leaving his beloved country, Qu Yuan attached a heavy stone to his chest and threw himself into the Mi-Lo River, at the age of 61.
The people of Chu tried to save him believing that Qu Yuan was an honorable man; they searched desperately in their boats looking for Qu Yuan but were unable to save him. Every year the Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated to commemorate this attempt at rescuing Qu Yuan.
Asian-Pacific Heritage Month
May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month - a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. A rather broad term, Asian-Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island).
The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.
This year, the theme "I Am Beyond" is intended to capture the aspirations of the American spirit and how Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander descent have always sought to excel beyond the challenges that have limited equal opportunity in America. You can share your unique story using #IAMBEYOND on social media.
Check it out!
Presidential Proclamation on Asian-Pacific Heritage Month