MLK Community Coalition of Lebanon, Ohio

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June Diversity Calendar

June is Black Music Month. In 1978 producer and composer Kenny Gamble and broadcast executive Ed Wright created Black Music Month. Previously, Gamble had founded the Black Music Association, which established Black Music Month to support and advance black music worldwide. On June 7, 1979, as a result of their efforts, President Jimmy Carter declared the first Black Music Month, and the month has been proclaimed in succeeding years by later presidents. Since its creation in the late 1970s, radio, television, electronic media, music publishing and recording industries, schools, libraries, and other institutions have marked the month with gospel, jazz, rock-n-roll, rhythm and blues, soul, rap, hip hop, reggae, and many other musical genres that have their roots in African and African-American cultures.

June is Caribbean American Heritage Month. Caribbean Heritage Month commemoration was adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2005 to recognize the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States. The resolution passed the Senate in Feb. 2006 and President George H.W. Bush issued the proclamation in June 2006. Since the declaration, the White House has issued an annual proclamation recognizing June as Caribbean-American Heritage Month. This year marks the thirteenth anniversary of June as National Caribbean American Heritage Month. This year's theme is Our Shared History, Our Shared Future. The commemoration of Caribbean American Heritage Month aims to remind Americans that our greatness lies in our diversity. Caribbean immigrants from founding father, Alexander Hamilton, to journalist, Malcolm Gladwell, have helped to shape the American dream.

June is LGBTQ Pride Month United States. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) is celebrated annually in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots and works to achieve equal justice and equal opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) Americans. In June of 1969, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City staged an uprising to resist the police harassment and persecution to which LGBT Americans were commonly subjected. This uprising marks the beginning of a movement to outlaw discriminatory laws and practices against LGBT Americans. Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBT Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that LGBTQ individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.

June 11 to June 13, 2021 (second weekend of June) holds events associated with the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, chiefly in New York City, but now recognized in various other U.S. locations. The parade, held on the second Sunday in June, starts on Fifth Avenue on 44th Street and goes up to 86th Street. It continues to have tremendous attendance, now more than ever due to Puerto Rican Supreme Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor, an influential figure who grew up in the projects in the Bronx. Judge Sotomayor managed to attend Princeton and Yale, going on to become one of the most successful Hispanic women to date in the judicial field in the U.S.

June 12 is Loving Day, which commemorates the date in 1967 that an interracial couple got the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down anti-miscegenation laws in the country. Today, Blacks, whites and others celebrate June 12 as Loving Day throughout the nation.

June 13, 2021 (second Sunday in June) is the “Odunde Festival,” or African New YearThis one-day festival is mostly a street market catered to African American interests and the African diaspora derived from the tradition of the Yoruba people of Nigeria in celebration of the new year. It is centered at the intersection of Grays Ferry Avenue and South Street in Philadelphia, PA. The Odunde festival started in Philly in 1975, established by Lois Fernandez with just $100 in neighborhood donations. Now, this celebration is the largest African celebration on the east coast of the U.S.

June 13, 2021 is known as National Children’s Day in the United States, celebrated annually on the second Sunday in June. A day to honor the children in our lives, National Children’s Day is a time to slow down our fast-paced lives, turn off the tech, and refocus on the important things. Taking one day may not be enough but using it as an opportunity to redirect our family’s focus and bonding can be an important step in a child’s life.

June 15 is Native American Citizenship Day, commemorating the day in 1924 when the U.S. Congress passed legislation recognizing the Citizenship of Native Americans.

June 17 to 18, 2021 is Tisha B’Av, is an annual fast day in Judaism, named for the ninth day (Tisha) of the month of Av in the Hebrew calendar, and usually is in July or August. The fast commemorates the destruction of both the First Temple and Second Temple in Jerusalem, which occurred about 655 years apart, but on the same Hebrew calendar date. Tisha B’Av is never observed on Shabbat. If the 9th of Av falls on a Saturday, the fast is postponed until the 10th of Av. Although this holiday is primarily meant to commemorate the destruction of the Temple, it is appropriate to consider, on this day, the many other tragedies of the Jewish people, many of which occurred on this day, most notably the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 and from England in 1290.

June 19 is Juneteenth, (AKA “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day”) and is observed as a public holiday in 14 U.S. states. This celebration honors the day in 1865 when slaves in Texas and Louisiana finally heard that they were free, two full months after the end of the Civil War. June 19, therefore, became the day of emancipation for thousands of Black U.S. citizens. While most slaves received their freedom after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, slaves in Texas had to wait more than 2.5 years later to receive their freedom — on June 19, 1865 when the Union Army arrived in Galveston ordering that slavery end in the “Lone Star State.” Ever since, African Americans have celebrated that date as “Juneteenth Independence Day.” Juneteenth is an official State Holiday in Texas.

June 19 – 24 is Les Fogueres de Sant Joan (“Bonfires of Saint John”), is a Spanish festival dedicated to fire. It includes events such as the proclamation (The Pregón), the setting up of the bonfires (the Plantà), the procession of the effigies (Cabalgata del Ninot), and parades and processions in different neighborhoods of Alicante in Spain. The main event on the 24th of June is the feast day of Saint John Baptist, when large satirical statues made of cardboard and wood are set alight.

June 20 is World Refugee Day. World Refugee Day is an international day designated by the United Nations to honor refugees around the globe. It falls each year on June 20 and celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. World Refugee Day is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives. World Refugee Day shines a light on the rights, needs and dreams of refugees, helping to mobilize political will and resources so refugees can not only survive but also thrive. While it is important to protect and improve the lives of refugees every single day, international days like World Refugee Day help to focus global attention on the plight of those fleeing conflict or persecution. Many activities held on World Refugee Day create opportunities to support refugees.

June 20 is Father’s Day. The creator of the countrywide celebration of fathers is often considered to be Spokane, Washington, resident Sonora Smart Dodd. Dodd was brought up by her single father, who raised her and her five siblings after their mother died. To honor her father, she wanted to create a holiday that mimicked the already nationally accepted Mother’s Day, and on Sunday, June 19, 1910, she held her Father’s Day celebration. Father’s Day became a national holiday in the U.S. in 1972, when it was officially recognized by President Richard Nixon’s administration, six years after former president Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first Presidential Father’s Day Proclamation in 1966, declaring the third Sunday in June a dedicated day to commemorate dads.

June 23 is Birthday of Haile Selassie (Rastafari), former Emperor of Ethiopia who Rastas considered to be God and their Savior, who would return to Africa the members of the Black community living in exile. The Rastafari movement surfaced in Jamaica among peasant and working-class Black people and was propagated through the Rastas’ interest in reggae music, most notably that of Bob Marley, the Jamaican-born singer and songwriter.

June 23 is International Widows Day, an annual global awareness day launched by the United Nations in 2010 to raise awareness of the violation of human rights that widows suffer in many countries, following the death of their spouses. This day is also an opportunity for action towards achieving full rights and recognition for widows -– too long invisible, uncounted, and ignored.

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