For the last edition of the Library Newsletter for the Fall 2022 semester, we thought we’d write a traditional end-of-year story highlighting the religious and secular celebrations that we will be marking in the coming weeks. But while compiling that piece, we happened across several diversity calendars, including an excellent Calendar of Observances from the Anti-Defamation League.
We were struck that December is not just a month for gathering with family and loved ones in celebration. It is also a time when people throughout the world mark the struggles of those who are discriminated against or marginalized and commit to doing their part to make things better.
Below, find MacPhaidin Library’s December diversity calendar featuring information about a host of commemorative events that will be observed this month and library resources that will enable you to learn more about the issues surrounding them.
Dec. 1 – World AIDS Day - First observed in 1988, World AIDS Day is a day to unite to help end HIV and remember those lost to AIDS-related illnesses. The library has a rich collection of resources about the fight against AIDS. On streaming media watch Killing Patient Zero and Never Silent: My Life in Activism by Peter Staley.
Dec. 2 – International Day for the Abolition of Slavery - Established by the UN General Assembly, the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery focuses on “eradicating contemporary forms of slavery, such as trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, the worst forms of child labor, forced marriage, and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict”. To learn more about these topics check out Blood and Earth : Modern Slavery, Ecocide, and the Secret to Saving the World, Feminism and Women’s Rights Worldwide, and Child Soldiers: From Recruitment to Integration.
Dec. 3 – International Day of Persons with Disabilities - The theme of this year’s event is “Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era”. Organizers explain that theme recognizes that people who live with disabilities are among the most affected populations amid the COVID pandemic. One book in our collection, The New Common: How the Covid-19 Pandemic is Transforming Society, includes a section on how the pandemic caused unique challenges for those with intellectual disabilities.
Dec. 10 - International Human Rights Day – Each year, this day is set aside to mark the 1948 signing of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For more on international human rights, read Women and the UN : A New History of Women's International Human Rights or watch Improving Human Rights: A Conversation with Emilie Hafner-Burton.
Dec. 15 – Bill of Rights Day – The Bill of Rights Day was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on December 15, 1941. You can also learn more about this celebration on the National Archives website. For reading material on current debates over civil rights, consider: Must We Defend Nazis? : Why the First Amendment Should Not Protect Hate Speech and White Supremacy, That Every Man be Armed : The Evolution of a Constitutional Right, and None of Your Damn Business : and Privacy in the United States from the Gilded Age to the Digital Age.
Check on the calendar’s below for more heritage celebrations and days of remembrance. We will be keeping tabs on what’s happening and bring you information and resources about these events in future newsletters.
Whatever you observe and celebrate this holiday season, we wish you a joyous break and a Happy New Year.