On behalf of the PLTC DE&I Committee, the following represents a list of notable events for April 2022. While it is not possible to cover every event, our hope is to identify a few that might inform your clinical, supervisory, teaching, and leadership efforts in LTC and other settings where you have influence.
Holidays and Observances
The month of April is significant for being Celebrate Diversity Month, Arab-American Heritage Month, Autism Awareness Month, Tartan (Scottish American) Heritage Month, Occupational Therapy Month, Parkinson’s Awareness Month, and National Donate Life Month.
April 2 – Ramadan begins (Muslim): holy month of fasting from dawn to dusk, introspection, and communal prayer (ṣalāt) in the mosque. It is celebrated as the month during which Muhammad received the initial revelations of the Qurʾān. Ramadan, however, is less a period of atonement than it is a time for Muslims to practice self-restraint, in keeping with ṣawm (Arabic: “to refrain”), one of the pillars of Islam.
April 2 – World Autism Awareness Day: United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. This year marks the 15th annual World Autism Awareness Day.
April 7 – International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Rwanda Genocide: established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2003. The date marks the beginning of the genocide perpetrated against members of the Tutsi minority by the Hutu extremist-led government. Within just over 100 days, more than 1 million Tutsi were systematically murdered. Moderate Hutu and others who opposed the massacres were also killed during this period.
April 2 – Hindu New Year: also known as the Vikram Samvat. The current era of Vikram Samvat is believed to have begun in the year 57 BC. This day also marks the end of one agricultural harvest and the beginning of a new one. Festivities may have different names, the activities may vary, and the day may even be celebrated on a different day in different states in India. As a result, there are a host of new year festivities that are unique to various regions in the vast country.
April 8 – National Day of Silence (LGBTQ2+): a national student-led demonstration where LGBTQ2+ students and allies all around the country—and the world—take a vow of silence to spread awareness about the effects of the bullying and harassment of LGBTQ2+ students. The silence symbolically represents the silencing of LGBTQ2+ students.
April 15-23 – Passover (Jewish): commemorates the Hebrews’ liberation from slavery in Egypt and the “passing over,” or the sparing, of the firstborn of the Israelites. On these seven (or eight) days, all leaven, whether in bread or other mixture, is prohibited, and only unleavened bread, called matzo, may be eaten. The matzo symbolizes both the Hebrews’ suffering while in bondage and the haste with which they left Egypt in the course of the Exodus. The festival of Passover is meant to be one of great rejoicing, strict dietary laws must be observed, and special prohibitions might restrict work.
April 17 – Easter (Christian): Christian festival and cultural holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial following his crucifixion.
April 19- Start of Ridván (Baha’i): Riḍván is a twelve-day festival that celebrates the beginnings of the Bahá’í Faith in 1863. It does this by commemorating Bahá’u’lláh’s declaration that he was a Manifestation of God. Ridván means paradise, and is named for the Garden of Ridván outside Baghdad, where Bahá’u’lláh stayed for twelve days, and made this declaration.
April 21-23 – Gathering of Nations (Native American): more than 500 Native tribes meet and celebrate various traditions and cultures. These tribes meet to celebrate their traditions and cultures each year in the largest event for North America’s tribes. This year, the event is returning to in-person.
April 27-28 – Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah): Shoah, which means “catastrophe” or “utter destruction” in Hebrew, refers to the atrocities that were committed against the Jewish people during World War II. Shoah is also known as the Holocaust, from a Greek word meaning “sacrifice by fire.” The Holocaust was the largest manifestation of antisemitism in recent history. Yom HaShoah reminds us of the horrors that Jews and other persecuted groups faced.
April 29 – The Ninth Day of Ridvan (Baha’i): In April of 1863, Baha’u’llah, founder of the Baha’i faith, learned that he had been officially banished from the Ottoman Empire. At the time, both the Persian and the Ottoman governments opposed and feared the rapid spread of Baha’u’llah’s teachings, so they reacted with violence against his followers; at least 20,000 innocent people died as a result. However, the Ottoman government was unable to slow the spread of the Baha’i faith and so they banished the founder and his followers. They ended up near the eastern bank of the Tigris River in the Garden of Ridván. On their Ninth day in the garden, the flooding Tigris receded enough so that Baha’u’llah’s family could cross the river and join him. This reunification of Baha’u’llah’s family inspired the symbolic meaning of the Ninth Day of Ridván.
The PLTC DE&I Committee