On behalf of PLTC’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, we would like to share notable October holidays and dates important to diverse groups we serve in LTC. We hope this list helps inform your clinical, supervisory, teaching, and leadership efforts in LTC and other settings.
October is notable for being a celebration of Filipino-American, Italian-American, Polish-American, and German-American heritages! In addition, other month-long commemorations include:
National Disability Employment Awareness Month is designed around a campaign to raise awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.
National Down Syndrome Awareness Month was established to raise public awareness of Down syndrome, celebrate people’s abilities and accomplishments, and advocate for acceptance and inclusion of people with this common disorder. LGBT
History Montis an observance of LGBT history and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements. It is celebrated in October to commemorate the first and second marches on Washington in 1979 and 1987 for LGBT rights.
October 1: International Day of Older Persons aims to raise awareness about issues that older adults face and the need to ensure that people can grow old with dignity.
October 10: World Mental Health Day focuses on global mental health education, advocacy against social stigma, and awareness about the major effects mental health issues have on peoples’ lives worldwide.
October 11: National Native-American/Indigenous People’s Day celebrates the culture, heritage, and history of Native American people. It is recognized in several states and is gaining popularity in the rest of the nation as a replacement for the Columbus Day holiday. The increasing awareness that colonization by Spain and other European nations spelled disaster for the indigenous peoples has led to a shift in focus toward those who were here in the Americas before Columbus’s time.
October 11: National Coming Out Day is grounded in the liberation movement idea of the “personal being political,” that is, that one of the most basic but powerful tools for activism is to come out and live a life as an openly LGBTQ+ person. Today, the day celebrates the bravery of individuals to speak up and serves as a reminder that homophobia thrives in silence and ignorance: once people know that they have a loved one who is LGBTQ+, they are far less likely to maintain homophobic or oppressive views and instead become a supporter of equality under the law.
October 15: White Cane Safety Day celebrates the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired and the importance of the white cane as an important symbol and tool for independence. White Cane Safety Day laid the precedent for equal rights to access roads for the sighted and the blind. The canes are painted white as a visible indicator for sighted people that the user is visually impaired.
October 17: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty owes its roots to this date in 1987, when over a hundred-thousand people gathered in Paris in a Call to Action for victims of extreme poverty and hunger. Today, the day mobilizes awareness to continue to address issues of global poverty and promote dialogue and understanding among people who live below the poverty line and their communities.
October 20: Birth of Guru Granth Sahib is a holy day in the Sikh religion that commemorates the day the Granth, the scripture considered to be the revealed Word of God, was given its permanent gurudom. Sikhs view it as their perpetual living Guru and guide.
October 21: Spirit Day was started as a way to speak out against a rash of widely publicized bullying-related suicides of LGBTQ+ students in 2010. On this day, millions of Americans wear purple as a sign of support to LGBTQ+ youth and solidarity against anti-LGBTQ+ bullying.
October 22: International Stuttering Awareness Day raises public awareness about stuttering, which affects approximately one percent of the world’s population. The day also serves to let people know that help is available, challenge negative attitudes and discrimination, and celebrate the many notable figures who stutter and have made a mark on the world.