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Notable International and National Human Rights Events and Diversity Holidays for the Month

Information from a calendar of annual human rights observances on the Morgantown City website and from Diversity Resources.

September: Hispanic Heritage Month
Celebrated from September 15 – October 15, Hispanic Heritage Month honors the rich culture, history, and contributions of Americans with roots in the Caribbean, Spain, Mexico, Central, and South America. It was first established in 1968 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. September 15 is significant as it is the anniversary of the independence of many Central American countries.

September: National Recovery Month
Starting in 1989, this national observance is intended to promote and support treatment and recovery practices. In 2022, the theme “Every Person. Every Family. Every Community” was adopted as a permanent tagline, reflecting the ongoing commitment to helping anyone struggling with addiction and fostering recovery nationwide.

September 4: Labor Day
Celebrates the historic struggles of workers in the United States to achieve safer working conditions, shorter hours, and humane restrictions on child labor while contributing to productive economies.

September 6: Arbaeen
Also meaning 40th day, Arabaeen marks the 40th day after the Day of Ashura when Hussain ibn Ali, a revolutionary leader fighting for social justice, was killed during the Battle of Karbala. It is believed on this day that Hussain’s family returned home to honor and mourn those lost during the battle. Large marches are conducted to symbolize the impact of his revolution on the future of his people.

September 8: International Literacy Day
Supports awareness of the importance of persons being able to read and write in order to participate in today’s economic, legal, health and social environments.

September 15-17: HeForShe
Initiated by the United Nations, this movement advocates for gender equality. Its mission is to unite people of all genders in the pursuit of equality for all.

September 17: Constitution Day and Citizenship Day
Commemorates the ratification in 1787 of the United States Constitution, the organization of government, and rights of citizenship. Also honors all who have become United States citizens.

September 21: International Day of Peace
Calls for continual working for peace and reduction of use of violence in attempting to solve problems among individuals and all levels of human interaction.

August 12: International Youth Day
Celebrates young people and the integral role they play to create a world fit for children.

August 23: International Day for the Remembrance of Slave Trade and Its Abolition
Memorializes the tragedy of the transatlantic slave trade, coinciding with the anniversary of the uprising in Santa Domingo (today Haiti and the Dominican Republic) that initiated its abolition. Tragically other forms of slavery still persist today.

August 26: Womens' Equality Day
This important day marks the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment, which prohibits states and the federal government from preventing women from voting. In 1972, President Nixon issued the Proclamation for the first official Women’s Equality Day.

August 30: International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance
A day to promote taking a stand against secret imprisonment, forced disappearance and abduction and placing persons in any situation without access to relatives and/or legal representation.

August 31: International Day of People of African Descent
A day designated by the United Nations to celebrate the contributions, achievements, and cultural heritage of people of African descent worldwide. It aims to combat racial discrimination and raise awareness of the challenges they face in society.

Religious Holidays for the Month

Information from a calendar of diversity events from Diversity Resources.

September 15 – 17: Rosh Hashanah
The Jewish New Year is celebrated with reflection, worship, and meals among family and friends. It is observed on the first and second days of the month Tishrei, the first month in the Jewish calendar.

September 24 – 25: Yom Kippur
It is one of the two main Jewish High Holy Days. Occurring on the 10th of the month of Tishrei, it focuses on repentance and atonement. Fasting and intense prayer are common during this religious observance.

September 26 – 27: Mawlid al-Nabi
The birthday of the Prophet Muhammad is celebrated on the 12th day of Rabi’ al-Awwal.

September 29 – October 6: Sukkot
This week is dedicated to the Israelites that spent time in the wild in huts, or sukkahs, after they were freed from slavery in Egypt.

September 29 – October 14
Pitru Paksha : These 16 Hinduism holy days are dedicated to offering prayers and food for the souls of Hindu ancestors. It is seen as a way to honor and repay the debt (dharma) owed to ancestors for their happiness and well-being.