UFCW Canada Human Rights, Equity and Diversity Calendar

January 29—National Day of Remembrance of 2017 Islamophobic Attack in Quebec: On January 29th we remember the six worshippers who lost their lives due to a terrorist attack at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City. In profiling this event, we affirm that Islamophobia, racism and xenophobia have no place in our society and we stand in solidarity with the survivors and families of the victims. 

February — Black History Month: A month to recognize the struggles of African peoples for freedom and emancipation. All throughout the month of February the contributions of Black heroes are highlighted to remind the world of the ingenuity and great civilization built by the people of the African descent.

February 14 — Have a Heart Day: An initiative of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, this advocacy-driven initiative reminds the federal government of their unmet commitment to close the funding gap between Indigenous children on-reserve and the rest of Canada. 

February 14 — Women’s Memorial March: On this day we honour women who lost their lives due to gender-based violence. It’s also a reminder of the ongoing tragedy of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

February 24—Pink Shirt Day: As a global movement, Pink Shirt day is an annual day of observance celebrated internationally and established by the CKNW Kids’ Fund, based out of Burnaby, British Columbia.  Individuals are encouraged to wear pink on this date and take a stand against bullying. 

March 8 — International Women’s Day: On this day we acknowledge the important contributions of women to our society and renew our commitment to ending patriarchal systems of oppression.

March 21 — International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: Commemorated by the UN in 1966, this day marks the horror of the Sharpeville Massacre in apartheid South Africa. On this day we remember the atrocities perpetrated by racism and work toward a world where everyone in the human family is valued.

March 22—World Water Day:Recognized by the UN since 1993, the day calls attention to the value of water across global communities and highlights issues that challenge equitable access to water specifically amongst First Nation communities.

April 4 — Refugee Rights Day: This day commemorates the historic ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada (Singh decision) which fully protects the rights of refugees under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

April 10 — Equal Pay Day: This day recognizes the additional months and days a woman must work to make what a male counterpart earns in just 12 months. It’s a call to end gender-discrimination in pay and a reminder that gender equality cannot be achieved without pay equity.

2nd Wednesday of April — International Day of Pink: This day is internationally recognized as the day to stop and call-out bullying, heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. By wearing a pink t-shirt on the second Wednesday of April, we show our solidarity in the fight to stop bullying.

April 22—International Mother Earth Day:The date was designated by the UN in 2009 to raise awareness about the earth, its ecosystems and the challenges faced with climate change.

May—Asian/South Asian Heritage Month:Celebrated since the 1990s, the month of observance was officially designated by the Government of Canada in 2002. In this month we acknowledge the contribution of Asian and South Asian Canadians and learn about the diversity and barriers that impede full equity.

May 1 — International Workers Day: Affectionately known as May Day, this day is recognized across the world in celebration of workers’ collective victories in the struggle for decent work and respect on the job.

May 4-10—Mental Health Week: Promoted by the Canadian Mental Health Association, the week has been observed since 1951. It calls attention to the stigma that surrounds mental illness and promotes good mental health.

May 17 — International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia: On this internationally recognized day, activists around the world speak out against LGBTQI2S discrimination.

June — National Indigenous Peoples Month: The Spring months are marked as a time of renewal in Indigenous cultures and this offers an opportunity for Canadian society to renew our commitment to reconciliation. Spring ceremonies across First Nation communities ensures the delicate balance required to sustain life is preserved for each coming generation.          

June 11—National Day of Reconciliation:On June 11, 2008, the Canadian Federal government officially apologized to Indian residential school survivors and their families for the creation of the Indian residential school system. The apology led to the formation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

June 21 — National Indigenous Peoples Day: This day recognizes the rich culture and traditions of First Nation, Metis and Inuit peoples across Canada. Celebrations are held across the country culminating in spectacular festivities on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Indigenous Peoples and Canadians are encouraged to use this opportunity to renew their commitment to reconciliation in a way that promotes mutual understanding and restitution.

Pride Season— Over the Summer months Pride festivities colour most metropolitan areas across the country and UFCW Canada has been a consistent ally in the celebrations. From coast to coast to coast, UFCW Canada coordinates Pride involvement and members can be assured their union stands shoulder to shoulder in the march for LGBTQI2S rights and recognition.

August 9 — International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples: This day recognizes the lasting impression of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP): a historic step in the recognition of Indigenous self-determination. As a universally applied set of principles the document calls on all nations to support the development of self-determination to ensure the prosperity of Indigenous peoples.

September 21-25—Gender Equality Week: With the passing of Bill C-309 on June 21, 2018, Gender Equality Week calls attention to the progress made in Canada towards advancing gender equality.

September 23—Bi Visibility Day: Bi Visibility day is also known as International Celebrate Bisexuality Day. It has been observed since 1993, is about strengthening connections between members of the bisexual community, and also calls attention to the biphobia stigma that continues to harm this community.

September 28 — Orange Shirt Day: This day commemorates all victims of abuse during the residential school era in Canada when Indigenous children were forcibly removed from their communities in order to (as Sir John A. MacDonald regarded), “Kill the Indian in the child.” Survivors and supporters don orange shirts in solidarity with those who suffer the intergenerational legacy of the residential school system.

October — Women’s History Month: This month we commemorate the countless ways women contribute to our society and recommit ourselves to achieving substantive equality for all women.

October 4 — Sisters in Spirit Vigil: On this day communities across Canada gather to honour the spirits of all the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. We remember them by calling their name and committing ourselves to ending the vulnerability of Indigenous women across Canada.

October 10 — World Mental Health Day: This day is observed to raise awareness of mental health issues and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health initiatives.

October 11—National Coming Out Day (NCOD): NCOD was started following the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Allies. It celebrates LGBTQ+ identities and affirms that when people know someone who is LGBTQ+, they are more likely to vote for legislation that is inclusive of gender diverse persons.

October 12-16—A Week Without Gender Violence (YWCA Campaign): With a 20-plus-year history, this week is part of a global YWCA movement to end violence against women and girls. It's also an opportunity to share stories and advocate for continued actions to end violence.

October 17 — International Day for the Eradication of Poverty: On this day we recognize the struggles of impoverished peoples to live out dignified lives and take up the call to eradicate poverty in our society.

October 26—Intersex Awareness Day: Intersex Awareness Day highlights the barriers faced by intersex persons, including stigma. It presents an opportunity to dispel myths about what it means to be intersex and calls for advocacy.

November 20—Transgender Day of Remembrance: Observed since 1999, the date honours lives lost due to acts of anti-transgender violence.It can take the form of vigils, demonstrations or awareness raising actions about existing barriers.

November 25—International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women Background: The UN General Assembly designated this date in the year 2000 to spark conversation, advocacy and action by organizations and grassroots movements towards ending violence against women and girls.

December 1—World AIDS Day:Observed since 1988, the global movement is an opportunity to unite in the fight against HIV, support persons living with HIV, remember those whose lives were cut short due to HIV/AIDS and raise awareness about this disease.

December 3 — International Day of Persons with Disabilities: This day was first observed in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly and has been adopted as the day to recognize the struggles of Disabled peoples to fully participate in society. Persons with Disabilities continue to bear the burden of exclusion with many unable to live independent lives as barriers persist with discriminatory employment practices. On this day we commit to the full inclusion of disabled peoples as active members of our communities.

December 6 — National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women: This day commemorates the 14 women who lost their lives due to gender-based violence in 1989 at the École Polytechnique de Montréal. Vigils are held across the country to remember the horrors inflicted by gender-based violence as we commit to confronting and stopping it in our communities.

December 10 — Human Rights Day: On this day we commemorate the 1948 United Nations adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This milestone document enshrined the basic rights of all peoples and has since inspired human rights tribunals and systems of administration to promote human dignity as a baseline universal concept.

December 18—International Migrants Day:Proclaimed by the UN General Assembly since 2000, the date honours the efforts and rights ofmigrants across the world and calls for continued protections for migrants.