UFCW Canada Human Rights, Equity and Diversity Calendar

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.

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.

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, heterosexim, 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.

Month of May — Asian Heritage Month: The month of May is an opportunity to recognize the important contributions of Asian Canadians in founding Canada’s rich history of diversity, within our cultural mosaic. 

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 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 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 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 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.

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.