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DEI holidays to celebrate in October

We’ve curated a list of DEI holidays to celebrate in October. Plus download our 2024 DEI holiday calendar.

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Insights from Ellen Raim, Founder of People MatterWe focus more on solving than preventing People problems.

Are you eagerly anticipating the October DEI holidays? 

At Electives, we are passionate about helping companies establish inclusive work environments and high-performance cultures. With this goal in mind, we compiled a comprehensive list of October holidays you may want to observe throughout your organization.

Download our DEI holidays calendar

Month-long celebrations in October

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual campaign to raise awareness about breast cancer and show support for those who have been affected by breast cancer.

From Electives instructor Myra Sack, here are a few ways to show up and show support during Breast Cancer Awareness Month and throughout the year:

  • Perform an act of kindness for those in your community who have suffered a loss.
  • Actively listen to a patient’s perspective or story.
  • Have conversations with those who are at risk.
  • Provide a safe space for those in your community to be vulnerable.

Other ways you can show your support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month include:

  • Donate to breast cancer-focused organizations.
  • Wear pink or display your pink Breast Cancer Awareness Month ribbon throughout October.
  • Share facts and statistics that encourage preventative screenings.

Filipino-American History Month

Filipino American History Month commemorates the first recorded presence of Filipinos in the continental U.S. (October 1587) and celebrates the impact of Filipino culture on American history.

German-American Heritage Month

German-American Heritage Month celebrates the founding of Germantown, PA and the societal contributions made by German-Americans.

Global Diversity Awareness Month

Global Diversity Awareness Month celebrates how our different cultures, ethnicities, abilities, experiences and other attributes contribute to more inclusive, dynamic and innovative workplaces.

Italian-American Heritage Month

Italian-American Heritage Month celebrates Italian-American culture and its contributions and achievements.

LGBTQ+ History Month

The LGBTQ+ community stands out as one of the only global communities whose history remains largely untaught in homes, public schools and religious institutions. LGBTQ+ History Month is a time to honor the remarkable accomplishments of the LGBTQ+ community.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a time to educate and discuss disability employment issues and celebrate the contributions of workers with disabilities.

Polish-American Heritage Month

National Polish American Heritage Month celebrates Polish-American culture and its impact on American society.

Download our DEI holidays calendar

Additional October DEI holidays

October 1

International Day of Older Persons

According to the U.N., the number of older persons worldwide is expected to at least double over the next 30 years. International Day of Older Persons recognizes the contribution of older adults to society while working to protect their rights.

October 3-4*

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah, from sundown on Wednesday, October 2 to sundown on Friday, October 4, is the Jewish New Year and the holiday that begins the 10 days of introspection and repentance known as the Days of Awe. Rosh Hashanah is one of the two High Holy Days in the Jewish religion.

October 10

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day raises awareness of mental health issues and encourages efforts to make mental health care accessible for all.

October 11

National Coming Out Day

National Coming Out Day celebrates individuals who have come out as LGBTQ+. It was established on the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.

October 12*

Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is one of the two High Holy Days in the Jewish faith, and it marks the end of a period of introspection and repentance that follows Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Many celebrate by fasting for 25 hours and participating in a special religious service. This year, Yom Kippur begins on the evening of Friday, October 11 and ends on the evening of Saturday, October 12.

October 14

Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Indigenous People's Day, celebrated on the second Monday of October, honors and celebrates the histories and cultures of America’s first inhabitants.

October 16

Pronouns Day

Celebrated on the third Wednesday of October, Pronouns Day seeks to educate individuals about personal pronouns and the importance of sharing and respecting individual choices.

National Boss’ Day

Leadership isn’t easy. That’s why this day is dedicated to showing appreciation and recognition to the hardworking bosses, managers and leaders in your organization.

October 19

LGBTQ+ Spirit Day

LGBTQ+ Spirit Day is a way to celebrate LGBTQ+ youth by showing allegiance and speaking up against bullying in the queer community. People are encouraged to wear purple on LGBTQ+ Spirit Day.

October 24

Dussehra / Vijaya Dashami

Dussehra / Vijaya Dashami is a significant Hindu holiday. The festival celebrates the defeat of King Ravan by Lord Ram, referenced in the Hindu text “The Ramayana."

October 31

Halloween

Halloween originated as a Celtic festival when people wore costumes to ward off ghosts. Today, Halloween is one of the most loved holidays for children across the U.S.

Diwali

Known as the “Festival of Lights,” Diwali is a Hindu holiday celebrating the “triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance and good over evil” according to National Geographic. While Diwali takes place on October 31, the festival spans five days: October 28-November 2. Each day of the festival has a specific purpose and celebration.

*Indicates a holiday that begins at sundown the day prior.

Download our DEI holidays calendar

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