DEI Commemorative Dates

April 2024 DEI Commemorative Dates

April is a month of remembrance, celebration, and acceptance with the whole month dedicated to occasions such as Genocide Remembrance, Condemnation and Prevention Month, Sikh Heritage Month, and Autism Acceptance Month. This month presents great opportunities for DEI practitioners to participate and make a difference in their communities.

Other Important Days This Month:

Genocide Remembrance, Condemnation and Prevention Month

Genocide is any act committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. It is our shared responsibility to listen to the stories of the genocide survivors to ensure history does not repeat itself. This month and every month forward, we remember the lives lost to this crime in human history.

Sikh Heritage Month

Sikh Heritage Month is more than a celebration of Sikh culture; it’s a powerful platform for dialogue, understanding, and mutual respect. We celebrate the present and look forward to a future of continued resilience and unity. In April, the Sikhs will celebrate Vaisakhi. Food or “Langar” is cooked and served by the members of the Sikh community.

Autism Acceptance Month

In 2021,  the narrative has shifted from Autism Awareness to Autism Acceptance. The change represents a long-held belief by Autism and neurodiversity advocates that helping Autistic people lead more fulfilling lives, rather than treating the condition like an illness, is the appropriate approach. The power of words plays a crucial role in promoting acceptance for individuals with autism.

2nd April: World Autism Acceptance Day

This month is about acceptance and helps bring the autism community together with walks and events that help autistic children and their families get to know each other. Also, it helps put a focus on the autistic individuals themselves, as well as the groups that support them, their families, and their support systems. Acceptance is not just about education, but also understanding and respecting the differences with people with autism.

4th April: Refugee Rights Day

Refugee Rights Day marks the anniversary of the Singh Decision in 1985. The Singh Decision guarantees life, liberty, security and humanity for refugees in Canada.

7th April: World Health Day

The theme of this year’s World Health Day is My Health, My Right. This year’s theme was chosen to champion the right of everyone, everywhere to have access to quality health services, education, and information, as well as safe drinking water, clean air, good nutrition, quality housing, decent working and environmental conditions, and freedom from discrimination.

9th April: Equal Pay Day

This day symbolizes how far into the next year the average woman must work to have earned what the average man had earned in the previous year. The pay gap affects women differently. Women in Ontario face a 32% pay gap, but if you are a woman with disabilities, an immigrant, Indigenous or racialized, it’s much wider.

9th April: Ugadi (Hindu)

The word “Ugadi” is a combination of two words – “Yuga” (age) and “Adi” (beginning). People celebrate the day by wearing new clothes and indulging in delicious local delicacies. Prayers are offered in temples to welcome the new year while people clean their homes and decorate them with Rangolis – a traditional way to decorate floors by creating patterns with flower petals or coloured rice.

9th April: Eid al-Fitr

Many Muslims in Canada celebrate Eid al-Fitr as it marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan and the start of a three-day feast. Muslims celebrate with their finest clothes and decorate their homes with lights and other decorations.

13th April: Sinhalese New Year (Sri Lanka)

According to Sinhalese astrology, the New Year begins when the sun moves from  Meena Rashiya (the house of Pisces) to Mesha Rashiya (the house of Aries). It also marks the end of the harvest season and of spring.

13th April: Vaisakhi (Hinduism and Sikhism)

Celebrated amongst the Hindus and Sikhs, Vaisakhi is a spring harvest festival. This day calls for a visit to Gurudwara where devotees offer their services for preparing for a holy feast known as “Langar.”

10th April: International Day of Pink

This day was initiated in 2007 when a teenager faced homophobic bullying at a Nova Scotia high school for wearing a pink shirt. Every year, on the second Tuesday of April, stand in solidarity with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community to continue fighting for equality and acceptance by wearing a pink shirt.

21st April: World Creativity and Innovation Day

This year’s theme is “Step Out and Innovate.” The world is invited to embrace the idea that innovation is essential for harnessing the economic potential of nations. Creative industries such as audiovisual products, design, new media, performing arts, publishing and visual arts – are a highly transformative sectors of the world economy such as income generation, job creation, and much more.

22nd April: Earth Day

The very first Earth Day was on April 22nd, 1970. The goal is to end plastics for the sake of human and planetary health, demanding a 60% reduction in the production of all plastics by 2040. The theme is Planet vs. Plastics, a call for awareness of the health risks of plastics, phasing out single-use plastics, and pushing for a strong UN Treaty on plastic pollution.

22nd April: Passover (Judaism)

Passover is a festival of freedom. It commemorates the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt and their transition from slavery to freedom. Passover seder occurs on the first two nights of the holiday which is a festive meal that includes the re-telling of the Exodus through stories, songs, and the consumption of ritual foods such as matzah and maror.

25th April: International Girls in ICT Day (Information and Communications Technology)

This day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in April to create awareness of the need for more girls and women in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector. This year’s theme is “Digital Skills for Life” to promote technological proficiency.

26th April: Lesbian Visibility Day

This day is dedicated to raising awareness about the issues and challenges faced by lesbians and to celebrate their contributions to society. Lesbian Visibility Day serves as a reminder that despite the progress made in recent years, there is still work to be done to achieve equality for all.

28th April: World Day for Safety and Health at Work

This annual day promotes the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally. The awareness campaign is to highlight the magnitude of the problem and how promoting and creating a safety and health culture can help reduce the number of work-related deaths and injuries.

28th April: National Day of Mourning

Every year on April 28th, Canada observes the National Day of Mourning which commemorates workers who have been killed, injured or suffered illness due to workplace hazards and occupational hazards. This day became a national observance in 1990.


How You Can Show Up for Communities This Month

Showing up for equity-deserving communities is essential this month and every month beyond. This month presents opportunities for community action. Showing up is a great, cost-effective way to actively participate in making a difference! Here are a few ways you could participate:

  • Educate yourself with learnings that can be found on our Instagram and LinkedIn
  • Attend events and workshops in your local area or online
  • Volunteer your time and skills with organizations that serve marginalized communities
  • Donate to relevant organizations

Remember to extend these efforts beyond the month and back them up with consistent actions to scale diversity, equity, and inclusivity in your workspaces and on individual levels!


Categories: Blog / Inclusive Workplace