Diversity & Inclusion

ALA Silicon Valley Chapter fosters an environment of awareness and respect.

ALA Silicon Valley Chapter supports the ALA Diversity Initiative's aim to increase awareness of and sensitivity to the differences among our workforce and to advance the concept of inclusiveness and acceptance. ALA’s goal is to increase diversity and inclusion in the Association, in the legal management community, and in all legal service organizations.

 "Diversity is about recognizing, respecting and valuing differences based on ethnicity, gender, color, age, race, religion, disability, national origin and sexual orientation. It also includes an infinite range of individual unique characteristics and experiences, such as communication style, career path, life experience, educational background, geographic location, income level, marital status, military experience, parental status and other variables that influence personal perspectives.

These life experiences and personal perspectives make us react and think differently, approach challenges and solve problems differently, make suggestions and decisions differently, and see different opportunities. Diversity, then, is also about diversity of thought. And superior business performance requires tapping into these unique perspectives."1

Below is a list of resources gathered by ALASVC that we hope will be helpful to our members and the legal community to enhance diversity within our organizations. 

1 Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, Business Case for Diversity

Monthly Spotlight
on Diversity

United States Department of Veterans Affairs
Diversity Calendar

News & Upcoming Events

ALA Diversity & Inclusion Committee developed a new video featuring members talking about diversity and what it means to themALA's Committee for Diversity & Inclusion works to educate legal industry leaders about why diversity is important and how we can work to bring diversity and inclusion to the legal workplace.

SEASONAL CELEBRATIONS & OBSERVANCES

Knowledge of cultural and religious holidays and celebrations may enhance your workplace diversity & inclusion efforts.

Here are some upcoming events you may be able to work into your planning:

January

January 1:
• The last day of Kwanzaa, an African-American holiday started by Maulana Karenga in 1966 to celebrate universal African-American heritage.
• New Year, the first day of the year according to the modern Gregorian calendar, celebrated within most Western countries.
• Feast Day of St. Basil, a holiday observed by the Eastern Orthodox Church, commemorating the death of Saint Basil the Great.
• Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, which is celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church, commemorates the naming of the child Jesus.
January 2-4: Mahayana New Year, a holiday celebrated by the Mahayana Buddhist branch, on the first full-moon day in January.
January 5: Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s birthday, the Tenth Guru of the Sikhs who initiated the Sikhs as the Khalsa (the pure ones).
January 5: Twelfth Night, a festival celebrated by some branches of Christianity that marks the coming of the Epiphany.
January 6:
• Epiphany or Dia de los Reyes (Three Kings Day), a holiday observed by Eastern and Western Christians that recognizes the visit of the three wise men to the baby Jesus 12 days after his birth.
• Christmas, recognized on this day by Armenian Orthodox Christians, who celebrate the birth of Jesus on Epiphany.
January 7: Christmas, recognized on this day by Eastern Orthodox Christians, who celebrate Christmas 13 days later than other Christian churches because they follow the Julian calendar.
January 13: Bodhi Day, a holiday observed by Buddhists to commemorate Gautama’s enlightenment under the Bodhi tree at Bodh Gaya, India.
January 13: Maghi, an annual festival celebrated by the Sikhs commemorating the memory of 40 Sikh martyrs.
January 15: Makar Sankranti, a major harvest festival celebrated in various parts of India.
January 18-25: The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, during which Christians pray for unity between all churches of the Christian faith.
January 19: Timkat, a holiday observed by Ethiopian Orthodox Christians who celebrate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River on Epiphany.
January 20: World Religion Day, observed by those of the Bahá’í faith to promote interfaith harmony and understanding.
January 20-21 (sundown to sundown): Tu B’shevat, a Jewish holiday recognizing “The New Year of the Trees.” It is celebrated on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat.
January 21: Martin Luther King Jr. Day commemorates the birth of Martin Luther King Jr., the recipient of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize and an activist for nonviolent social change until his assassination in 1968.
January 21: Armenian Martyrs’ Day recognizes the genocide of approximately 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1923 in Turkey.
January 21-23: Mahayana New Year, a holiday celebrated by the Mahayana Buddhist branch on the first full-moon day in January.
January 26: Republic Day of India recognizes the date the Constitution of India came into law in 1950, replacing the Government of India Act of 1935. This day also coincides with India’s 1930 declaration of independence.
January 27: The International Day of Commemoration to remember the victims of the Holocaust. The anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in 1945 and U.N. Holocaust Memorial Day.
January 27 (sundown to sundown): Holocaust Remembrance Day, a time to “mourn the loss of lives, celebrate those who saved them, honor those who survived, and contemplate the obligations of the living.” — Former President Barack Obama

February

February is Black History Month in the United States and Canada. Designated in 1976 to remember the contributions of people of the African diaspora.

February 1: National Freedom Day, which celebrates the signing of the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery in 1865.
February 2: Candlemas – A Christian holiday that celebrates three occasions according to Christian belief: the presentation of the child Jesus; Jesus’ first entry into the temple; and Virgin Mary’s purification.
February 2: Imbolc, a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of spring.
February 2: St. Brigid of Kildare, feast day for St. Brigid celebrated by some Christian denominations.
February 3: St. Blaise Day (The Blessing of the Throats), the feast day of St. Blaise of Sebaste celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church and some Eastern Catholic churches.
February 3: Setsubun-Sai (Beginning of Spring), the day before the beginning of spring in Japan, celebrated yearly as part of the Spring Festival.
February 3: Four Chaplains Sunday commemorates the 55th anniversary of the sinking of the United States army transport Dorchester and the heroism of the four chaplains aboard.
February 5: Lunar New Year, one of the most sacred of all traditional Chinese holidays, a time of family reunion and celebration. Lunar New Year is also celebrated at this time in Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Mongolia.
February 5-6: Losar, the Tibetan Buddhist New Year, a time of renewal through sacred and secular practices.
February 8 or February 15: Nirvana Day, the commemoration of Buddha’s death at the age of 80, when he reached the zenith of Nirvana.
February 14: St. Valentine’s Day, a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early saints named Valentinus.
February 18: Presidents Day, a federally recognized celebration in the United States of George Washington’s birthday, as well as every president proceeding Washington.
February 19: Lantern Festival, the first significant feast after the Chinese New Year, named for watching Chinese lanterns illuminate the sky during the night of the event.
February 19: Magha Puja Day, a Buddhist holiday that marks an event early in the Buddha’s teaching life when a group of 1,250 enlightened saints, ordained by the Buddha, gathered to pay their respect to him.
February 26-March 1: Intercalary Days, celebrated by people of the Bahá’í faith. At this time, days are added to the Bahá’í calendar to maintain their solar calendar.

*Courtesy of Diversitybestpractices.com