Georgia State is commemorating Juneteenth, important anniversaries, and other heritage month observances throughout the summer! Through this Social Justice Summer page, you can find more information about Juneteenth as well as other events celebrating our country’s rich diversity.
May 31: Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial
The Tulsa, Okla. Race Massacre from May 31 through June 1, 1921, when mobs of white residents – many deputized and given weapons by the city – attacked Black residents and businesses of the Greenwood District, known as the “Black Wall Street” of its era. Visit the Tulsa Historical Society & Museum to learn more and to view its virtual exhibition. You may also read the White House's proclamation commemorating Tulsa Race Massacre's centennial by clicking here.
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day or Emancipation Day, is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States. It is observed as a public holiday in 14 U.S. states., recognizing the events of June 19, 1865 when enslaved people in Texas and Louisiana finally learned that they were free, and the Union Army arrived in Galveston ordering that slavery end.
There are many other month-long observances and special days that are honored throughout this summer, and you can find a listing through the tabs at the bottom of this page. Further event information will be added throughout the summer, including upcoming events in June, July and August, related to (but by no means limited to) LGBTQ+ Pride Month, Caribbean American Heritage Month and so much more.
Do you have a Juneteenth, Pride Month, Caribbean American Heritage Month, or other diversity-related event happening this summer? Let the DEI team know through the event submission form here.
It is important to acknowledge the diverse religious and cultural observances that occur throughout the year. This diversity of religious and cultural beliefs, like other forms of diversity, enriches our University community and the work and learning that occurs here. Our 2021 Social Justice Summer Calendar is here to help you celebrate a wide variety of diversity events and topics as they occur.
Atlanta History Center
Various Programs Throughout the Month of June
- Join the Atlanta History Center virtually as they honor Black innovation, creativity, and activism throughout the entire month of June 2021. From discussions exploring the lives and experiences of perseverant African-American figures like civil rights leader C.T. Vivian, to a deep dive into historic locations in Atlanta’s African-American community, check back often to discover curated resources that will help you and your family learn more about Juneteenth and the rich African-American legacy on which our city and country are built.
Juneteenth - Atlanta Parade and Music Festival
Friday, June 18 - Sunday, June 20
- Juneteenth Atlanta, Parade & Music Festival (JAPMF) is a free three-day Juneteenth music festival that also includes a black history parade held in downtown Atlanta at Centennial Olympic Park. The festival features live performances, an array of food trucks, speaker presentations, and more. JAPMF is a community based non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides cultural education, art collectives, literacy programs, inspirational exhibitions, historically significant plays, Independent films, musical expressions, indigenous and native American dance collectives, as well as numerous classes and workshops specific to the continued progress and achievements of the descendants of indigenous people (Original People).
Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom
Saturday, June 19 from 11am to 9pm
- Save the date for the Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom Festival with the City of East Point and the Atlanta NAACP on Saturday, June 19, 2021 in the Downtown Commons. The parade begins at 11:00 a.m. The festivities with live music, food and vendors is from 12:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m
Juneteenth Black People Unity Festival (Riverdale)
Saturday, June 19 from 10am to 7pm
- Come be a part of the most powerful Juneteenth celebration. Powerful speakers, conscious talent, a Live DJ, groundbreaking ceremony of the epic cultural & wellness center, and more.
- Haitian Heritage Month
- Haitian Heritage Month is a celebration in the United States of Haitian heritage and culture
- Jewish-American Heritage Month
- May is National Jewish American History Month, a time to recognize the contributions made to US society by Americans of Jewish descent.
- Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
- Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is a period for the duration of the month of May for recognizing the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.
- Older Americans Month
- Every year in May, Older Americans Month recognizes the contributions of older adults across the nation.
Important DEI calendar dates:
- May 5 – Cinco de Mayo
- Cinco de Mayo is an annual celebration held on May 5, which commemorates the anniversary of Mexico's victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
- May 9 – Laylat al-Qadr (Muslim)
- the holiest night of the year for Muslims, is traditionally celebrated on the 27th day of Ramadan. It is known as the Night of Power and commemorates the night that the Quran was first revealed to the prophet Muhammad.
- May 11 – Ramadan ends (Muslim)
- May 12 – Eid al-Fitr (Muslim)
- Eidal-Fitr is the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal, marking the end of Ramadan. Many Muslims attend communal prayers, listen to a khutuba (sermon), and give Zakat al-Fitr (charity in the form of food) during Eid al-Fitr.
- May 17 – International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
- International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is a global celebration of sexual-orientation and gender diversities.
- May 21 – World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
- World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, a day set aside by the United Nations as an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to learn to live together in harmony.
- May 19 Malcolm X Day
- Malcolm X Day is an American holiday in honor of civil rights leader Malcolm X, celebrated either on his birthday (May 19, 1925) or the 3rd Sunday of May. The commemoration was proposed as an official state holiday in the State of Illinois in 2015.
- May 25 African Liberation Day (Also known as African Freedom Day)
- African Liberation Day is a day to “mark, each year, the onward progress of the liberation movement, and to symbolize the determination of the People of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation.”
- May 22 – Declaration of the Bab (Baha’i)
- On May 23, Baha’i's around the world will celebrate the holiday known as the Declaration of the Báb. It commemorates when the Báb announced in 1844 that he was the new messenger of God. The holiday begins two hours and eleven minutes after sunset on May 22, which is the exact time the Báb made his declaration
- May 29 – Ascension of Baha’u’llah (Baha’i)
- Ascension of Baha'u'llah is a holiday that commemorates the anniversary of the death of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith. Baha'u'llah was seventy-five years old when he passed away on May 29, 1892.
- May 31 – Memorial Day
- Memorial Day in the United States, a federal holiday established to honor military veterans who died in wars fought by American forces.
- May 31 – Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial
- The Tulsa race massacre took place on May 31 and June 1, 1921, when mobs of white residents, many of them deputized and given weapons by city officials, attacked Black residents and businesses of the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma
- African American Music Appreciation Month/ Black Music Month
- June is African American Music Appreciation Month. It began in 1979 when Kenny Gamble, Ed Wright, and Dyana Williams developed the idea to set aside a month dedicated to celebrating the impact of Black music. In 2009, President Barack Obama declared the start of summer as a celebration for all the Black “musicians, composers, singers, and songwriters [who] have made enormous contributions to our culture.” On May 31, 2016, President Obama officially declared the month of June as African American Music Appreciation Month.
- National Caribbean American Heritage Month
- National Caribbean-American Heritage Month commemoration was adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2005 to recognize the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States. The resolution passed the Senate in Feb. 2006 and President George H.W. Bush issued the proclamation in June 2006. The commemoration of Caribbean American Heritage Month aims to remind Americans that our greatness lies in our diversity. Caribbean immigrants from founding father, Alexander Hamilton, to civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois and so many more who have shaped the American dream. The month is an opportunity to celebrate the heritage, history, and cultural diversity and a time to explore the traditions Caribbean-Americans carry with them.
- Pride Month (LGBTQ+)
- Pride month is held in June each year in the United States to commemorate the Stonewall Uprising of June 1969 in New York City — a series of protests, rallies, and other activism in response to repeated police harassment of the city’s gay, lesbian, and transgender population. The Stonewall Uprising, where the community fought back against law enforcement, is seen as the turning point in the fight for LGBTQIA rights in the US and is called one of the most important events in the Gay Liberation Movement. During Pride, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, and allied Americans celebrate and bring awareness, empowerment, and visibility to their communities.
- World Refugee Month
- June was first declared as World Refugee Awareness Month in 2001. Since then, June has been a time to acknowledge strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees who live around the globe.
Important D&I calendar dates:
- June 8 — Race Unity Day
- Race Unity Day was established to promote racial harmony and understanding.
- June 12 – Loving Day
- Loving Day commemorates the date in 1967 that an interracial couple got the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down anti-miscegenation laws in the country. Today, Blacks, whites and others celebrate June 12 as Loving Day throughout the nation
- June 19 – Juneteenth
- Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day. It is observed as a public holiday in 14 U.S. states. This celebration honors the day in 1865 when enslaved people in Texas and Louisiana finally heard they were free, on June 19, 1865, when the Union Army arrived in Galveston ordering that slavery end. Ever since, African Americans have celebrated that date as “Juneteenth Independence Day.” Juneteenth is an official State Holiday in Texas.
- June 20 – World Refugee Day
- World Refugee Day, international observance observed June 20 each year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the experiences of refugees throughout the world.
- June 21 – Litha, Summer Solstice (Pagan)
- Litha is a pagan holiday; one of their eight sabbats during the year. Litha (also known as Midsummer) occurs on the summer solstice, and celebrates the beginning of summer.
- June 27 – Pride Day
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBTQ+) Pride Day in the United States happens on the last Sunday of June. It celebrates the Stonewall Riots on June 28, 1969.
- June 28 – Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots
- The Stonewall riots (also referred to as the Stonewall uprising or the Stonewall rebellion) were a series of spontaneous demonstrations by members of the LGBTQ community in response to a police raid that began in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood in New York City. When police raided the Stonewall Inn, the street erupted into violent protests that lasted for the next six days. The Stonewall riots, as they came to be known, marked a major turning point in the modern gay civil rights movement in the United States and around the world.
- French-American Heritage Month
- July is designated National French-American Heritage Month in the United States to recognize the important contributions made to the US by Americans of French descent.
Important D&I calendar dates:
- July 4 – Independence Day
- Independence Day (also known as the Fourth of July), a United States federal holiday that celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The original 13 American colonies declared independence from Britain and established themselves as a new nation known as the United States of America.
- July 9 – Martyrdom of the Bab (Baha’i)
- This holiday commemorates the 1850 execution of the co-founder of the Baha'i faith, the Báb, in Persia. It is one of nine holy days during which work and school is suspended.
- July 14
- International Non-Binary People’s Day, aimed at raising awareness and organizing around the issues faced by non-binary people around the world while celebrating their contributions.
- July 14 – Bastille Day
- Bastille Day, a French federal holiday that commemorates the Storming of the Bastille, a fortress-prison in Paris that held political prisoners who had displeased the French nobility. The Storming of the Bastille, which took place on July 14, 1789, was regarded as a turning point of the French Revolution. Celebrations are held throughout France.
- July 18 – International Nelson Mandela Day
- Nelson Mandela International Day, launched on July 18, 2009, in recognition of Nelson Mandela’s birthday via unanimous decision of the U.N. General Assembly. It was inspired by a call Nelson Mandela made a year earlier for the next generation to take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world’s social injustices: “It is in your hands now.” It is more than a celebration of Mandela’s life and legacy; it is a global movement to honor his life’s work and to change the world for the better.
- July 18 Tisha B’Av | Judaism
- Commemorates the destruction of the First Temple in 423 BCE and the Second Temple in 70 CE in Jerusalem. Tisha B’Av is a Jewish holy day and begins at sundown on July 18.
- July 19 -20 (sundown to sundown) – Eid al-Adha (Muslim)
- Eid al-Adha, an Islamic festival to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim (also known as Abraham) to follow Allah's (God's) command to sacrifice his son, Ishmael. Muslims around the world observe this event.
- July 23 – Haile Selassie I Birthday (Rastafarian)
- July 23 is the birthday of Haile Selassie I, the former Emperor of Ethiopia whom the Rastafarians consider to be their savior.
- July 24 – Pioneer Day (Mormon)
- July 26– Disability Independence Day
- Disability Independence Day celebrates the anniversary of the 1990 signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- July 30– International Day of Friendship
- International Day of Friendship was proclaimed in 2011 by the U.N. General Assembly with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.
Important D&I calendar dates:
- August 9 – International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
- August 9 is designated International Day of the World’s Indigenous People in the United States and abroad. On International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, campuses raise awareness and advocate for protecting indigenous peoples’ rights worldwide. Learn more about the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.
- August 9 – Hijri New Year (Muslim)
- Hijri is the day that marks the beginning of the new Islamic calendar year.
- August 10 Muharram | Islamic
- Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar and marks the beginning of the Islamic New Year. Muharram is an Islamic holy month and begins at sundown on August
- August 13-15 – Obon (Ullambana)
- Obon is an annual three-day Buddhist festival and Japanese custom for honoring the spirits of ancestors. Depending on the region, Obon may be observed July 13-15.
- August 13 – Black Women’s Equal Pay Day
- Black Women’s Equal Pay Day aims is to raise awareness about the wider-than-average pay gap between Black women and White men. Black women are paid 62 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
- August 17 – Marcus Garvey Day
- Marcus Garvey Day, which celebrates the birthday of the Jamaican politician and activist who is revered by Rastafarians. Garvey is credited with starting the Back to Africa movement, which encouraged those of African descent to return to the land of their ancestors during and after slavery in North America.
- August 19 – World Humanitarian Day
- Every August 19, the world commemorates humanitarian workers killed or injured while working to provide critical and often life-saving support, relief, and protection to people in need.
- August 18-19 (sundown to sundown) – Ashura (Muslim)
- Ashura is an Islamic holiday commemorating the day Noah left the ark and the day Allah saved Moses from the Egyptians.
- August 22 – Raksha Bandhan (Hindu)
- Raksha Bandhan is a Hindu holiday commemorating the loving kinship between a brother and sister. “Raksha” means “protection” in Hindi and symbolizes the longing a sister has to be protected by her brother. During the celebration, a sister ties a string around her brother’s (or brother-figure’s) wrist and asks him to protect her. The brother usually gives the sister a gift and agrees to protect her for life.
- August 22 – Hungry Ghost Festival
- Hungry Ghost Festival is a Chinese holiday where street, market, and temple ceremonies take place to honor dead ancestors and appease other spirits.
- August 23 – International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition and the anniversary of the uprising in Santo Domingo (today Haiti and the Dominican Republic) that initiated the abolition of slavery in the Caribbean.
- August 26– Women’s Equality Day
- Women’s Equality Day commemorates the August 26, 1920, certification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that gave women the right to vote. Congresswoman Bella Abzug first introduced a proclamation for Women’s Equality Day in 1971. Since that time, every president has published a proclamation recognizing August 26 as Women’s Equality Day.
- August 29-30 – Krishna Janmashtami (Hindu)
- Krishna Janmashtami is a Hindu celebration of Lord Vishnu’s most powerful human incarnations, Krishna, the god of love and compassion. Celebrations include praying and fasting.