Legal Leaders for Diversity and Inclusion – May, 2018

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

Nelson Mandela

Best Wishes for May!    Have a read of the list of diversity related events below.  There is no shortage of things to recognize or celebrate in May, and many opportunities for your team to be visible and supportive.

We have now set June 19 (4-6pm) for our annual celebration hosted by Deloitte.  We will be sending out the invitations for later this week.  We are giving you a heads up that we will be having a special guest speaker for the event.  Stay tuned.

Tomorrow is the LLD sponsored ‘Women in Power. Women in Politics”.  Sarah Qadeer (Home Depot) advises that the event is sold out!

Paul Noble (BMO) hosted a small group senior LGBTQ lawyers yesterday. As we had done 7 years ago, we wanted to check in and find out what more LLD signatories could do to create a more inclusive legal profession for our LGBTQ colleagues.  We will be summarizing the findings for you shortly.


Religious and Cultural observances

  • May 10 – Ascension (Christian) This day commemorates the ascension of Jesus into Heaven.
  • May 13 – Mother’s Day (Canada, USA) In 1914, the 2nd Sunday in May was officially declared Mother’s Day by President Wilson. Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia first suggested a day on which to honour mothers and motherhood.
  • May 15 – International Day of Families (UN) The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 and reflects the importance the international community attaches to families. The International Day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families.
  • May 16 – Ramadan Begins (Islam) This is the holiest month in the Islamic Year and begins at the sighting of the new moon. It commemorates the period during which Prophet Mohammad received divine revelations. Observing Muslims fast between the hours of sunrise and sunset during the entire month, read the Qu’ran and worship in the mosque or at home.
  • May 17 – International Day Against Homophobia (LGBTQ) Observed each year on May 17, IDAHO seeks to raise awareness of LGBTQ rights violations.
  • May 20 & 21 – Shavuot (Jewish) Begins previous sundown at 6pm. Called the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost which means 50 and therefore celebrated on the 50th day at the end of Passover. Shavuot celebrates the time when the Ten Commandments were given to Moses on Mount Sinai. This feast lasts 2 days.
  • May 21 – World Day for Cultural Diversity (International) The day provides us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to learn to live together better.
  • May 22 – International Day for Biological Diversity The celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity under the theme “Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism” is an opportunity to raise awareness of the important contribution of sustainable tourism both to economic growth and to the conservation of biodiversity.
  • May 22 – Aboriginal Awareness Week (Aboriginal/Native Canadian) Aboriginal Awareness Week, first introduced in 1992, is held on the four days that follow the Victoria Day long weekend. It was designed to increase awareness of Aboriginal peoples among federal public service employees.
  • May 23 – African Liberation Day (International) It has been a day of celebration of the many achievements and victories of African people worldwide and a rededication to their current struggle for freedom, justice and unity.
  • May 29 – Wesak (Buddhist) The most important Buddhist festival, Wesak celebrates the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha as one event. Different cultures observe this day with different customs, for example, Sri Lankans light lanterns, Vietnamese purchase captive animals and release them, and Koreans host a lantern parade.

Other dates of note

Date Event
May 1 Beltane (Wicca)
May 1 Vappu Day (Finland)
May 1 Santa Cruzan Day (Philippines)
May 3 World Press Freedom Day (UN)
May 3 Constitution Day (Japan, Poland)
May 4 Memorial Day (Netherlands)
May 4 Midori No Hi (Japan)
May 5 Ch’ing Ming Festival (China, Taiwan)
May 5 Cinco De Mayo (Mexico)
May 5 Liberation Day (Netherlands)
May 5 Kodomo No Hi (Japan)
May 6 Mothers’ Day (Portugal, Spain)
May 7 May Day Bank Holiday (N. Ireland)
May 8 Matsu Festival (China, Taiwan)
May 8 World Red Cross Day (International)
May 9 Victory Day (Russia)
May 9 Liberatio Day (Channel Islands)
May 13 Our Lady of Fatima (Portugal)
May 15 Independence Day (Paraguay)
May 17 Ázamat – 4th Month (Bahá’í)
May 17 Constitution Day (Norway)
May 17 World Information Society Day (UN)
May 17 Ascension (Christian – Coptic & Eastern Orthodox)
May 19 Ataturk Commemoration Sports Day (Turkey)
May 20 Pentecost (Christian)
May 20 National Day (Cameroon)
May 21 Victoria Day (Canada)
May 21 Day of the Patriots – Quebec (Canada)
May 21 Navy Day (Chile)
May 22 National Day (Yemen)
May 22 Buddha’s Birthday (Hong Kong, Korea)
May 23 Labour Day (Jamaica)
May 24 Declaration of Báb (Bahá’í)
May 24 Independence Day (Eritrea)
May 24 Bermuda Day (Bermuda)
May 25 Independence Day (Jordan)
May 25 Revolution Day (Argentina)
May 26 National Sorry Day (Australia)
May 26 Independence Day (Guyana)
May 27 Republic Day (Nepal)
May 27 Republic Day (Azerbaijan)
May 27 Pentecost (Christian – Coptic & Eastern Orthodox)
May 28 Memorial Day (USA)
May 29 Spring Bank Holiday (N. Ireland)
May 29 Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh (Bahá’í)
May 29 United Nations Peacekeepers Day (UN)
May 30 Joan of Arc Day (France)
May 31 World No-Tobacco Day (UN)