A Diversity Message from Neil Meltzer, President and CEO, and Dr. Sybil Pentsil, Chief Diversity Officer – January 2024


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Happy New Year! Thank you to all our team members for everything we do every day on all our campuses to make LifeBridge Health a safe and welcoming place for all. Below, learn about some of January’s observances and how you can help make a difference in the new year.


National Mentoring Month
National Mentoring Month is celebrated in January and aims to spread awareness about the importance and positive impact of mentoring. Communities and individuals can engage in mentorship/mentee roles to boost their professional and personal growth.


Poverty in America Awareness Month
Poverty in America Awareness Month is a month-long initiative designed to raise awareness and call attention to the long-lasting impact of poverty in America. Special awareness is brought to the impact that results from poverty, such as hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education, social discrimination and exclusion, among other factors.


Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month
Founded in 2010, Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month seeks to raise awareness about human trafficking and to educate individual people and organizations alike on strategies for identifying and preventing human trafficking both domestically and internationally.


New Year’s Day (1/01)
New Year’s Day marks the beginning of the new year in the Gregorian calendar and is recognized as an official Federal Holiday in the US. Celebrations of New Year’s Day include fireworks, parties, social gatherings and parades. Many people will make resolutions for improving their lives or accomplishing goals in the new year.


World Braille Day (1/04)
World Braille Day, celebrated since 2019, is observed to raise awareness of the importance of Braille as a means of communication in the full realization of the human rights of blind and partially sighted people.


Coptic Orthodox Christmas (1/07)
Although Christmas is celebrated in the West on Dec. 25, Coptic Christmas is a holiday that’s celebrated on Jan. 7. This day is for Orthodox Copts and other Orthodox Christians to celebrate the birth of Christ according to the Julian calendar.


Korean American Day (1/13)
Korean American Day honors the contributions of the Korean American community to the United States and commemorates the arrival of the first Korean immigrants on Jan. 13, 1903. Korean culture and customs are also observed and recognized on this day.


Maghi (1/13)
The Maghi festival is a religious, cultural and seasonal festival that marks the start of the agricultural year and increasing daylight time. It is also the time when Sikhs observe the sacrifice made by forty Sikhs who fought with Guru Gobind Singh Ji, whose presence and teachings have made a considerable impact on the Sikh religion.


Martin Luther King Jr. Day (1/16)
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is observed as a federal holiday in the United States marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. MLK Day is observed on the third Monday of January each year. The day commemorates the life and work of Dr. King, who was a Baptist minister and prominent leader in the American civil rights movement. Dr. King promoted the use of nonviolent means to bring an end to racial segregation in the United States, and he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1964 for his efforts to unite citizens and end racial segregation. Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968 at the age of 39.


Bohdi Day (1/18)
Bohdi day is a day observed by Mahayana Buddhists that commemorates the day that Gautama Buddha achieved enlightenment, or Nirvana as it is known in the Buddhist faith. According to tradition, Gautama Buddha resolved to sit under a peepal tree, or Bohdi tree, and meditate until he found the root of human suffering and how to liberate oneself from it.


World Religion Day (1/21)
World Religion Day is a global holiday that is observed on the third Sunday in January each year. This holiday promotes interfaith understanding and dialogue while emphasizing the commonalities among different religions. It is a day for people of all faiths and beliefs to come together to celebrate diversity, foster peace and promote religious tolerance.


International Day of Education (1/24)
Founded in 2018 by the United Nations General Assembly, the International Day of Education is observed every year on Jan.24. The day was created to campaign for better education reforms and improve access to education for all. It’s a day to celebrate and advocate for access to education and to honor education as a basic human right. International Day of Education is also a call for action; it brings individuals, civil society and policymakers together to work towards ensuring that primary and secondary education is granted to children.


Mahayana New Year (1/25)
Mahayana New Year is a holiday that’s observed by Buddhists in many different countries of the world. The word “Mahayana” means “Great Vehicle” in English. It’s also a term that is used to describe certain Buddhist practices and philosophies in this branch of Buddhism. Mahayana Buddhists will spend the day meditating and self-reflecting. Mahayana New Year is celebrated at different times of the year depending on the country but is typically celebrated in January.


International Holocaust Remembrance Day (1/27)
International Holocaust Remembrance Day is an international Memorial Day designated by the United Nations to mark the anniversary of the January 27, 1945, liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration and death camp. On this annual day of commemoration, the focus is to honor the six million Jewish victims and millions of other victims of the Holocaust and Nazism.


Calls to Action
REFLECT: Think about all of your accomplishments in 2023 and celebrate the start of 2024.
RECOGNIZE: In honor of Korean American Day on the 13th, learn about the contributions and struggles of Korean Americans.
RESPOND: Live out Dr. King's dream. Do not judge people by external features. Look at their character.