Saturday, April 1, 2023
As the month begins, we want to recognize April for the following reasons:
April is Arab American Heritage Month, and there are 4 million Americans who can trace their ancestry to one of the 19 Arab countries. Arab Americans are ethnically, religiously, and politically diverse and contribute to our culture in academics, arts, entertainment, science, health, social justice, and so much more.
April is also Genocide Awareness Month to remember and honor victims and survivors of mass atrocities. The United Nations defines genocide as acts “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.”
April 2 is Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter/Pascha to commemorate the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.
Passover is celebrated from April 5 through April 13 this year. This Jewish holiday, called Pesach, commemorates the anniversary of the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt.
April 9 is Easter, a holy day in the Christian faith. It celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
April 14 is Vaisakhi, a Sikh festival that celebrates the founding of the Sikh community remembering this day as the birth of the Khalsa.
April 14 is Day of Silence. This day spreads awareness regarding bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other marginalized individuals, and groups.
Yom HaShoah is to remember the millions of lives lost in the Holocaust and it is a day to combat and promote peace and work to eliminate hatred and antisemitism. This year, it begins at sunset on April 17 and ends at sundown on April 18.
On April 18 Laylat al-Qadr is observed. It is believed by Muslims to be a time when sins are forgiven and supplications are accepted, and the annual decree of people is revealed to the angels by God.
The Festival of Ridvan, which begins on April 21 this year is a twelve-day festival of the Baha’i faith which means paradise. It is named after the Garden of Ridvan, where Baháʼu’lláh stayed for twelve days after the Ottoman Empire exiled him from the city.
The Gathering of Nations will be held from April 27 through April 29 this year. It is when over 500 Native tribes meet and celebrate various traditions and cultures. The Gathering of Nations is one of the most significant powwow events, usually organized in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
We are all moving in this tide of inclusion. In our diverse world, we are valued for our strengths by looking at and listening to one another with genuine interest and understanding. We celebrate April in this collective endeavor to appreciate each of the unique talents and strengths we bring to our work and this world.
Chaddrian Calhoun and Rhonda Curtright
APFA Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee