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Human Rights and Diversity Committee

The Human Rights and Diversity Committee (HRDC) continues to promote DCDT’s national and international commitment to diversity by creating a collaborative platform for special education professionals, families, students, and leaders to discuss openly, share expertise, resources, and work to influence policies, practices, research, and laws advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. Therefore, the HRDC recognizes the importance of experiential and other forms of knowledge, addresses structural inequities, and promotes advocacy, high expectations, and improved outcomes for transitioning youths from traditionally marginalized communities.

Further, The HRDC fosters critical, culturally inclusive, and responsive transition practices guided by the following tenets:

  1. Transition practices, research, and policies should reflect a deep understanding of intersecting identities (e.g. ability, class, gender, race, sexual orientation) and how the intersections mediate access to privilege and positive post-secondary outcomes.
  2. Transition practices and research should promote the development of sociocultural awareness, including the critique of the master narrative, creation of counter-narratives, and critical cultural literacy.
  3. Transition practices and research should be grounded in community well-being and community-based knowledge.
  4. Culturally Responsive Transition Programing (CRTP) involves using an asset-based framework to foster connections between content, transition practices, professional dispositions, and students’ cultures for the purpose of improving transition outcomes and experiences for all students and their families. 

Meeting Times

Thursday, March 21
Thursday, April 18
Thursday, May 16
Thursday, June 20
Thursday, July 18
Thursday, August 15
Thursday, September 19
Thursday, October 17
Thursday, November 21
Thursday, December 19


All meetings 9 a.m. PST / 10 a.m. MST / 11 a.m. CST / 12 p.m. EST

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 859 8563 0858

Passcode: 931675

HRDC Chairperson

Joana Idakwo-Agha, Ed.D


Joana Idakwo-Agha

Joana Idakwo-Agha, Ed.D., is currently a special education advocate and practitioner serving as a Special Education program specialist in Texas. Joana is a diverse leader committed to upholding DEI practices and continually strives to balance a culture of inclusivity and equity among staff, partners, agencies, students, and the communities served. In addition, she advocates, encourages, and trains practicing educators on how to implement evidence-based interventions and assessments that close student achievement gaps, improve attendance, and launch students into college and career paths.

Where are we and what are we doing? Current Projects 😊

  • HRDC will be exploring a series of articles by Tara J. Yosso
  • Analyzing data from the Culturally Responsive/Sustaining Transition Practice Survey examining youth-focused planning.  
  • Special Series on Equity-Based Transition Practices.
  • Transition Standards A group of HRDC Members is working together to review the CEC/DCDT Transition Standards through anti-racist, abolitionist, and anti-ablest lenses to provide recommendations on how to shift standards to be asset-based, contextually focused, and culturally sustaining.  
  • Town Halls HRDC members are committed to supporting the continued learning of DCDT members. HRDC TownHall Meeting  is currently scheduled for June 2023. 


Yosso, T. J., & Burciaga, R. (2016). Reclaiming our histories, recovering community cultural wealth. Reclaiming Our Histories, Recovering Community Cultural Wealth, Issue No. 5.

Featured Transition Resource of the Month:

Featured Transition Resource of the Month

Interesting Reads:

Learning to Make a Difference
How to Win Friends & Influence People


Diversity Calendar

Information retrieved from:

January Diversity Equity and Inclusion Calendar
January 1 – Emancipation Proclamation: President Lincoln declared all individuals held in slavery free on this day in 1863.
January 4 – Louis Braille’s birthday: He was a French educator who created a reading and writing system known as “braille” for the visually impaired.
January 6 – Feast of the Epiphany: This Christian feast day celebrates the star leading the three wise men to baby Jesus closing the Christmas season.
January 15 – Makar Sankranti: Hindu festival dedicated to the god of the sun, Surya.
January 16 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Celebrates one of the best-known civil rights activists, MLK Jr.
January 22 – Lunar New Year: This festival marks the start of the new year in the lunar calendar used in East Asia, Southeast Asia and elsewhere.
January 27 – International Day of Commemoration in Memory of Victims of the Holocaust: a United Nations day that remembers the approximately 6 million Jews and countless members of other minorities murdered during World War II.
January 29 – Birthday of Oprah Winfrey: The birthday of the “Queen of Media,” a well-known talk show host and philanthropist. She is also believed to be North America’s first Black female billionaire

February Diversity and Inclusion Calendar
Black History Month: February was chosen to celebrate African American History because it holds the birthdays of two men who helped eliminate slavery: Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln
February 11 – Tammy Baldwin’s Birthday: The birthday of the first openly LGBT woman elected to both houses of Congress.
February 14 – Frederick Douglass’ birthday (observed): This day celebrates the birth of abolitionist and social reformer Frederick Douglass
February 15 – Nirvana Day: An annual festival that remembers the death of the Buddha after reaching nirvana; also called Parinirvana.
February 15 – Susan B. Anthony’s Birthday: A leader of the women’s suffrage movement, she advocated for abolition, temperance, labor rights, and equal pay for equal work.
February 22 – Ash Wednesday: A day of prayer and fasting that begins the Christian season of Lent, a 40-day period of preparation and fasting before Easter.

March Equality and Diversity Calendar
Women’s History Month: Honors the role of women in American history.
March 8 – International Women’s Day: A day highlighting the political, social, cultural, and economic achievements of women.
March 8 – Holi: Hindu holiday that celebrates the onset of spring and the triumph of good over evil.
March 10 – Harriet Tubman’s birthday (observed): American abolitionist who is well-known for her key role in the Underground Railroad.
March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day: Feast day of a Catholic saint who inspires cultural and religious celebrations around the world.
March 21 – International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: A day that encourages everyone to come together to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.
March 23 to April 20 – Ramadan: Islam’s sacred month — during this time Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn until dusk.

April Multicultural Calendar
Celebrate Diversity Month: Highlights unique backgrounds, cultures, and traditions!
April 2 – World Autism Awareness Day: Raises awareness for those with autism and seeks to improve their lives and acceptance in society – discover more with our Healthcare Calendar 2023
April 5 to April 13 – Passover:  Major Jewish festival that celebrates the freeing of Israeli slaves.
April 9 – Easter: An important Christian holiday, which celebrates Jesus’ resurrection.
April 22 – Earth Day: Holiday that applauds the planet we live on and all it does for us; Earth Day is observed by more than 192 nations.

May Diversity and Inclusion Calendar
Mental Health Awareness Month: raises awareness for those living with mental and behavioral issues. 
Older Americans Month: Celebrates how older Americans contribute to the United States
Jewish American Heritage Month: Honors American Jews and their contributions to the United States throughout history
Asian American and Pacific Island Heritage Month: Commemorates people with Asian and Pacific Island ancestry and their contribution to the United States
May 5 – Cinco de Mayo: Mexican American holiday that celebrates Mexico’s defeat of the French Army
May 17 – International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia: This event seeks to raise awareness for the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals.
May 19 – Malcolm X’s Birthday: Well-known Muslim minister and civil rights activist, who was assassinated in 1965.
May 26 – Buddha’s Birthday: Celebrates the Buddha, who founded one of the world’s most practiced faiths.

June 2023 Diversity Calendar
LGBT Pride Month: Pride Month recognizes LGBT people and the effect they’ve had on the world. June was selected to commemorate the Stonewall Riots. 
Caribbean American Heritage Month: This month recognizes those of Caribbean descent and the impact their accomplishments have had throughout American history.
June 2 – Indian Citizenship Act of 1924: This act granted Native Americans born in the U.S. citizenship. However, they were not given the right to vote until 1957.
June 11 – Puerto Rican Day Parade: This parade is a demonstration of cultural pride that seeks to raise awareness of issues in the Puerto Rican community.
June 12 – Loving Day: This day is the anniversary of the court decision that legalizes interracial marriage.
June 19 – Juneteenth: This day commemorates when the last African Americans learned of the Emancipation Proclamation (over two years after it was originally issued)
June 26 to July 1 – The Hajj: This day begins the annual pilgrimage to Mecca that all Muslims must take once in their lives if they are physically and financially capable.
June 27 – Helen Keller’s Birthday: This day celebrates the birth of Helen Keller, an individual who was both blind and deaf. She was a leading humanitarian in the 20th century as well as one of the co-founders of the ACLU.

July Equality and Diversity Calendar 2023
July 2 – Thurgood Marshall’s Birthday: The day Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and civil rights activist Thurgood Marshall was born.
July 6 – Dalai Lama’s Birthday: The day that Tibet’s leader in exile and Nobel Peace Prize recipient was born.
July 6 – Frida Kahlo’s Birthday: A well-known Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo, in the 20th century was born on this day.
July 18 – Nelson Mandela’s Birthday: Nelson Mandela served as South Africa’s first black president and was a civil right leader.
July 25 – Pioneer Day: This Utah state holiday marks the arrival of LDS church founder Brigham Young to the Salt Lake area.
July 26 – Americans with Disabilities Act: This law protects people with disabilities from being discriminated against.
July 19 – Hijri New Year: this day marks the start of the Islamic New Year — beginning the prior evening.

August Diversity Equity and Inclusion Calendar
August 4 – Barack Obama’s Birthday: This day marks the birth of the United States’ first Black president.
August 9 – International Day of the World’s Indigenous People: This day was created by the UN to celebrate the culture of indigenous people on a global scale.
August 15 – Feast of the Assumption: This Roman Catholic feast day marks the entry of the mother Mary into Heaven (body and soul).
August 18 – Lord Krishna’s Birthday: This day is the birthday of one of the most popular deities in the Hindu faith. Lord Krishna is also known as Janmashtami, and his birthday is celebrated with a festival.
August 24 – Marlee Matlin’s Birthday: This day celebrates the birth of Marlee Matlin — the sole hearing-impaired actor to win best actor/actress.
August 26 – Women’s Equality Day: This day marks the anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in the year 1920.
August 31 – Ganesh Chaturthi: This Hindu festival celebrates Lord Genesha’s birth.

September Equality and Diversity Calendar
National Recovery Month: This awareness month seeks to educate Americans on treatment and health services for individuals with substance use disorder.
September 15 to October 15 – National Hispanic Heritage Month: This month honors Hispanic and Latino Americans for their contributions to U.S. culture
September 20 – HeForShe: This movement was started by the UN with the goal of promoting gender equality.
September 15 to September 17 – Rosh Hashanah: This holiday is the Jewish New Year when Jews reflect on their faith.
September 23 – Autumnal Equinox: This date marks a variety of religious observances across the globe.

October Multicultural Calendar
Global Diversity Awareness Month: An awareness month with the goal of promoting respect toward various cultures.
National Disability Employment Awareness Month: This awareness month aims to advocate for individuals with disabilities and their inclusion in the workforce.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Breast cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths in women; this month seeks to boost awareness of the disease.
National Polish American Heritage Month: A month selected to honor those with Polish heritage.
October 9 – Indigenous People’s Day: This day honors the indigenous people of the United States; the holiday coincides with Columbus Day.
October 10 – World Mental Health Day: A day that advocates for mental health awareness and education; on this day, you can support the efforts by reflecting on your own biases regarding mental health and advocating against social stigma related to it.
October 14 – ­Defender of Ukraine Day: This day celebrates those who have fought for the freedom of Ukraine.
October 17 – Spirit Day: This day is aimed specifically at LGBTQ youth and what their community can do to support them. You can participate in this day by wearing purple and speaking out against bullying.

November Diversity Equity and Inclusion Calendar
National Native American Heritage Month: This month celebrates the contributions — cultures, traditions, histories — of Native people to the United States
Movember: A month-long fundraiser that seeks to raise awareness for men’s issues such as suicide as well as prostate and testicular cancer.
November 1 – All Saints’ Day, All Souls Day, Día de Los Muertos: These days are dedicated to all those who have passed away in the Christian faith as well as the Mexican and Aztec communities.
November 12 – Diwali: An important celebration in the Hindu faith in which a variety of deities are praised.
November 16 – International Day for Tolerance: The UN holiday was founded to encourage respect among various people regardless of culture, language, religion, or ethnicity.
November 16 – Dutch American Heritage Day: This day applauds the long friendship between the Netherlands and the United States.
November 20 – Transgender Day of Remembrance: This day is held as a remembrance for all those murdered because of transphobia.

December Diversity Calendar
December 1 – World AIDS Day: This day highlights the importance of HIV/AIDS awareness and raises money for its cure.
December 3 – International Day of Persons with Disabilities: This United Nations holiday raises awareness for the rights of individuals with disabilities
December 10 – International Humans Rights Day: A holiday adopted by the UN in 1948 following the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
December 16 to December 24 – Las Posadas: A religious festival celebrated in Mexico and parts of the U.S. during the Christmas season.
December 7 to December 15 – Hanukkah: A Jewish holiday celebrating Jews rising up against their Greek Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt
December 22 – Winter Solstice/Yule: A festival celebrated by Pagan and Wiccan faiths
December 25 – Christmas: A Christian holiday marking the birth of their lord and savior, Jesus Christ
December 26 to January 1 – Kwanzaa: A 7-day holiday often celebrated by Black Americans that was inspired by African harvest celebrations.

Last Updated:  6 May, 2024

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