Three significant holidays occur in May that are often overlooked. National Interpreter Appreciation Day, National Teacher Appreciation Day, and World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development all fall within May. It is valuable to understand when these holidays are celebrated and how they came into existence.
National Teacher Appreciation Day is celebrated on the Tuesday of the first full week in May. National Teacher Appreciation Day is designated as “a day of honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives.” Many teachers pushed to have a day of recognition but the idea did not receive acknowledgment until 1953.
In 1953, Eleanor Roosevelt convinced congress to allocate a day to celebrate educators and the valuable work they do. As a result of Roosevelt’s advocating, people began celebrating Teacher Appreciation Day and it grew in popularity. Eventually, the National Education Association (NEA), along with a few other organizations, lobbied to Congress and succeeded at making it a National day on March 7, 1980. National Teacher Appreciation Day continued to be celebrated in March until 1984. After that, the National Parent Teacher Association appropriated the first full week of May as Teacher Appreciation Week, making National Teacher Appreciation Day fall on that Tuesday. Shortly after National Teacher Appreciation Day comes National Interpreter Appreciation Day.
The first Wednesday in May is National Interpreter Appreciation Day. Originally, the holiday was started to recognize sign language interpreters but it has evolved. Now it is seen as an opportunity to celebrate any Interpreter regardless of a specific language. Interpreters are dedicated to fostering communications between two parties who otherwise would not be able to communicate. Interpreting is an excellent way to bridge different cultures and promote cultural diversity.
May 21st is World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development (Diversity Day). Diversity day is intended to help people understand the value of cultural diversity and to learn how to exist collectively without issues. Inspired by an idea for cultural harmony, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) made a Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity in 2001. After that, the United Nations General Assembly declared May 21st Diversity Day. Help support these holidays and see that they are highlighted every year.