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Your October 2021 Guide to D&I Dates

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

Another month means another set of D&I dates to support you with your D&I strategy and understanding! October is a pretty busy month, so without further ado, let's go!

1st October - 31st October: Black History Month UK 🖤🤎

The entire month of October is Black History Month in the UK. This year the theme is 'Proud To Be'.

I am truly proud to be a French Black woman, living in London, and because of that I actually think that every month is Black History Month.

Today, I am very proud to be this assertive and frankly freaking fabulous woman (you’ve got to live yourself, right?) but it was not a feeling that I always grew up with. This is ultimately down to many reasons, but one is definitely because, in France, there is sadly no such thing as a big moment where the attention is focussed on people and companies celebrating the contribution of Black people. I truly believe that representation is a big part of the building and definition of a strong sense of self.

Fast-forward 16 years, and it is so empowering to live in a country that celebrates and understands the importance of Black History Month. We all need to learn more about the untold/forgotten history of as many people as possible if we truly believe that diversity is important, and this month is a great opportunity to learn more about how Black people have contributed to the greatness of the UK.

Use this month to learn something new on Black History in the UK and celebrate it.

  • If you would like some reading recommendations, I have a blog with some great books by Black authors.

  • If you want to know more about an important part of British Black History, then read this blog I wrote on the Windrush.

  • I couldn't fit everything I wanted to say about Black History Month into a short section here, so I've written an entire blog if you would like to hear more about my thoughts on Black History Month.

I never went to school in the UK, yet I know that the curriculum does not really give a lot of space to the topic. That is not good enough, read more about it in this article from the Guardian! Sign this petition if you think that this should change!

1st October: World Smile Day

Say cheese because October 1st is World Smile Day!

I love the story behind World Smile Day. Way back in 1963, Harvey Ball, an artist from Worcester, Massachusetts created the smiley face symbol. The smiley face symbol became super popular. Yet, Harvey became worried about it becoming too commercialised and losing its meaning.

His solution was to create World Smile Day. The 1st of October became World Smile Day, a day dedicated to smiles and goodwill.

So, in the spirit of World Smile Day, make an effort on the 1st of October to do a good deed and make someone grin.

Smiling is a big part of who I am in life and business, so I really encourage you to also discover the fabulous effects that smiling has on your brain and stress levels with this article! One key action on this day and every day: just smile more 😁!

If you want to support charities, who are doing the work to achieve mental health for all, look into the Center for Mental Health's work and donate here 🙏.

10th October: World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day is all about raising awareness around mental health, and this year the theme is Mental Health in an Unequal World.

Everyone has physical and mental health as we know, but unfortunately, not everyone has access to the help and resources they need to maintain optimal mental health. This is another way that helps us to remember that the world we live in is not yet equal!

The World Health Organisation reported that almost 1 billion people in the world live with a mental disorder, and one person dies every 40 seconds by suicide. 75% of people in low and middle-income countries receive no support at all for their mental health, neurological or substance disorders. In fact, did you know that on average, countries only spend 2% of their health budgets on mental health? To know more about the topic, listen to the United for global mental health organisation’s podcasts.

It's just as important to look after your mental health as it is to look after your physical health. Everyone should have access to the support and resources they need to be well.

11th October: National Coming Out Day

In a world where there is still loud and silent discrimination and stigma against the LGBTQIA+ community, coming out can be a big decision for many people, who are part of the community. Not always thankfully, but too often still. Some people risk losing their jobs, receiving homophobic abuse and losing their family's support.

And just to align everyone, 'coming out' means expressing your sexuality confidently and sharing it with the world - it stems from the expression 'coming out of the closet'.

National Coming Out Day (NCDO) is about promoting a safer world where members of the LGBTQIA+ community can be themselves without fear. Did you know that this awareness day was actually founded way back in the 80s?

Check this great resource by the Human Rights Campaign out to help you or someone you know come out safely in different environments and live your authentic self. And whilst you are on their website, try to donate and support their work if you are financially able 😉.

17th October: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

This one is so vital. Roughly 9.2% of the world live in extreme poverty on less than $1.90 a day and in 2020 COVID-19 drove 97 million people into extreme poverty according to World Vision. This is just so shocking and heartbreaking.

On the 17th of October, we need to remember our commitment to eradicate poverty. I highly recommend checking out the World Poverty Tracker which shows how many people in the world are currently living in extreme poverty and how many people escape extreme poverty each day. We are off track by a lot, actually. Here is an article that highlights a few charities, focused on eradicating poverty - support them today if you can!

21st October: World Values Day

Last month I spoke a lot about Purpose and as you may have noticed my values inform my purpose.

The vision for World Values Day is to put values at the heart of society around the world and the theme this year is Reconnecting. It's such a brilliant theme, and I encourage everyone reading this blog to mark out the 21st in their diary to reconnect with their values. World Values Day has some fantastic tools and resources to help you do this on their website.

22nd October: Wear Red day - Show Racism The Red Card Day

Get your red clothes out of the closet for the 22nd of October because it is Wear Red Day ❤️.

Wear Red Day was started by Show Racism The Red Card, one of the UK's largest anti-racism charities. Show Racism The Red Card delivers workshops on racism throughout the UK. In 2020, they educated 12,852 young people and 3886 adults despite the pandemic 👏.

Every year, they use Wear Red Day as a chance to raise awareness and funds to support their work.

To donate or fundraise on JustGiving click here.

You can also donate via text. Text ‘RED5’ to 70470 to give £5, ‘RED10’ to 70470 to give £10 or ‘RED20’ to 70470 to give £20.

27th October: National Mentoring Day

Last, but not least, is National Mentoring Day. Mentoring can make a massive difference to individuals and businesses. The goal of National Mentoring Day is for everyone to take one hour of their time and use it to mentor someone else. As someone who has been mentored and is a mentor, I just love the fact that there is a day dedicated to mentoring!

And that's a wrap!

I hope these dates help you with your D&I planning for October! Have a fab month!

Vanessa x

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