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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

ARS Special Emphasis Observances
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The following months have been designated as officially recognized Special Emphasis Observances by USDA. These observances (with the exception of April) are derived from the Special Emphasis Programs which have been designed to increase workforce participation among these populations. Many locations choose to celebrate each of these observances with pot luck meals, videos, speakers, presentations, sharing of recommended readings, and/or on-line resources, etc. In addition, some locations sponsor an annual diversity awareness day. The purpose of having some sort of dedicated event, or sharing of resources is to bring attention to these populations and their many contributions, as well as raise awareness among employees about a wide range of topics relating to diversity, culture, history, etc.

  • January:  Martin Luther King, Jr. and National Service Day
    2015 Theme:  A Day Of Service "What are we doing for others?"

  • February:  Black History Month
    2015 Theme: "A Century of Black Life, History, and Culture"

  • March:  National Women’s History Month
    2014 Theme: "Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment"

  • April:  USDA - Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

  • May:  Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month
    2014 Theme: "Diverse Leadership + Expanding Opportunity: An Imperative for America" 

  • June:  National Gay and Lesbian Pride Month
    2014 Theme: "Build Our Bright Future"  

  • September:  National Hispanic Heritage Month
    2014 Theme: "Hispanics: A legacy of history, a present of action and a future of success"

  • October:   National Disability Employment Awareness Month
    2014 Theme: " Expect. Employ. Empower"

  • November:   National American Indian - Alaska Native Heritage Month
    2014 Theme: " Native Pride and Spirit: Yesterday, Today and Forever" 

Last Modified: 1/21/2015
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