It’s here! Did you know that the 1st day of May is International Workers’ Day? It was created to help workers unite around the world and is celebrated globally, except in the U.S. The U.S. moved our “Labor Day” to the fall to hinder that fight. If that’s news to you, the remainder of these May days to remember might surprise you.
May 1 – 31
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Asian American representation in pop culture has been growing in recent years and we’re here for it! In fact, the most recent Oscars offered a historic moment win Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian woman to win an Oscar for best actress. And she wasn’t alone, her co-star Ke Huy Quan won an Oscar for best-supporting actor. The night was historic for wins and even more for the number of Asian and Asian-American nominations.
Hepatitis Awareness Month
Did you know that hepatitis means “inflammation of the liver”? Is most often caused by a virus? That there are five types of hepatitis viruses? If you didn’t, you’re not alone. The goal of Hepatitis Awareness Month is to counter misinformation and to inform people about the causes, symptoms, and effects of Hepatitis. Learn more information about the medical condition here.
Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the industrialized world. Now, attacks on birth control, coupled with the Supreme Court stripping minors of abortion access, plus attacks on sex education means more teens are likely to get pregnant and less likely to have safe access to comprehensive care when/if they do get pregnant. The U.S. is an outlier here. Things can be different, and we need to advocate for a better world.
Here at FUNKY BROWN CHICK, Inc., we support unions and workers’ rights! May 1st has a long association with the U.S. labor movement. More than a century after the first May Day protests, May 1st is still a flashpoint in the constant struggle for workers’ rights. We need greater solidarity and support for labor unions and workers’ rights. Globally, the cost of living is increasing and wages aren’t, which isn’t helpful for anyone. Empowering workers could be the ultimate solution.
World Press Freedom Day
Here and abroad, journalists and other media figures often find themselves literally and figuratively under attack by those seeking to silence them. The purpose of World Press Freedom Day is to advocate for freedom of expression and safety for the press. Over the course of a decade, the U.S. has slipped from 32 in 2013 to 45 in 2023. To learn more about where individual countries rank in terms of press freedom, look at the 2023 World Press Freedom Index.
Keith Haring’s Birthday (1958)
Artist Keith Haring became a darling of the downtown NYC art scene before reaching worldwide fame with his quirky, movement-inspired artwork. A celeb in the early to mid-’80s, his work often touched on social messages. Sadly, Haring died in 1990 of AIDS-related complications. He left behind a legacy of art as activism for all to embrace. Art can play an effective role in advocacy work.
National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 8 – 12
This is a week to appreciate folks who have devoted part of their lives to educating others. We’d particularly like to recognize teachers who provide age-appropriate sex education. These educators often face decreased funding and restrictions on what can actually be taught. Need some ideas on thanking the teachers in your life? Check these out. Several stores and restaurants are offering freebies and specials as well. #ThankATeacher
A day to celebrate peace and unity throughout Europe. On Europe Day, the public is invited to visit their local European Union office or attend any number of artistic and political events. Fun fact: Did you know our founder staged a one-woman show about her European excursions? She has more artistic ventures in the works; sign up for her newsletter to learn more.
FDA Approves “the Pill” (1960)
While various birth control methods have been used throughout history, modern history was made when John Rock, a devout Catholic, developed what is now known as “the pill.” On this day in history, the FDA approved Enovid-10, the first world’s first medically-sanctioned, commercially-available oral contraceptive. With recent restrictions placed on abortion, birth control has come under fire as well. Birth control remains legal; however, in some states like Texas, access to it has become limited for teens. Any further restrictions would threaten bodily autonomy and human rights.
Victoria Woodhull Runs for president (1872)
In 1871, publisher and activist Victoria Woodhull declared her intention to run for president. Formally nominated by the Equal Rights Party the next year, she became the first U.S. woman to mount a presidential campaign. Notably, she chose Frederick Douglass as her running mate, but without getting his consent. In the 100+ years since Woodhull’s campaign, we’ve had the first African-American woman to run for president (Shirley Chisolm); the first woman vice president candidate (Geraldine Ferraro); and the first woman major party nominee (Hilary Clinton). In 2020, women broke records, and the number of women that were elected to serve in the 117th Congress was over 130.
United States ex rel. Standing Bear v. Crook (1879)
This case arose out of the forced relocation of the Ponca people. After his arrest for leaving an Oklahoma reservation (to bury his son), Standing Bear, leader of the Ponca people, sued the government. Judge Elmer S. Dundy ruled that Indigenous Americans are people within the color of the law and that Standing Bear’s right to free movement as a human had been violated. This case was the first to recognize the humanity of Indigenous Americans under federal law. More than 100 years later, for the first time, an Indigenous American (Deb Haaland) was selected to serve as a cabinet secretary.
We recognize this day as one to celebrate mothers of all kinds of families. However, we want to acknowledge the very real pain for those who currently may not or may never have had motherly figures in their lives for whatever reason. If this day is tough for you, escape the “mother love orgy” on everyone’s social media and read this instead.
National Women’s Health Week, May 14 – 20
We believe the spirit of this week should honor all gender identities that traditionally experience barriers to excellent health — we’re looking at YOU if you’re a woman, transgender, nonbinary, or someone who otherwise doesn’t automatically receive better treatment due to their gender! “Health” includes access to medical care, exercise, healthy relationships, and sexual health. You can find health and wellness centered events all over the country this week. Not into events? Here are some steps you can take towards a healthier lifestyle over this seven-day period.
Paragraph 175 of German Criminal Code Criminalizes Sex Acts Between Men
Created in 1871, this law made “penetrative” sexual activity between men illegal. Nazis expanded the definition of illegal sexual behavior, citing the act as a justification to jail and kill gay Germans. People were encouraged to report their neighbors, employees, and even passersby. Although the law was finally repealed in 1994, we learned that when fascists get into power, they attack a lot of things, including sexual expression. Collectively as humans, we have to stop assuming it’s okay to stay quiet on the sidelines when groups are targeted solely because they have different beliefs. The documentary Paragraph 175 shares the personal stories of gay and lesbian Holocaust survivors.
Anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education (1954)
After several lawsuits in various states, it was a Supreme Court case in Topeka, Kansas that ultimately led to school desegregation. Images of Black Americans integrating various schools were published nationwide. The ruling spurred continued advocacy during the Civil Rights Movement. However, for all the progress made, resegregation (over 30% of public school students attended a predominantly same-race school) — particularly of public schools — has become a modern-day challenge.
International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia
Homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia can lead to acts of discrimination and violence and have no place in a fair-minded society. International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia was founded by advocate, lecturer, and editor Louis-Georges Tin. The goal of the day is to raise awareness of the effects of bias and to encourage advocacy around issues affecting the LGBTQIA+ community. Interesting fact: May 17th was chosen because the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases on May 17, 1990.
HIV Vaccine Awareness Day
We at FUNKY BROWN CHICK, Inc. are excited about the potential for a cure for HIV! HIV Vaccine Awareness Day recognizes the various scientists, health professionals, and volunteers working to create a vaccine for HIV. Another goal of this day is to educate the public on the need for a vaccine. While a cure is needed, current medical efforts have positively affected many of those living with HIV.
Malcolm X’s Birthday (1925)
“The greatest mistake of the movement has been trying to organize a sleeping people around specific goals. You have to wake people up first, then you’ll get action.” So said minister, speaker, and vaunted civil rights leader Malcolm X. Born Malcolm Little on this date in 1925, his life and work continue to inspire people today. Learn more about his life, views, and death through the timeless classic The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
The CDC estimates that in 2018, 17,600 Asians and Pacific Islanders were living with HIV in the U.S.The CDC and the Banyan Tree Project established this day to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS in the AAPI community. A further goal of this day is to combat stigma. Learn more about how you can get involved.
National Hepatitis Testing Day
The goal of today is to encourage everyone to get tested for the various strands of Hepatitis. According to the CDC, millions of Americans are unaware that they have a form of the disease. If left untreated, this can result in liver damage. See if you need to get tested — use the CDC’s Hepatitis Risk Assessment tool. Be #HepAware
Yuri Kochiyama’s Birthday (1921)
If you could describe Yuri Kochiyama’s life in one word, it would be “ally.” She protested in support of independence for Puerto Rico; advocated for the incarcerated; and sought reparations for Japanese-American internees. Through her activism, she eventually became close with Malcolm X, and was present when he was assassinated. Like her mentor, she too courted controversy with some of her statements. Yuri Kochiyama died in 2014 at the age of 93.
World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
We love cultural diversity! Also known as “Diversity Day,” on this day we appreciate the uniqueness of cultures worldwide. We also recognize the need for intercultural dialogue. Cultural diversity is an asset that leads to greater economic and social development. Read more on why cultural diversity matters.
Harvey Milk’s Birthday (1930)
Harvey Milk’s road to political activism didn’t come naturally or quickly. But this “born politician” eventually became a loud and proud advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community. He ran for office several times before his history-making election to become San Francisco city supervisor. Milk’s 1978 assassination — by a fellow politician no less — reminds us of the potentially deadly consequences that can come from demonizing political figures.
Richard Oakes’s Birthday (1942)
A member of the Mohawk Nation, much of Richard Oakes’s advocacy is considered integral to the “Red Power” movement of the 1960s and ‘70s. In 1969, he helped spearheaded a 19-month occupation of Alcatraz prison. The goal of the occupation was to protest the Indian Termination policy and reclaim the island for Indigenous peoples. He also helped establish one of the country’s first Indigenous American studies departments. His life ended tragically in 1972, after a suspected white supremacist shot and killed him.
Sojourner Truth Delivers “Ain’t I a Woman?” Speech (1851)
Human rights activist and preacher Sojourner Truth delivered this famous speech at the 1851 Women’s Rights Convention. While the title of the speech has been questioned, its content — on human rights for all women generally, and the lack of humanity and privilege afforded to Black women specifically — sadly resonates today.
As one of the most popular May days to remember, we pay tribute to the sacrifices of U.S. servicewomen and men. Originally called “Decoration Day,” the first informal observances of the holiday were held after the Civil War. A 1968 act of Congress cemented the observance as an official federal holiday to be held on the last Monday in May. As debate remains surrounding transgender troops’ ability to serve openly, we specifically seek to honor, uplift, and advocate for our transgender troops.
Our firm wishes everyone a Happy May Day! We’re closed to celebrate May 1. Beyond taking time to honor this day, remember who you work with MATTERS. Hire women. Hire black people. Hire our Black Woman-owned firm to support your organization’s digital strategy, AI, and data analytics needs. Get in touch with us today to get a call on the books.