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December Holiday Spotlight

United Nations Stand Up for Human Rights

December 10 is International Human Rights Day.  According to the United Nations, Human Rights Day is observed every year on December 10 — the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR is a milestone document that proclaims the inalienable rights which everyone is entitled to as a human being - regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or another opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Available in more than 500 languages, it is the most translated document in the world.

Pictured: Children from the United Nations International Nursery School look at a poster of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. UN Photo (1950)

The theme for Human Rights Day 2020: Recover Better - Stand Up for Human Rights. The theme this year relates to the COVID-19 pandemic and focuses on the need to build back better by ensuring Human Rights are central to recovery efforts. 

December 26 - January 1 Kwanzaa. Kwanzaa is an African-American and Pan-African holiday started by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 to celebrate universal African-American heritage celebrating family, community, and culture. This celebration is based around seven major principles which are, according to Karenga, a communitarian African philosophy: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. On each of the seven nights of the week-long celebration, families gather together and light one of the seven candles of the Kinara. Usually, a discussion about one specific principle takes place.


Also in December:

  • December 1: World AIDS Day
  • December 3: International Day of Disabled Persons
  • December 10: International Human Rights Day
  • December 10 - 18: Hanukkah
  • December 21: Winter Solstice
  • December 25: Christmas Day
  • December 26: Boxing Day
  • December 31: Watch Night

Written by Taylor Kanemori, Director of Equity & Inclusion

Image of Seattle Academy Diversity, Equity & Inclusion