A group of students holding balloons in front of the large meal VCU letter with the text diversity, equity and inclusion

Diversity, equity and inclusion

Our commitment

Diversity, equity and Inclusion will be the cornerstone of all programs, initiatives and events within the Office of Alumni Relations. We aim to reflect and empower the voices of VCU’s distinctive alumni community. We are committed to creating alumni programming, events and initiatives that recognize, embrace and represent diverse backgrounds, identities, viewpoints and lived experiences. The Office of Alumni Relations provides a safe, trusting and supportive environment to explore, create, learn and serve. We will not tolerate or condone discrimination.

We strive to incorporate the following principles in all that we do:

Cultural observances

In 2024, the Culture, Values and Diversity Committee of the VCU Alumni Council launched the cultural observances effort that raises awareness of the observances celebrated by the various cultures and populations reflected in the VCU community. 

Learn more about the VCU Alumni council. 


Jan. 15: Martin Luther King Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is observed on the third Monday of January each year to honor Martin Luther King Jr., who advocated for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which protested racial discrimination in law and civil society.


Black History Month
Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month, a time to celebrate the achievements of African Americans and their role in U.S. history.

Feb. 8-10: Losar
The Tibetan New Year falls on the first day of the first month of the Tibetan lunar calendar, this year on Feb. 24. The Losar celebration is one the most festive periods observed with religious, cultural and merrymaking events.

Feb. 10: Lunar New Year
The Lunar New Year marks the beginning of the lunar calendar in many East Asian cultures. Celebrated with vibrant parades, traditional performances and family gatherings, it symbolizes the renewal of life and the ushering in of good fortune.

Feb. 20: World Day of Social Justice
This day promotes global awareness and action for social justice, urging individuals and organizations to address issues of inequality, discrimination and poverty through education, advocacy and collaborative efforts.


National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
This monthlong observance highlights how people with and without disabilities come together to form strong communities.

March 1: Zero Discrimination Day
This day spotlights how people can become informed about and promote inclusion, compassion, peace and, above all, a movement for change to end all forms of discrimination.

March 8: International Women’s Day 
On this global day, we celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

March 10: Ramadan 
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community.

March 17: St. Patrick's Day 
Also known as the Feast of Saint Patrick, this religious and cultural holiday is held on the traditional death date of Saint Patrick, the foremost patron saint of Ireland.

March 24: Palm Sunday 
Palm Sunday is the Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter and commemorates Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. Its name originates from the palm branches waved by the crowd to greet and honor Jesus as he entered the city.

March 29: Good Friday 
This Christian holiday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary.

March 31: International Transgender Day of Visibility 
This annual day is dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide, as well as a celebration of their contributions to society.


Celebrate Diversity Month
Celebrate Diversity Month recognizes and honors the diversity of the world around us.

Autism Acceptance Month 
This month long observance raises awareness of autism, promotes acceptance and celebrates each individual's unique differences.

Deaf History Month
Deaf History Month honors the contributions of deaf individuals and the deaf community, while encouraging advocacy for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.

National Arab American Heritage Month 
This month long observance celebrates Arab Americans and their contributions to our country. It urges people to combat Anti-Arab bigotry and challenge stereotypes and prejudices.

April 9-10: Eid Al-Fitr
This is a Muslim festival marking the end of the fast of Ramadan.

April 15: National American Sign Language Day
This observance celebrates American Sign Language, honors its unique heritage and encourages opportunities for connection. 

April 22-April 30: Passover 
Passover is a Jewish celebration that commemorates the Biblical story of Exodus in the Old Testament of the Bible.


Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month
Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month is a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. A rather broad term, Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843 and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

Jewish American Heritage Month
Jewish American Heritage Month is an annual recognition and celebration of American Jews' achievements and contributions to the United States of America. In 2020 the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia repositioned Jewish American Heritage Month to empower communities across the country to celebrate the inspiring history of Jewish people in America, educate diverse public audiences about Jewish culture and spark crucial conversations about the American Jewish present and future.

Mental Health Awareness Month
Since its inception in 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month has been a cornerstone of addressing the challenges faced by millions of Americans living with mental health conditions.

Military Appreciation Month
Military Appreciation Month is a special time for those in and out of the military. It is a time designated to honor and recognize the contributions, sacrifices and service of the members of the armed forces, past and present. Not only do we pause on Memorial Day to remember the sacrifice and service of those who gave all, but the month also marks several other military anniversaries and events, including Military Spouse Appreciation Day and Armed Forces Day.

May 5: Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo is a yearly celebration held on May 5 to celebrate Mexico's victory over the Second French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, led by General Ignacio Zaragoza.

May 21: World Day for Cultural Diversity Dialogue and Development
Held every year on May 21, UNESCO leads the celebration of World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development highlighting not only the richness of the world’s cultures, but also the essential role of intercultural dialogue for achieving peace and sustainable development.

May 27: Memorial Day
Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for honoring and mourning the U.S. military personnel who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. From 1868 to 1970, it was observed on May 30. Since 1971, it has been observed on the last Monday of May.


Caribbean American Heritage Month 
Established in 2006, this observance promotes the rich culture and heritage of the Caribbean American people and their contribution to the U.S.

Immigrant Heritage Month
National Immigrant Heritage Month honors the cultural, historical and social contributions of immigrants to the United States. The month is also a time to recognize the values of diversity, equity and inclusion that our nation of immigrants embodies.

LGBTQIA Pride Month
Pride Month is dedicated to celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual and agender people and their communities. Pride Month began after the Stonewall riots, a series of gay liberation protests in 1969.

June 19: Juneteenth
Juneteenth, officially known as Juneteenth National Independence Day, commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the U.S. The holiday was first celebrated in Texas, the final area in the U.S. where, on June 19, 1865, enslaved people were declared free under the terms of the 1862 Emancipation Proclamation.


Disability Pride Month   
National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
French-American Month
July 4: Independence Day 


Aug. 9: International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples
Aug. 15: India Independence Day  
Aug. 26: Women's Equality Day  


Sept. 1-30: Hispanic Heritage Month    
Sept. 1-30: Inter-generational Month    
Sept. 4: Labor Day  
Sept. 15: Latin Heritage Month
Sept. 16: Mexican Independence Day  
Sept. 15: Rosh Hashanah
Sept. 18:  International Equal Pay Day
Sept. 23: International Day of Sign Languages
Sept. 28: Eid Milad un-Nabi  


Oct. 1-31: Global Diversity Awareness Month
Oct. 1-31: LGBTQ+ History Month
Oct. 1-31: Filipino American Heritage Month
Oct. 1-31: Down Syndrome Awareness Month
Oct. 1-31: Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Oct. 1-31: Polish American Heritage Month    
Oct. 2: Rosh Hashanah
Oct. 10: World Mental Health Day 
Oct. 11: National Coming Out Day
Oct. 11: Yom Kippur    
Oct. 14: National Indigenous People's Day
Oct.16: International Pronouns Day
Oct. 31: Halloween


Nov. 1-30: Native American Heritage Month
Nov. 1-31: National Family Caregivers Month    
Nov. 11: Veterans Day
Nov. 12: Diwali
Nov. 12-19: Transgender Awareness Week
Nov. 29: Transgender Day of Remembrance
Nov. 28: Thanksgiving


Dec. 1-31: Aids Awareness Month
Dec. 1: World Aids Day
 Dec. 3: International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Dec. 10: International Human Rights Day
Dec. 20: International Human Solidarity Day
Dec. 25: Christmas
Dec. 25-Jan. 2: Hanukkah
Dec.26-Jan. 1: Kwanzaa



Your voice

Please share your DEI resources, feedback, comments and experiences with us.

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DEI events


Programs and resources

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A gold outline of three people  Affinity, shared interest and identity-based groups A gold outline of a paper calendar with a check mark in a circle  Webinar archive 
A gold outline of an award ribbon  Recognition  A gold outline of a round table viewed from above with four people sitting around it 

Alumni Council 


University initiatives and programs


Land acknowledgement

We acknowledge that the land each of us live, learn and thrive are the traditional, ancestral and unceded homelands of Indigenous and tribal nations. Our home and institution is on the original homelands of the Monocan tribal nation(s). We acknowledge the genocide and systems of oppression that have dispossessed Indigenous people of their lands and we honor and respect the diverse and beautiful peoples still connected to this land.

View a map of Indigenous lands.