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Social Justice Resources

Guide to social justice resources for faculty, staff, students, and the public.

Celebrations and Days of Awareness in January

January 16, 2023: Martin Luther King Jr Day (US)

Celebrated each year on the third Monday in January, the Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service (MLK Day) honors the life, philosophy, and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., widely considered the most influential leader of the American civil rights movement.

Read more about Dr. King here:

Learn about Dr. King's legacy:

MLK Day is the only federal holiday that is also designated by Congress as a national day of service – a “day on, not a day off.” Service brings peoples from all backgrounds together to work for the common good in their communities, a step towards creating the “Beloved Community” of Dr King’s dream. As Coretta Scott King said, “The greatest birthday gift my husband could receive is if people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds celebrated the holiday by performing individual acts of kindness through service to others.”  

For ideas on how to participate in a day of service, check out these project ideas from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Civil Rights. 

  • Donate or Volunteer with Food Banks and Pantries - Visit Feeding America or Food Pantries to find an organization near you. 
  • Deliver Meals and Groceries to Vulnerable Seniors - Help out someone you know or contact your local Meals on Wheels to learn ways to volunteer. 
  • Stay in Touch - Check on your neighbors, friends, and family, especially those who are older or maybe alone. A phone call, text, or a conversation through the door could brighten their day. 
  • Serve in Your Community – Visit your State Service Commission’s website for details. 
  • Volunteer from Home – Check out for service ideas. 
  • Find more information at

Find even more ways to participate, both in-person and virtually, at Teach for America’s 19 Resources and Ideas to Celebrate the MLK Day of Service.

January 22, 2023: Lunar New Year - Year of the Rabbit

 What is Lunar New Year?

Lunar New Year, also known as the Chinese New Year and the Spring Festival, is celebrated by nearly 2 billion people worldwide. In 2023, Lunar New Year falls on Jan. 22, when participants will say goodbye to the Year of the Tiger and usher in the Year of the Rabbit.

Traditionally it's a time to honor ancestors and deities, marked by family reunions, parades and fireworks. While based on the Chinese calendar, Lunar New Year is also celebrated in Korea, Singapore, Mongolia, Tibet, Vietnam, and in Asian communities around the world.

Year of the Rabbit:

The Chinese calendar operates on a 12-year cycle, with each year linked to one of a dozen animals -- rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.  The year 2023 in the Gregorian calendar is designated the Year of the Rabbit.  The rabbit is the fourth animal in the Chinese zodiac, symbolizing grace, beauty, mercy and good luck. Rabbits are also associated with the moon, because of the mythical Jade Rabbit who lives there.

Ways to Celebrate:

  • Attend a local parade or event
  • Implement your spring cleaning ritual as a way to sweep out evil spirits and start fresh
  • Learn about and/or try new dishes that honor Lunar New Year. For example, across China, eating a whole fish, called “yu” shares its name with the word for abundance and is a common dinner tradition. In Shanghai, certain dumplings are common; in Guangzhou oysters are eaten because their name in the local dialect means “good business.” In Vietnam, it is traditional to eat peanut brittle, coconut candy, and banh chung. In Korea, it is traditional to eat teokguk, a soup with clear broth and white rice cakes, symbolizing a clean mind and body for the new year.
  • You can find a thorough list of ways to celebrate here: 10 Essential Lunar New Year Traditions for Celebrating around the World - Beyond Borders (

January 27, 2023: International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

Seventy-eight years ago, the largest concentration and death camp in Europe, Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated on January 27th, 1945. By then, more than six million Jews and millions more people – including Roma and Sinti, Slavs, persons with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ individuals, those identifying as socialists and communists, and general disruptors to the Nazi regime – had been killed by the Nazis and their collaborators. This day of remembrance was designated to keep human dignity at the forefront and prevent a future Holocaust and crimes against humanity. Please take some time to review some of the materials below to help ensure this knowledge continues to pass to future generations and is not lost.

How to commemorate the day:

Other Resources and Materials:

**Due to the horror of the Holocaust, some materials may contain disturbing images and information.**

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