2019-10-01 - 2019-10-31


  • Start: 2019-10-01
  • End: 2019-10-31
  • Event Category Humanist Action Kit

Supporting Marginalized Populations

In October we focus on supporting marginalized populations because there are several holidays that bring attention to the challenges faced and successes achieved of various groups. Marginalized populations are those excluded from mainstream social, economic, cultural, or political life. People may be excluded due to race, religion, political or cultural backgrounds, age, gender, or financial status. Humanists recognize that all individuals have universal human rights that must be respected and protected. October is also Freethought Month and Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Useful Dates for October

October 1 - International Day of Older Persons
The International Day of Older Persons is an opportunity to highlight the important contributions that older people make to society and raise awareness of the opportunities and challenges of ageing in today’s world. Older people have always played a significant role in society as leaders, caretakers, and custodians of tradition. Yet they are also highly vulnerable, with many falling into poverty, becoming disabled, or facing discrimination. As health care improves, the population of older people is growing. Their needs are also growing, as are their contributions to the world.
October 2 - International Day of Non-Violence
The International Day of Non-Violence is celebrated on October 2, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence. According to General Assembly resolution A/RES/61/271 of 15 June 2007, which established the commemoration, the International Day is an occasion to “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness”. The resolution reaffirms “the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence” and the desire “to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence”.
October 5 - World Teachers' Day
World Teachers’ Day is celebrated annually worldwide and brings together governments, multi- and bilateral organizations, NGOs, private sectors, teachers and experts in the field of teaching. With the adoption of SDG 4 on education, and the dedicated target 4.c recognizing teachers as key to the achievement of the 2030 Education Agenda, it has become the occasion to mark achievements and reflect on ways to counter the remaining challenges for the promotion of the teaching profession, like the acute shortage of teachers.
October 7 - World Habitat Day
The United Nations designated the first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. The Day is also intended to remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns. The focus of this year’s World Habitat Day is promoting the contribution of innovative frontier technologies to sustainable waste management to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 11: inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities.
October 8 - Indigenous Peoples' Day
As the Unitarian Universalist Association explains, “Indigenous Peoples Day” reimagines Columbus Day and changes a celebration of colonialism into an opportunity to reveal historical truths about the genocide and oppression of indigenous peoples in the Americas, to organize against current injustices, and to celebrate indigenous resistance.

The idea of replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day was born in 1977, at a U.N.-sponsored conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on discrimination against indigenous populations in the Americas. More and more cities and states are replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

October 10 - World Mental Health Day
World Mental Health Day is observed on October 10 every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.
October 11 - National LGBTQ Coming Out Day
National Coming Out Day takes place on October 11 in recognition of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, the second such demonstration. One out of every two Americans has someone close to them who is gay or lesbian. For transgender people, that number is only one in 10. Coming out – whether it is as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or allied – STILL MATTERS. When people know someone who is LGBTQ, they are far more likely to support equality under the law. See coming out resources at: https://www.hrc.org/resources/coming-out-resource-guides.
October 11 - International Day of the Girl
In 2011, as the result of youth advocacy around the world, the United Nations declared October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. Its mission is “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.” It’s a day when activist groups come together under the same goal to highlight, discuss, and take action to advance rights and opportunities for girls everywhere.
October 12 - Freethought Day
Freethought Day is the annual observance by freethinkers and secularists, supposedly due to the anniversary of the effective end of the Salem Witch Trials. Freethinkers must be allowed to openly admit themselves and their beliefs-or lack thereof. Only in such a supportive environment can freethinkers ever hope to gain the voice they need to change their world for the better of all.
October 16 - World Food Day
World Food Day is a day of action dedicated to tackling global hunger. Held annually on 16th October, people from around the world come together to declare their commitment to eradicate worldwide hunger from our lifetime. Achieving Zero Hunger is not only about addressing hunger,
but also nourishing people, while nurturing the planet. This year, World Food Day calls for action across sectors to make healthy and sustainable diets affordable and accessible to everyone. At the same time, it calls on everyone to start thinking about what we eat.
October 16 - International Pronouns Day
International Pronouns Day seeks to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace. Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity. Being referred to by the wrong pronouns particularly affects transgender and gender nonconforming people. Together, we can transform society to celebrate people’s multiple, intersecting identities.
October 17 - International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
In a world characterized by an unprecedented level of economic development, technological means and financial resources, that millions of persons are living in extreme poverty is a moral outrage. Poverty is not solely an economic issue, but rather a multidimensional phenomenon that encompasses a lack of both income and the basic capabilities to live in dignity. The full participation of people living in poverty, particularly in the decisions that affect their lives and communities, must be at the centre of policies and strategies to build a sustainable future. In this way, we can guarantee that our planet and our societies can fulfil the needs and aspirations of everyone – not only those of a privileged few – for this and future generations.
October 24 - United Nations Day
United Nations Day marks the anniversary of the 1945 UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the United Nations officially came into being. October 24 has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that the day be observed by Member States as a public holiday.


Collect Needed Items
There are various types of drives your group can do to provide materials to groups in need. Consider collecting school supplies for teachers, food for food pantries, or clothing for homeless shelters. Or connect with a retirement home to see what materials or volunteer time they would like.

Meet a Freethinker Event
Throw an event in a public space that invites people to learn about humanism and freethought, meet freethinkers, and find out about famous freethought writers like Mark Twain, George Eliot, Shakespeare, Isaac Asimov, Harlan Ellison, etc. You will both spread humanism and promote your group (make sure to include how people can connect with you). Group members can share stories on how they became freethinkers, pass out literature, and answer questions. Invite local news to cover the event and post about it on social media to get more publicity.

Build Connections to local Native Communities
Make plans to attend an event hosted by a Native group, organization, or cultural center in your area. Find out how your group can be of assistance regarding the issues nearby groups are working on or struggling with and invite others to join you in action.

Incorporate Pronouns into Group
Consider ways to incorporate pronouns into your communications to help normalize their usage and make your group more welcoming. Ex: mentioning pronouns when introducing yourself at gatherings, including pronouns in email signatures, offering a place for pronouns on name tags, and adding pronouns to membership lists. For resources on how to explain why pronouns are important, see https://pronounsday.org/resources.

Social Media Toolkit

#HumanismInAction #HumanRights

Life is not a solo act. It’s a huge collaboration, and we all need to assemble around us the people who care about us and support us in times of strife. ― Tim Gunn

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed. Never throw out anyone. ― Audrey Hepburn

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. ― Helen Keller