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December Cultural Awareness and Recognitions

During December, there are no month-long recognitions; however, as with other months, there are daily observances which have been identified. One of these is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3. According to, disability is a condition or function judged to be significantly impaired relative to the usual standard of an individual of their group. Referred to as “the world’s largest minority,” persons with disabilities have generally poorer health, lower education achievements, fewer economic opportunities, and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities.

  • More than 1 billion people in the world have some form of disability.
  • More than 100 million disabled persons are children.
  • Children with disabilities are almost four times more likely to experience violence than non-disabled children.
  • 50% of disabled persons cannot afford health care.

As we wrap up the calendar year, take this time to reflect on what it means to recognize, honor, and celebrate culture. Each of us, even within our own cultural identities, has a multitude of beliefs, values, and passions. The term cultural identities highlights the multiple characteristics which make up who we are both individually and collectively. Though we may be identified on the surface by our ethnicity, which is what often comes to mind when we hear culture, our identity is also our age, ability, religion, gender, sexual orientation, thinking style, political ideology, education level, geographic location, socioeconomic status, and others.

As we enter this holiday season, please be mindful of what this time of year can mean for the people in our lives. For some, it is a time of comfort and joy celebrated with friends, family, and loved ones. For others, it is a time of discomfort and stress related to past or present experiences due to family hardship or media and social pressures connected to holiday spending. For more information, please check out this link about holiday stress and the brain.

In addition, during this time of year, families may experience a greater need for support and resources.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. I appreciate and value the opportunity to hear from you.

In service,
Wil Johnson
Director, Equity & Inclusion
E hele me ka pu'olo. Kulia i ka nu’u.