DEI Spotlight

In early 2021, the City of Irvine passed a resolution reaffirming Irvine's commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in our City and subsequently formed an Ad-hoc Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. The committee's first campaign, “We Are Irvine,” aims to embrace and celebrate diversity and foster an environment that is inclusive of all cultures, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, ages, abilities, perspectives, and ways of thinking. 

This webpage is an arm of the We Are Irvine campaign and will be updated regularly to reflect the current and upcoming celebrations and observances of our community members and residents. 

January Celebrations

Emancipation Proclamation 

January 1 marks the date President Abraham Lincoln enacted the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free." 

The Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in the nation due to limitations of the order, which only promised freedom dependent upon United States military victory during the Civil War. It did, however, mark a significant change to the reason behind the war — a war for freedom. 

You can read more about the Emancipation Proclamation and view images of the document on the National Archives website

Korean American Day

Korean American Day on January 13th commemorates the arrival of the first Korean immigrants to the United States in 1903. 

In 1882, the United States and Korea signed a treaty establishing a peaceful relationship, friendship, and commerce. While this led to Korean diplomats, students, politicians, and businessmen visiting the United States, few felt compelled to stay. It wasn’t until December of 1902, on the SS Gaelic, that 102 Korean immigrants set sail for Honolulu, Hawaii. These families initiated the first wave of Korean immigration, resulting in more than 7,500 immigrants over the next two years. This day honors and celebrates Korean Americans' immense contributions to every aspect of society.

Makar Sankranti or Maghi

Like languages, so many religions are practiced in Irvine. In Hinduism, Makar Sankranti, also known as Maghi or Makara Sankranti is an important Hindu religious and harvest festival that celebrates the sun's journey back into the northern hemisphere and is considered a highly positive event.

Makar Sankranti is marks the first day when the sun is transiting into Capricorn, also known as Makara in Hindi. 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a holiday in the United States honoring the achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister and civil rights leader who advocated for nonviolent resistance against racial segregation.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

This day is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and honors the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism. 

Past Celebrations

Learn more about past celebrations and observances of our diverse community members and residents by clicking the links below.