Neylan McBaine Discusses the History of Women's Suffrage in Utah at the Annual G. Homer Durham Lecture

Illustration by Brooke Smart

On February 13, co-founder and CEO of Better Days 2020 Neylan McBaine delivered the G. Homer Durham lecture. It was standing room only at the event! She discussed the history of women’s suffrage in Utah, highlighting how February 14, 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of Utah women being the first Americans to vote under an equal suffrage law. Better Days 2020 is an organization that seeks to spread the word about the heritage of these suffragists in order to encourage and support Utah women today in their corporate and political endeavors.

History of Women’s Suffrage in Utah:

McBaine summarized the history of women’s suffrage in Utah, starting off with the noteworthy anniversaries that the year 2020 marks: the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, and the 150th anniversary of Utah women’s first votes. McBaine then told the story of what happened 150 years ago: On February 12, 1870, the Utah territory gave women the right to vote. Two days later, Seraph Young cast the first ballot under equal suffrage law in a modern nation. McBaine explained that this law was passed for a specific reason: voting rights in Utah were linked to polygamy. In 1869, Utah territory was told to enfranchise their women, because people outside of Utah wanted Utah women to use the vote to free themselves from polygamy. However, Utah women did not cooperate, as McBaine shared, but instead, they formed large protest movements in defense of polygamy.

Yet the battle against polygamy continued, as McBaine explained: in 1887, Congress revoked Utah women’s suffrage rights under the Edward Tuckers Act that disenfranchised all polygamous men and women. However, that did not stop the Utah women from fighting for suffrage, as McBaine reported. They formed connections with key eastern leaders, including Susan B. Anthony, a national women’s suffrage leader. They even changed the names of their relief societies to “suffrage associations.” McBaine said that in 1896, Utah women regained the right to vote. Among the prominent suffragists in Utah who McBaine highlighted were Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon, the first female State Senator who ran against her husband and won, and Emmeline B. Wells, who edited one of the largest women’s suffrage papers, the Woman’s Exponent, and was one of the few early suffragists who was able to live to see the 19th Amendment passed in 1920.

However, the story did not end in 1920. McBaine shared that there is a broader narrative to this history as well: Native Americans could not vote in Utah state elections until 1957, Asian Americans until 1952, and African Americans until 1965. McBaine said that the voices of all of these women need to be recognized and remembered, including those of Zitkala-Sa, Alice Kasai, and Alberta Henry, civil rights activists and suffragists.

McBaine also presented three key takeaways from the history of women’s suffrage in Utah:

  1. The story of suffrage isn’t just about voting. The suffrage movement marked a transition for American women to move from the limited domestic sphere to the broader political sphere.
  2. Utah women worked with men to achieve their goals. It was not a power grab between the two sexes, but more of a church and federal government conflict.
  3. Utah women were neither pawns nor militants. Don’t depict women as all good or all bad, because often both women’s and men’s lives are contradictory. Working together for the betterment of humanity is messy but always worth it.

McBaine also left us with these parting questions: what does this legacy mean for us today? Are you living up to the legacy that these men and women left for us 150 years ago? McBaine encouraged both men and women to live up to this legacy. She said that sometimes we as women “let things limit what we are capable of,” for reasons including a lack of role models or a supportive community, but we can look to the suffragists of the 19th and 20th centuries as our exemplars. In fact, Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon, first female state senator, succeeded in earning four degrees because of support from her community. McBaine said that these women were “trailblazers” and that “you can claim this heritage!”

Theda Skocpol, Harvard Sociologist and Political Scientist, to Discuss "Upending American Politics"

Theda Skocpol, Professor of Sociology and Political Science at Harvard University, will be speaking on Thursday, February 27th at 11 am in WSC 3224 on Upending American Politics: Polarizing Parties, Ideological Elites, and Citizen Activists from the Tea Party to the Anti-Trump Resistance.  This event is open to the public.

Professor Skocpol’s work covers an unusually broad spectrum of topics including both comparative politics (States and Social Revolutions, 1979) and American politics (Protecting Soldiers and Mothers: The Political Origins of Social Policy in the United States, 1992). Her books and articles have been widely cited in political science literature and have won numerous awards, including the 1993 Woodrow Wilson Award of the American Political Science Association for the best book in political science for the previous year. Skocpol’s research focuses on U.S. social policy and civic engagement in American democracy, including changes since the 1960s. She has recently launched new projects on the development of U.S. higher education and on the transformations of U.S. federal policies in the Obama era.

Celebrating Diversity in February

Happy February! It’s Black History Month – an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of blacks in U.S. history.

February 1-29 Black History Month  “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” ~ Desmond Tutu

February 3 FHE: Vignettes of Black Saints – Learn about inspiring figures in Black Church history such as Jane Manning James, Martha Stevens Perkins Howell, Samuel D. Chambers, and Mary Frances Sturlaugson. Refreshments to follow.

7, 7:30, 8 PM  Education in Zion Gallery – JFSB

February 5, 19, & 26 Lunchtime Jazz Concert – Enjoy an hour of Jazz at noon. Feb. 5th features Greg Stallings, Feb. 19th features the Giddins Family, & Feb. 26th features the Legacy Band.

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM  BYU Library Auditorium

February 6 Race and Immigration Panel Discussion

4:30 PM  B192 JFSB  (Refreshments provided). 

February 6 Marjorie Pay Hinckley Lecture 

Kenneth Dodge, Duke University, Sanford School of Public Policy

Building a System of Care to Help all Children Succeed.

7:30 PM  Garden Court, WSC

February 10 FHE: Vignettes of Black Saints  Learn about inspiring figures in Black Church history such as Jane Manning James, Martha Stevens Perkins Howell, Samuel D. Chambers, and Mary Frances Sturlaugson. Refreshments to follow.

7, 7:30, 8 PM  Education in Zion Gallery – JFSB

February 12 Black History Month: Jazz and the Civil Rights Movement  Galen Abdur Razzaq, aka Flute Juice, is an extraordinary flutist with an extensive performance career. A former educator, composer, arranger, director, and producer of children’s songs, Razzaq has performed and lectured at colleges and universities for over twenty-five years.

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM B192 JFSB

February 14 Valentines Day 

Living Legends  Living Legends captures the essence of ancient and modern culture in a panorama of Latin American, Native American, and Polynesian song and dance. Traditions come to life as talented descendants of these cultures blend authentic choreography, intricate costumes, and heart-pounding music into one captivating show.

7:30 PM de Jong Concert Hall (Tickets Required: eventtickets.byu.edu/)

February 20 Jesus, Gender, and Judaism  Amy-Jill Levine, an expert in both Jewish Studies and Early Christianity, will explore the Jewish context of the historical Jesus and his interaction with and teachings about women. 

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM  238 HRCB

Hickman Diversity & Inclusion Lecture  

Ignacio Garcia, BYU History Department

“A Vision to be Whole: Making BYU a Place Where All of God’s Children can Learn, Teach & Fellowship”

11:00 AM  250 KMBL

February 27 Black Women from Convict Leasing to Mass Incarceration: A Conversation with Talitha LeFlouria 

Come join and listen in on an important lecture with Talitha LeFlouria, she is a nationally recognized Historian and a leading expert on black women and mass incarceration. She is the author of the multi-award winning book called Chained In Silence: Black Women and Convict Labor in the New South, the first history of black, working-class incarcerated women in the post-Civil War Period. 

11:00 AM  B192 JFSB

February 28 BYU Perspectives: A Black History Month Celebration 

Come join us in celebrating Black History Month and the major impact it has had on who we are today. This event celebrates black history and allows students to share their personal perspectives of such through music dance and spoken work. 

Come support fellow students as they share their perspectives.

7:00 PM – 8:30 PM  Wilkinson Center Ballroom

Take Away the Phone: Restrictive Monitoring of Social Media is Less Effective than Parents Think

Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

Does restricting screen time help teenagers be wiser social media users? How can parents help promote positive social media use in their homes? BYU Students Ronde Walch and Alyssa Sabey provide answers to these questions in their article “Parental Monitoring of Adolescent Social Media Use and Emotional Regulation” in Family Perspectives, a journal published by BYU’s School of Family Life and written by students. Walch and Sabey conclude the following about teenagers and social media use:

First, it is helpful to know what social media use is considered “normal.” Walch and Sabey cite researchers who found that 30-60 minutes a day is a “moderate” amount of social media use for teenagers. Normal uses of social media for teenagers include socializing with friends, making relationships, creating their own identity, exerting their independence, and exploring their social world. Research also indicates that positive outcomes such as meaningful connections with friends and family and support from groups can be results of proper social media use. However, much research also focuses on the dangers associated with social media use as well, such as cyberbullying, verbal abuse from former partners, and the threat of online predators. Being aware of the positive and negative effects of social media, what can parents do to promote positive outcomes for their teenagers? Is restricting their social media use the answer?

Contrary to popular opinion, Walch and Sabey report that restricting teenagers’ social media use is not the best way to promote positive social media use. Research shows that restricting teenagers’ social media use causes teens to not feel trusted and can also limit their abilities to develop self-regulation skills, which can be related to the development of anxiety, depression, aggression, and internet addiction. So, if restricting teenagers’ social media use adds to these negative outcomes, what can parents do to promote positive social media use?

One of the most effective ways parents can help teenagers be wise social media users is to have conversations with their teenagers about what they encounter on social media so that teenagers themselves can learn to be “critical consumers of media.” Although not directly linked to it, emotional regulation skills can also be fostered in this environment of “active media monitoring” versus restrictive monitoring. Studies have found that when teenagers know how to work through their emotions in a healthy way, they are also better at monitoring their social media use and the amount of time they spend on it. This means that the best thing parents can do to promote positive social media use is to talk to their teens about social media content, which supports the development of self-regulation and enables teens to “navigate their social world, both online and off.”

To read the full article, go to “Parental Monitoring of Adolescent Social Media Use and Emotional Regulation.”

 To check out more articles on family issues, visit https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/familyperspectives/.

Seeing the Forest and the Trees: The Hickman Diversity and Inclusion Lecture

Dr. Ignacio Garcia, the Lemuel Hardison Redd Jr. Professor of Western and Latino History, will present the first annual Hickman Diversity Lecture titled “A Vision to be Whole: Unlearning Ephraim and Re-engaging 2 Nephi 26:33” on Thursday, February 20, 2020 at 11 AM in 250 KMBL.

The title of Garcia’s lecture focuses on how the doctrine of Ephraim has limited our view as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He will discuss the Church’s past doctrine that the members of the tribe of Ephraim were the “chosen people” and those of other genealogical heritages were perceived to be less obedient and worthy. Garcia states that although the Church has rejected this view for many years, it has still appeared in manuals as recently as four years ago. He says while members of the Church reject this thinking “whole-heartedly,” we don’t often realize that it has “seeped into everything we do.” He says this kind of sub-conscious bias is like how “we may reject our parents, but eventually we start turning into them because it is how we were raised.” 

Garcia will talk about how we can move past our mistaken thinking about the genealogical concept of Ephraim by realizing “it’s contrary to what Nephi was preaching in 2 Nephi 26:33, which is ‘the Body of Christ includes everyone, bond or free, male or female,’” regardless of our differences.

When asked to share more details about the lecture, Garcia says that he hopes to “look at differences and diversity as part of creating a whole for all of us as Latter-Day Saints, Americans, and human beings.” To do this, Dr. Garcia says we need to see that all things are integrated, but often our view is too narrow. He compares how we view diversity to how we often view a forest. He says that if we look at a forest but don’t see “the animals, the bushes, and the soil, we’re not really seeing a forest, but just trees.” He says this limited view impacts how we each deal with the issue of diversity, and it keeps us from integrating each person’s experience into our view of God’s kingdom.

During the lecture Garcia says he will “share some personal stories that point out how we often don’t know how to deal with people of color and people who are different.” He goes on to say, “Not only do we not know how to deal with them, we don’t know how to integrate their experiences, wants, and needs into our experience to make it about all of us.”

Garcia will also share some ideas of how we can each improve our vision when it comes to diversity and difference. First, he says that instead of asking people of color about their experiences, “we need to engage in conversations” to avoid asymmetric relationships. He goes on to talk about how we need to examine our relationship with the doctrine of Ephraim, and realize that although we may reject it, its ideas may still cloud our view when interacting with people of color. Finally, Garcia says that “We need to stretch ourselves to break down the forest into all its valuable parts and ask ‘How can we create God’s forest and who belongs in it?’” and also “look around ourselves and ask ‘Am I really creating a forest?’” in our church, academic, professional, and personal circles. Garcia says it is only once we have asked ourselves these questions that we can see the parts of our personal forests that are missing so we can see more than just the trees.        

The Hickman Diversity Lecture is given annually by a faculty member who has been awarded the Hickman Diversity, Collaboration, and Inclusion Award based on their research, teaching, and citizenship in the area of diversity and inclusion. Dr. Ignacio Garcia is the winner of the first award given in 2020.  

Political Science Alum Worked to Change National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Number

Ryan Leavitt, partner at Barker Leavitt, a Government Affairs and Political Consulting Law Firm

BYU College of Family, Home and Social Sciences alumnus, Ryan Leavitt, served as the lead staffer for the bill requiring The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to designate a new suicide prevention lifeline number. “Suicide across the nation has become an epidemic especially with young people” says Leavitt.

Utah has the fifth highest suicide rate in the nation and suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. according to The Centers for Disease Control.

Leavitt worked under the direction of Senator Orrin Hatch and Congressman Chris Stewart who authored the bill requiring the FCC to change the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline from 1-800-273-TALK to 988 in the next eighteen months.

“Right now if someone experiencing a mental health emergency needs assistance, the lifeline number they call to get help is really long. People who are having a hard time are not going to know where to get help” says Leavitt.  

Leavitt worked to create legislation which was signed by President Donald Trump called the Hotline Improvement Act of 2018. This act required a study by the FCC to determine the best three-digit code for the lifeline. The code 988 was determined to be the most effective. The FCC voted unanimously in December of 2019 to approve the proposal. This proposal will require carriers to implement 988 for a suicide prevention and mental health crisis lifeline.

 “The idea is to have a simple three-digit number like you have for 911 that everyone knows. The challenge is people don’t know the suicide lifeline number and they call 911 instead and then we are directing resources inefficiently.”

After almost ten years of public service Leavitt says, “The suicide lifeline bill is the piece of legislation I am personally most proud of.”

Leavitt, is currently a partner at a Government Affairs and Political Consulting Law Firm in D.C. and he attributes his career success to his educational opportunities starting with his undergraduate education at Brigham Young University. Leavitt earned a degree in Political Science in 2011. He built strong relationships with his professors and admits “I have BYU professors that I still keep in close contact with now, years later”.  Leavitt took full advantage of internship opportunities throughout his undergraduate career, participating in the Washington Seminar and interning with the Utah State Legislature.

Within one week of his graduation, Leavitt accepted a job with Senator Mike Lee and moved to D.C. After graduating from law school at George Mason in 2014, he was hired by Senator Hatch as an attorney on the Senate Judiciary Committee Staff.

Serving as a legislative staffer, Leavitt was assigned to advise Senator Hatch on Telecommunications. Utah Senator David Thatcher and Congressman Steve Eliason had begun advocating in the Utah State Legislative Sessions to designate a three-digit number as the suicide prevention hotline number in Utah. The Utah senators then solicited the help of Senator Hatch and Congressman Stewart to expand their proposal nationally.

Leavitt describes the bill as a “great hope” for those struggling with mental health.

To get help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). There is also a crisis text line. 988 is not currently active and will be implemented in the next eighteen months.

Celebrating Diversity in January

January is the era of new beginnings and refining our visions for the rest of the year. We invite everyone to strive for more opportunities where we can learn about one another and how we can continue to celebrate diversity in all its forms. In doing so, we will gain meaningful experiences for our own personal growth.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • January is National Mentoring Month
  • January 15 The Greening of International Literary Studies: Many Voices, Similar Songs – This presentation will offer a brief global tour of international varieties of ecocriticism ranging from Brazil to China and from France to India. 12:00-1:00 PM, 238 HRCB
  • January 18 is World Religion Day
  • January 20 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Community Outreach Day: Join us for BYU’s biggest day of service – as we honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy through service. Light breakfast, musical performance, and inspirational speaker will be at the event. 8:15 AM – 12:00 PM, Wilkinson Student Center
  • January 22, Martin Luther King, Jr. Walk of Life: Our celebration will begin with a candlelight walk from the Marriott Center Tunnel to our Wilkinson Student Center Ballroom. Our walk will be led by BYU’s ROTC and accompanied with melodic songs by our Gospel Choir. Once we arrive at the Ballroom, we will be addressed by our keynote speaker TBD. 7:00-8:30 PM, Marriott Center Tunnel
  • January 24,  OFF THE MAP: Kuné – Canada’s global orchestra, Kuné, explores and celebrates Canada’s cultural diversity and pluralism. The thirteen virtuoso musicians hail from all corners of the globe and play instruments as diverse as they are. 7:30 PM Pardoe Theatre (Tickets Required: eventtickets.byu.edu/)
  • January 25 is the Lunar New Year
  • January 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day
  • January 27, FHE: Chinese New Year – Come celebrate Chinese New Year and learn about why and how it is celebrated. 7, 7:30, 8 PM Education in Zion Gallery – JFSB
  • January 30Panel Discussion: Black-Latino Alliance – 4:30 PM B192 JFSB  

Dr. Kenneth Dodge Shares His System of Care to Help All Children Succeed at the 16th Annual Marjorie Pay Hinckley Lecture

Dr. Kenneth Dodge, Sanford School of Public Policy and Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University

Dr. Kenneth Dodge will deliver his lecture, “Building A System of Care to Help All Children Succeed” on Thursday, February 6, 2020 at 7:30 PM in the Wilkinson Center Garden Court at Brigham Young University. Dodge will discuss how our youngest children, aged 0-4, are not faring well in this nation. Dodge will describe research that shows that although communities have an array of programs for families with young children, they do not have the impact needed to prepare children for kindergarten. His findings indicate the problem is the lack of a systematic way for communities to reach all families. Dodge will propose a new Family Connects System of Care that reaches out to every family giving birth in a community. This program provides short-term home visits from local nurses to assess needs of individual families and connect them with community resources. During his lecture, Dodge will describe three examples of how the Family Connects System of Care program has impacted communities and will describe how Family Connects is being disseminated across the country.

Dr. Dodge is the Pritzker Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. He is also the founding and past director of the Center for Child and Family Policy. Dodge is a leading scholar in the development and prevention of aggressive and violent behaviors. His work provides a model for understanding how some young children grow up to engage in aggression and violence and provides a framework for intervening early to prevent the costly consequences of violence for children and their communities. Dodge joined the faculty of the Sanford School of Public Policy in September 1998. He is a trained clinical and developmental psychologist, having earned his B.A. in psychology at Northwestern University in 1975 and his Ph.D. in psychology at Duke University in 1978. Prior to joining Duke, Dodge served on the faculty at Indiana University, the University of Colorado, and Vanderbilt University. Dodge has published more than 500 scientific articles and was elected into the National Academy of Medicine in 2015 and is currently serving as the President-Elect of the Society for Research in Child Development.

Dr. Dodge’s address will be the 16th Annual Marjorie Pay Hinckley Lecture, named for the late wife of Gordon B. Hinckley, former president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Admission is free to all members of the public. Brigham Young University established the Marjorie Pay Hinckley Endowed Chair in Social Work and the Social Sciences in 2003 to honor Sister Hinckley’s commitment to strengthening home and family. The chair focuses on understanding and strengthening the family, the development of women, and strategies to help both parents and children in difficult circumstances. Each year, the chair invites a distinguished scholar to deliver a lecture addressing a pertinent social issue.

Neylan McBaine to Examine Women's Suffrage in Utah During the G. Homer Durham Lecture

Neylan McBaine, co-founder and CEO of Better Days 2020.

Neylan McBaine, co-founder and CEO of Better Days 2020, will present the 2020 G. Homer Durham Lecture on Thursday, February 13, 2020 at 11:00 AM in 250 Kimball Tower. McBaine will discuss how February 14, 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of Utah women being the first Americans to vote under an equal suffrage law, fifty years before the nation adopted a constitutional amendment recognizing women’s political rights. How did this pioneering leadership happen right here in Utah? What role did the Church and LDS women specifically play in the national movement to codify women’s rights? And what does this legacy mean for us today? This presentation will explore the rich and unknown story of LDS women’s remarkable actions and ask how we can honor this heritage in our own lives. Better Days 2020 celebrates the 150th anniversary of women first voting in Utah (the first women to vote in the modern nation) and the centennial of the 19th Amendment through education, events and the arts.

 McBaine’s previous marketing experience includes in-house positions at Silicon Valley companies as well as advertising agencies. Her projects include a role in the “I’m A Mormon” campaign, and she brings her understanding of audience and brand to her current work. She has also been an important voice in Latter-day Saint and Utah women’s advocacy for nearly a decade, first as the founder of the Mormon Women Project, a non-profit dedicated to mobilizing Mormon women by telling their stories and exploring opportunities for increasing their voice within the church institution. McBaine’s book Women at Church: Magnifying LDS Women’s Local Impact, which explores possibilities for increased female participation in LDS administration, has been called “a monumental piece of work,” “pivotal,” and “a remarkable resource that belongs in every Latter-day Saint home.” Her work has been anthologized in The Essential Writings of Mormon Feminism, and several other compilations.

Since co-founding Better Days 2020 over two years ago, Neylan has become a leader in speaking and writing about women’s leadership and the U.S. suffrage movement, with a specific focus on Utah and the west’s early role in that movement. She has developed a team of historians, educators and marketers that have changed the way Utahns view and understand women’s history, leading to shifts in current perceptions of ourselves and Utahns generally. Her third book, Pioneering the Vote: The Untold Story of the West’s First Suffrage Triumphs, will be published by Shadow Mountain in February 2020. Neylan is a graduate of Yale University, mother to three daughters, and lives in Salt Lake City.

Celebrating Diversity in December

This Christmas season join BYU in a celebration of our differences by attending a performance or discussion or two.

EVENTS:

December 4

Faith in God: A Black Man’s Perspective: 12:00-1:00 PM 238 HRCB 

PEN Talks: “Nontraditional Families“: Join us in a dialogue held in a safe space with fellow BYU students who will share meaningful & eye-opening experiences on their families that have dealt with divorce, addiction, siblings & parents from the LGBTQ+ community, mental health disabilities, etc.  7:00-8:30 PM Varsity Theater 

December 5 

Celestial Jews and Terrestrial Realities: Come experience an inside look into the fascinating religious identity of Judaism. 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM 382 JSB

December 6

Christmas Around the World: A spectacular performance capturing the rich ethnic diversity of the world through authentic choreography, with more than 200 dancers, singers, & musicians in native costumes. 10:00 AM & 7:30 PM Marriott Center (Tickets Required: eventtickets.byu.edu/)

Celebration of Christmas: Usher in the Christmas season with the combined BYU Choirs & the BYU Philharmonic. 7:30 PM de Jong Concert Hall 

December 7

Christmas Around the World: 2:00 PM & 7:30 PM Marriott Center (Tickets Required: eventtickets.byu.edu/)

Celebration of Christmas: 3:00 PM & 7:30 PM de Jong Concert Hall

December 9

FHE: Christmas in Nauvoo: 7:00, 7:30, 8:00, 8:30 PM Education in Zion Gallery – JFSB

Planetarium Show: The Christmas Star: 7:00-8:00 PM Eyring Science Center Room N465 

Special FHE at the MOA with Brian Kershisnik7:00-8:30 PM BYU Museum of Art 

December 11 & 12

Mawlid al-nabiThis Islamic Holiday honors the birth of the prophet Muhammad, who founded Islam. The holiday is celebrated by reading & studying the prophet’s teachings. 

December 25: Merry Christmas!

December 22 – 30

Hanukkah, or Chanukah: An eight-day Jewish celebration that commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, a miracle to many. This celebration begins and ends in the evenings of the respective days.

December 26 – January 1

Kwanzaa: which means “first fruits” in Swahili. Celebrations often include songs & dances, African drums, storytelling, poetry reading, & a large traditional meal. On each of the seven nights, families gather & a child lights one of the candles on the Kinara, then one of the seven values of African culture, is discussed.

December 31: New Years Eve