Thinking Global

There are few months in the year that are as exciting as June.  For some, June marks the end of the school year and a time to celebrate the commencement of new graduates.  It's also a time to don your tuxedos and evening gowns for the end of the year prom.  You can also plan to get together with friends and family to watch the NBA and NHL finals.  By combining all these reasons to party with the warm summer weather, it's no wonder why June is the favorite month for most.  In addition to these fun events, we have also found some others that will add to the excitement on a global level.

Among the global events for June, are some very important issues.  These are the environment, the need for a globally available safe blood supply and the millions of refugees who have been displaced from their homes.

World Environment Day is sanctioned by the United Nations and takes place on June 5, 2006.   The theme for this year is “Don’t Desert Drylands”.  The emphasis is on deserts and desertification.  Desertification as defined by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification is “land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities.”  Some of the human activities include overgrazing, deforestation and burning of extensive areas.  World Environment Day educates the public about the importance of maintaining desert vegetation, the installation of wells for safe water supplies and restoring balance in the desert ecosystem for human and wildlife betterment.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announces World Blood Donor Day.  This event takes place on June 14, 2006.  Global launch will be hosted by the Thai Red Cross Society in Bangkok, Thailand.  Eight out of ten people in the world do not have access to a safe blood supply.  World Blood Donor Day is a time to thank regular blood donors and a time to discuss strategic plans for increasing availability to those who need it world-wide. 

June 20, 2006 is World Refugee Day.  The United Nation’s High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) offers suggestions for events, contests and volunteerism.  This event highlights the contribution of refugees around the world.  This year, the theme is simply “Hope.”    There are millions of refugees world-wide who are forced to flee their homes due to tyranny, political unrest or natural disasters.  This tragedy will be highlighted so that the public might be more aware of ways to assist these people who are in circumstances beyond their personal control. 
In the United States, Father’s Day and Flag Day are among the most historically prominent celebrations.  However, June is also Gay and Lesbian Pride Month.

Betsy Ross was commissioned to sew the first flag in June 1776.  She was a widow who also happened to be an upholsterer.  In colonial times, upholsterers not only worked on furniture, but also sewed other items, such as flags.  June 14, 1777 is when the Continental Congress adopted the first flag, sewn by Betsy Ross, with 13 stars and 13 stripes as the official flag of the United States of America.  In 1888, the Flag Act passed congress to declare that the American flag would always have 13 stripes for the original 13 colonies.  As more states joined the union, more stars were then added to symbolize each state.  White in the flag symbolizes innocence and purity.  Red is for hardiness and valor.  Blue stands for the unity of our citizens, bound together as one nation.   Flag Day continues to be recognized annually on June 14th.   

Sonora Dodd first had the idea to celebrate Father’s Day while she was listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909.  In 1910, she organized the first celebration in Spokane, Washington around the time of her father’s birthday in June.  In 1924, Calvin Coolidge signed an official presidential proclamation which declared the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day.  June 18, 2006 is a day to recognize fathers and celebrate their importance in the lives of their children.  Canada and the United States both celebrate Father’s Day.

June is also Gay and Lesbian Pride Month.  The mission includes education and encouragement for diversity in community celebrations.  One can find events for every weekend in June all over the United States.  These events include parades, speeches and activities. The theme for 2006 is “Pride Not Prejudice”.

Events which are not as well known for June include National Bubba Day, Old Maid’s Day, National Hollerin’ Contest Day and National Pink Day.

Enjoy the summer heat and don’t forget to take doughnuts to your co-workers on June 2nd to celebrate National Doughnut Day.  No need to experience guilt over the calories because June 26th is also National Forgiveness Day.

Some useful resources for June:

  • - Official website of the "Your Prom" magazine.  Includes ideas and advice from the editors, an online dress finder, and the latest prom trends.
  • World Environment Day - Description of World Environment Day 2006 from the United Nations.
  • World Blood Donor Day 2006 - Find a full news release about World Blood Donor Day from the World Health Organization.
  • World Refugee Day 2006 - Learn about what happened during World Refugee Day 2005 to get an idea of the significance of this annual event. 
  • UN for UNHCR - News release offers event suggestions and materials to download for this event.
  • International Jugglers’ Association - Offering information about events on World Juggling Day.
  • InterPride - Featuring a list of major US cities and event dates for celebration of Gay Pride Month.