October offers a wide opportunity to celebrate the diverse world we live in today.
International Day of Older Persons
We begin the month by celebrating International Day of Older Persons on October 1. This annual celebration recognizes the contributions of older persons and all that they give to their families and their communities.
On December 14, 1990, the UN General Assembly made October 1 the International Day of Older Persons. The International Day of Older Persons was observed for the first time throughout the world on October 1, 1991, and in 1991 the UN General Assembly adopted the United Nations Principles for Older Persons. The United Nations stated, “Enhanced attention to the particular needs and challenges faced by many older people is clearly required.” It went on to state “It’s important to recognize the essential contribution the majority of older men and women continue to make to the functioning of society.
Presbyterian Senior Living celebrates additional cultures during the month, respecting that this list may not be all inclusive. Enjoy celebrating and learning about other cultures this month!
Filipino-American Heritage Month
Since 1992, the United States has celebrated Filipino American History Month (FAHM) every October. Proposed by the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) board of trustees, October was chosen to commemorate the arrival of the first Filipinos who landed in what is now Morro Bay, California on October 18, 1587. It is also the birth month of Filipino American labor leader, Larry Itliong. While some use the term Filipino American Heritage Month interchangeably with Filipino American History Month, FANHS cites the month should be properly focused on "history" instead of "heritage." Whereas history includes the events, experiences, and lives of people and their impact on society, "heritage" is solely about cultural traditions handed down from the past.
Italian-American Heritage Month
By Proclamation of the President and the US Congress, Italian-American Heritage and Culture Month is celebrated to honor the achievements and contributions of Italian immigrants and their descendants living in the United States, particularly in the arts, science, and culture. Events are held throughout the month celebrating and educating the public about Italian-American history and culture; it was first celebrated in 1989. In tribute to all Italian Americans, the US Congress designated the month of October 1989 as "Italian-American Heritage and Culture Month." Congress again proclaimed October as Italian-American Heritage and Culture Month for 1990. This proclamation was issued in 1990 by George H. Bush, in 1993 by Bill Clinton and in 2010 by Barack Obama.
Over 26 million Americans of Italian descent currently reside in the U.S.; making up America’s seventh largest ethnic group. Each October, millions of Americans of Italian descent come together to celebrate Italian-American Heritage Month and reflect on their families' histories, traditions, and values.
Polish-American Heritage Month
Polish American Heritage Month is an annual event celebrated in October by Polish-American communities. It was first celebrated in 1981 after organization by Michael Blichasz, President of the Polish American Cultural Center in Philadelphia. Originally it was celebrated in August at various gatherings, travel events, and culturally significant locations in Pennsylvania. President Ronald Reagan urged all Americans to join in the celebration honoring Polish heritage in the United States. The month was changed to October in 1986 to aid participating schools in organization during the school year, and October holds significance as the month when the first Polish settlers came to Jamestown, Virginia.
Celebrating International of Older Persons is seen at the communities of Presbyterian Senior Living as we celebrate our residents every day! We recognize residents offer wisdom and experience; they offer stories of their families, their cultures, where they grew up, their travels, their favorite memories. Residents remind us you are never “too old” to try something new, meet a new friend, go to a new place. The residents who live in our communities enjoy life on their own terms so that at every stage of the aging journey they have power to make choices. We appreciate that the residents who choose Presbyterian Senior Living communities come from various cultural backgrounds. During this month we recognize the rich heritage that the residents with Filipino, Italian, and Polish cultures bring to their communities.
PSL’s Cultures and Values give assurance of our organization’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, through ensuring that all stakeholders feel that they belong. By lifting up voices and people, we will create an organization where all stakeholders feel that they are of value. As part of this commitment PSL formed Culture Champions within each community and location within the organization. Culture Champions are PSL representatives empowered with leading the movement of living and teaching our values while embracing DEI initiatives and encouraging others to do the same. As the Corporate Director of Education and Development and DEI Officer, LaJeune Adams is one of the PSL leaders that supports and works directly with the Culture Champions. LaJeune has worked with Presbyterian Senior Living for over 16 years in the roles of Human Resources Manager and Area Human Resources Director prior to her current role.