Special Emphasis Observances

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The Department of Energy observes special days, weeks, and months as reflected in the list below of special  observances programs.  Observances are held annually in compliance with Executive Order 11478, 29 CFR Part 1614.102(b)(4), joint Congressional Resolutions, Presidential Proclamations, and the Department’s diversity and inclusion goals as articulated in the Department of Energy’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan for 2012-2015. 

Special Observances Programs

Special observances are designed for the purpose of providing cultural awareness to the Department. Commemorative activities conducted for these observances are educational and employment-related.

The following are Special Emphasis Observances implemented by presidential proclamation, executive orders and public law:

MonthSpecial Emphasis Program Observances
JanuaryDr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
FebruaryBlack History Month
MarchWomen's History Month*
MayAsian American /Pacific Islander Heritage Month 
JuneLesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender  LGBTQ (Pride) Month 
August 26Women’s Equality Day 
SeptemberNational Hispanic Heritage Month*
OctoberNational Disability Employment Awareness Month*
November American Indian/Alaskan Native Heritage Month
November Veterans Day

*denotes mandated programs

Blog Posts: Special Observances

DOE Celebrates National African American History Month
March 14, 2019
On Feb 27, Secretary Rick Perry and Secretary Ben Carson participated in a fireside chat celebrating National African American History Month.
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DOE Celebrates 2018 Native American Heritage Month
February 1, 2019
DOE Celebrates 2018 Native American Heritage Month on November 29, 2018.
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DOE Celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 24, 2019
DOE celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. with a special event hosted by the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity on January 23, 2018.
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National Disability Employment Awareness Month Observance Program
November 15, 2018
The Department of Energy held its annual special emphasis observance recognizing National Disability Employment Awareness Month program, Oct 23, 2018
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2018 Hispanic Heritage Month Observance Program
November 15, 2018
The Department of Energy held its annual special emphasis observance recognizing Hispanic Heritage on October 4, 2018.
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DOE Celebrates Women's History Month 2018 - Women of Courage
March 8, 2018
On Thursday, March 8, 2018, the Keynote Speaker, Melody C. Bell, shared her own thoughts and perspectives on leadership and success.
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DOE Celebrates MLK50
January 31, 2018
In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and in special commemoration of the 50th anniversary of his passing, the Office of Economic Impact and Divers
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Photo Gallery: Selected Photos from Recent Special Observance Events

Observing Special Emphasis Events

Managers and supervisors are encouraged to engage in planning and implementing initiatives that promote employment, training, and career advancement opportunities in order to sustain a productive, diverse, and inclusive Departmental workforce to best serve our Nation.  Showing our support as senior leaders and making a concerted effort to attend and participate in these observances is crucial in communicating the value each employee brings to the Department.  

Suggested activities include, but are not restricted to the following:

Recent Videos from Special Observance Events

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration - January 23, 2019
Served and Still Serving
Served and Still Serving: Honoring Veterans Who Work at the Energy Department  | National Veterans Month - November 2018