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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, Transgender and Queer (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 African American History Month
March 2, 2020
On 2/20, the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity and Blacks In Government (BIG) celebrated African American History Month with Sec. Brouillette.
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DOE Celebrates the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 30, 2020
On Jan. 22, we held a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy at DOE headquarters in Washington, D.C. featuring Secretary Dan Brouillette.
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“Honoring Our Nations,” DOE Celebrates National Native American Heritage Month
December 13, 2019
On Nov 14, the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity celebrated National Native American Heritage Month with speakers and a musical performance.
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"The Right Talent, Right Now," DOE Celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month
December 11, 2019
On Oct 31, the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity hosted a celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month with guest speakers.
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“A History of Serving our Nation,” DOE Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
November 5, 2019
On Oct 8, the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity and CALDOE celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with a keynote, panel and musical performances.
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DOE Celebrates LGBTQ Pride Month
August 16, 2019
On June 19, DOE celebrated LGBTQ Pride Month with a panel on inclusivity in the workplace.
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DOE Celebrates Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month
May 30, 2019
On May 7, 2019, DOE honored Asian American and Pacific Islanders in the media and arts.
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DOE Celebrates Visionary Women: Champions of Peace and Nonviolence
April 2, 2019
On March 20, Secretary Rick Perry, NNSA Administrator Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty and a panel of distinguished women celebrated Women's History Day.
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DOE Celebrates National African American History Month
March 14, 2019
On February 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 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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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:

  • Announcement by the Head of Departmental Elements requesting participation and support of all managers, supervisors, and employees for the special program observance/event.
  • Seek ways to provide training and career development opportunities for your employees of all ethnic backgrounds.
  • Lectures by guest speakers such as community leaders, representatives from local government, and academia on diversity.
  • Share “best practices” from field facilities, who promote diversity in the workplace.
  • Special programs and award ceremonies to honor outstanding employees, who have contributed to diversity and resolved conflicts in the workplace.
  • Develop a mentoring program for managers, supervisors, employees, and interns.
  • Create awareness by developing and newsletters, handouts, and sharing literature in your facility or office.

Recent Videos from Special Observance Events