By The Rev. Terri Stewart, Director of the Youth Chaplaincy Coalition
In the quest to expand the cultural competency that serves the youth in juvenile detention, we have created an inter-religious calendar of holy and sacred days across traditions. Last week, we had a meeting with an intersection of school, detention, food service, and chaplain staff. We are discerning how best to provide support to youth through creativity, education, spiritual nourishment, and, of course, food!
Our calendar through the end of 2020:
10/29 – Islam: Mawlid (Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday)
10/31-11/2 – Mexico: Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) – rooted in two traditions: the Christian observance of All Saints and All Souls Day, and two Aztec festivals of souls of the dead
11/14 – Hindu: Diwali – one of the most important Hindu festivals, celebrating different gods and goddesses;
12/1 – LGBTQIA2S+: World AIDS Day
12/10-18 – Jewish: Hanukkah – commemorates the Jewish victory over Syrian Greeks in 165 B.C.E., restoring Jewish independence (festival of lights)
12/12 – Mexico: Fiesta de Guadalupe Feast – Mexico’s patron saint
12/21 – Pagan and Wiccan: Yule – begins at sundown
12/25 – Christian: Christmas – marks the birth of Jesus Christ
12/26 – Black: Kwanzaa (12/26-1/1) – a tribute to African festivals of harvest
Intersectional liberation comes when we work intersectionally together! Bringing together the different departments that connect to youth’s lives creates an integrated holy-day experience and will provide a better understanding of the world-wide community to our incarcerated youth.