July 29, 2021

Epstein is committed to diversity and inclusion. As such, creating a welcoming workplace environment is a year-round initiative. We are taking note of the following events celebrating important diversity leaders, as well as cultural and religious events throughout the month of July.

July 18: Nelson Mandela’s Birthday

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) was the president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, serving as the first Black head of state in the country following a 1994 multiracial general election. He is known for serving as the head of the African National Congress (ANC), a social-democratic political party known for its role in bringing about the end of apartheid (“apartness” in Afrikaans), a system of legislation enacted during white minority rule that imposed policies resulting in racial segregation in South Africa. In 1962, he was arrested and charged with attempting to overthrow the National Party, sometimes known as the Nationalist Party, and spent 27 years in three different prisons until he was released in 1990 by then President Frederik Willem de Klerk.

July 24: Pioneer Day (Mormon Faith)

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) celebrate Pioneer Day, a commemoration of settlement in the State of Utah in the United States. Having expanded beyond the LDS Church since its inception, the holiday has expanded to celebrate all who settled into Salt Lake Valley during the pioneer era, a period that predates rail as a viable mode of travel that arrived in the valley in 1869. Of note, the origin of the celebration and the migration of LDS members has connections to the cities of Nauvoo and Quincy, Illinois (and parts of Iowa), which were home of many LDS members following their expulsion from the State of Missouri.

July 26: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Several Epsteiners may remember last summer’s presentation on how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is closely tied to the work we do, and one in five persons living in the United States has a disability. July 26, 1990 marks the passage of the actual law prohibiting discrimination based on the basis of disability in employment, state and local government, public accommodations, commercial and transportation facilities, and telecommunications. It is based on Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and portions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While the commemoration often touches on advancements in services, infrastructure, and interpretations, a growing area research has focused on how determinations of eligibility can complicate how ADA applies to healthcare administration. Click here to learn more about how the Illinois Department of Human Services describes how employment and income Medicare and Medicaid eligibility.