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Congresswoman Clarke Urges Recognition of Diwali as a School Holiday

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke joined her colleagues in Congress in a letter to New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña requesting that the school system recognize the Festival of Diwali as a public school holiday. Diwali, an ancient Hindu festival celebrated on the last day of the last month on the lunar calendar, celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair, and starts the New Year.

“Brooklyn derives much of its vitality from a diversity of cultures and the celebration of traditions from around the world. With the community of people from India and of Indian heritage who know New York City as their home and have for generations, my colleagues and I believed that this community of faith and culture deserved the recognition that many other communities of faith have received and urge Chancellor Farina to recognize the Festival of Diwali as a public school holiday. I also join in celebration of the Festival of Diwali, when all New Yorkers have the opportunity to reflect on the past year and look toward the future,” said Congresswoman Clarke.

The letter, which was initiated by Congressman Joseph Crowley and also signed by Congressman Charles B. Rangel, Congresswoman Grace Meng, Congressman Gregory W. Meeks, and Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, wrote to asked Chancellor Fariña to “We appreciate your consideration of “school holidays that reflect our diverse city and ensure that students aren’t put in the horrible position of having to choose between attending school and observing important holidays within their families.”

U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.

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