December 2019

December is a month full of holidays and celebrations around the world. Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism are just a few of the religions celebrating this month.

On December 8, Buddhists will celebrate Bodhi Day, the day in which Siddhartha Gautama sat underneath the Bodhi tree and attained enlightenment. This one defining moment would become the central foundation upon which Buddhism has been built upon for the last 2,500 years. It is a day on which followers can renew their dedication to Buddhism; reaffirm themselves to enlightenment, compassion, and kindness to other living creatures.

December 12, Catholics, especially those of Hispanic descent, celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The story of Guadalupe recounts a 16th-century apparition of Mary to Juan Diego, a poor Indian, on a hillside near what is now Mexico City.

Yule or winter solstice, the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere, is celebrated on December 22. Juul, a pre-Christian festival observed in Scandinavia, featured fires lit to symbolize the heat, light and life-giving properties of the returning sun. Wiccans and other pagan groups celebrate Yule.

December is a month that encompasses the Christian and Jewish celebrations of Christmas and Hanukkah, as well as spiritually significant days for Muslims, Buddhists, Pagans and Zoroastrians too.

Let us welcome others into our lives and into our homes. AFCI embraces diversity in its many forms in order to achieve unity and peace and to promote the common good.
The conferences we attended this year were productive and important and gave visibility to our vision and mission while offering LGBTQ resources to attendees.

This was the fourth year that we attended Partners in Prevention (PIP) and the second at The Annual Texas State Counselors Professional Growth Conference. At both conferences we were visited not only by conference attendees but also by staff members of the conference centers.

Our booth is an invitation for people to start conversations; at a minimum it makes LGBTQ people and issues concrete. Many attendees shared their stories, both personal and professional. Those who expressed the greatest need were those who serve rural areas where resources are scarce or nonexistent.

P artners in Prevention (2019-Action! Connecting Learning to Families) is the largest annual gathering of prevention and early intervention professionals in Texas. The conference attracts parent educators, youth service providers, civic leaders, policy advocates, researchers and others with a professional interest in child and family well-being, youth development and juvenile justice. The sessions were designed for participants to take away concrete skills and ideas so that they can connect what they have learned with the families that they serve.

TCA Professional Growth Conference is the Texas Counseling Associations largest annual conference, drawing approximately 2,000 professional counselors. The four-day event in November regularly features around 130 programs and workshops.
The Professional Growth Conference provides continuing education and networking opportunities to professional counselors who provide services in private practice; at elementary and secondary schools; on college campuses; in criminal justice settings; at community mental health centers, hospitals, nursing homes and managed care facilities; and in other settings across Texas.

Sara & Larry
International Human Rights Day
December 10

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10th 1948, was the result of the experience of the second world war. It is considered a milestone document in the history of human rights.
After the end of the war, and the creation of the United Nations, the international community vowed never again to allow atrocities like those of that conflict happen again.


  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights empowers us all.
  • Human rights are relevant to all of us, every day.
  • Our shared humanity is rooted in these universal values.
  • Equality, justice and freedom prevent violence and sustain peace.
  • Whenever and wherever humanity's values are abandoned, we all are at greater risk.
  • We need to stand up for our rights and those of others.

Did You Know?
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages.
Save the Dates for Upcoming Presentations
  • Understanding Experiences of Attraction, Sexual, and/or Emotional Connection to Individuals of More than One Gender 01/15/2020

  • Gender Diversity: a Social Services Perspective 01/15/2020

  • Gender & Language: Linguistic and Social Constructs 01/17/2020

  • When Parents Disagree about Affirming Trans Kids (and Other LGBTQ+ Children) 01/17/2020

  • Grief: Finding the Gift in the Wound 01/17/2020
Be part of the solution.
Help us end homelessness!
For all questions or inquiries related to AFCI, including interest in our educational programs or speakers, please contact us directly.
Mailing Address:
Association for Family and Community Integrity, Inc.
P.O. Box 667341
Houston, TX 77266