In the United States, cultural celebrations matter greatly, because they help better explain the stories and histories of diverse ethnic and identity cultures. These cultural celebrations provide the opportunity to recognize the complexities and richness of each cultural identity. It is important to understand and appreciate these stories within the greater American narrative.
Cultural Heritage Months
Black History Month
Black History Month, also called African American History Month, is celebrated around the world during the month of February. Originally, “Negro History Week” was created by Carter G. Woodson in 1925 and first celebrated in 1926. His hopes to raise awareness of African American’s contributions to civilization was realized when he and the organization he founded, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), conceived and announced Negro History Week.
The Office of Social Change and Intercultural Engagement (SCIE) kicks off Black History Month each year during the last week of January with Dream Week, a week celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Following Dream Week, SCIE hosts an array of events to educated, expose, and highlight Black American achievement and life. These events often are in collaborations with student organizations, such as the Association of Black Students and College Academic Departments.
Asian-AmericanPacific Islander Heritage Month
A rather broad term, Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island).
‘Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week’ was celebrated from May 4, 1979-1992, for which Congress passed a law to formally recognize May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month(AAPI).
‘The Office of Social Change and Intercultural Engagement (SCIE) celebrates AAPI Month by hostingv arious events, often in collaboration with Asian Council, with the purpose educating, exposing, and celebrating AAPI people and experiences.
Hispanic-Latinx Heritage Month
September 15th - October 15th
Hispanic Heritage Month traditionally honors the cultures and contributions of both Hispanic and Latino/a/xAmericans as we celebrate heritage rooted in all Latin American countries.The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.
The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30-day period.
The Office of Social Change and Intercultural Engagement (SCIE) celebrates Hispanic Latinx Heritage Month through sharing the histories, cultures and contributions of those whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.These often are often held in collaboration with the College of Hispanic American Students (CHAS) and various academic departments.
Native American Heritage Month
America is a vast land of many cultures dating back thousands of years to the original inhabitants of the land. History, heritage, or culture of Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians are part of every national park and communities across the country today. Every November during Native American Heritage Month and throughout the year, the National Park Service and our partners share history and the continuing culture of America's indigenous peoples.
In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations, under variants on the name (including “Native American Heritage Month” (NAHM) and “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month”) have been issued each year since 1994.
The Office of Social Change and Intercultural Engagement (SCIE) celebrates NAHM by hosting various events, often in collaboration with the Native American Faculty and Staff Committee, with the purpose educating, exposing, and celebrating Native American people and experiences.