Office of Diversity and Institutional Equity
February is Black History Month, and its roots rest in "Negro History Week," an initiative of Dr. Carter G. Woodson. In 1915, Woodson established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now called the Association for the Study of African American Life and History). In 1926, he launched Negro History Week to bring national attention to the contributions of black people to American history. Woodson chose the second week of February for Negro History Week because it marks the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. The celebration is still sponsored by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. In 1976, the Association expanded the celebration from one week to a month-long celebration.
The public celebration of women's history in this country began in 1978 as "Women's History Week" in Sonoma County, California. The week including March 8, International Women's Day, was selected. In 1981, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Rep. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) co-sponsored a joint Congressional resolution proclaiming a national Women's History Week. In 1987, Congress expanded the celebration to a month,and March was declared Women's History Month
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Public awareness of "Irish-American Heritage Month" remains obscure. Forty-four million Americans proudly share their Irish ancestry, especially in celebrating St. Patrick's Day with parades, family gatherings, Masses, dances, etc. The American Foundation for Irish Heritage wants to have the same national recognition as other ethnic cultural celebrations, such as; Black History Month, National Hispanic Heritage Month, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. This same national celebration and recognition can and will only happen with all Irish Americans taking action to succeed in that goal by appropriately commemorating heritage, history and culture. Irish Americans have done so much to shape and form virtually all areas of life in the United States throughout our country's great history.
May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month - a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. 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).
Gay pride or LGBT pride refers to a worldwide movement and philosophy asserting that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Gay pride advocates work for equal "rights and benefits" for LGBT people
Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
In October, Americans observe National Disability Employment Awareness Month by paying tribute to the accomplishments of the men and women with disabilities whose work helps keep the nation's economy strong and by reaffirming their commitment to ensure equal opportunity for all citizens
November's National Native American Heritage Month, first designated in 1990 by a joint resolution of Congress and approved by President George Bush, has been a long time coming. It was early in the last century that Dr. Arthur Parker, a Seneca Indian and the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, New York, persuaded the Boy Scouts of America to set aside a day to recognize the "First Americans," a tradition that lasted for three years. Now recognized annually, November is a time to learn more about the history and heritage of Native American peoples.