Heritage & Identity Months - Cloned

Heritage and Identity Months

UCCS Heritage & Identity Months

In celebration of the histories and contributions of historically marginalized identities, UCCS commemorates heritage and awareness months throughout the year. These recognitions are an opportunity for all members of the community to learn more about the traditions, people, scholarship, history, and current experiences of those who've overcome oppression to create opportunities for all. It is important to note that the celebration of each legacy included in the calendar is not time-limited and this calendar is a helpful tool to ensure we're inclusive of all members of our community. 

Resource Pages

Check out our educational resource pages, organized by Heritage & Identity Months

January

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the entire nation pauses in remembrance of a civil rights hero. At least, that’s the intention of the federal holiday that takes place on the third Monday of each January. MLK Day was designed to honor the activist and minister assassinated in 1968, whose accomplishments have continued to inspire generations of Americans. Learn More.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

The United Nations General Assembly designated January 27—the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau—as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges every member state to honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides. Learn More.

Disability Awareness Dates:

  • National Birth Defect Awareness Month

  • National Glaucoma Awareness Month

  • January 4 - World Braille Day (International)

  • January 11 - Paget's Disease Awareness Day

  • January 24 - Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day

  • January 30 - Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Awareness Day

  • Last Sunday in January - World Leprosy Day (International)


February

Black Heritage Month

Black History is featured in television documentaries and in local and national museums. It is conveyed through literature, the visual arts, and music. The great lives and material culture of Black History can be seen in national park sites and in the preservation of historic homes, buildings, and even cemeteries.  Black History Month is not a token. It is a special tribute—a time of acknowledgement, of reflection, and inspiration—that comes to life in real and ongoing activities throughout the year, just as the work of ASALH has for 106 years steadily asserted both racial pride and the centrality of race and the black experience to the American narrative and heritage. Learn More

Disability Awareness Dates:

  • Low Vision Awareness Month

  • 1st week of February - Tinnitus Awareness Week

  • February 7-14 - Congenital Heart Defects Awareness Week

  • February 2 - Rheumatoid Arthritis Day (this is a great day to give a loved one of our recommended gifts for people with arthritis)

  • 2nd Monday in February - International Epilepsy Day

  • February 14 - Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day

  • February 15 - International Angelman Syndrome Day

  • February 22 - World Encephalitis Day

  • February 27 - Anosmia Awareness Day

  • February 28 (29th in a leap year) - Rare Disease Day


March

Women's Heritage Month

By 1986, 14 states had already declared March as Women’s History Month. This momentum and state-by-state action was used as the rational to lobby Congress to declare the entire month of March 1987 as National Women’s History Month. In 1987, Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month in perpetuity. A special Presidential Proclamation is issued every year which honors the extraordinary achievements of American women. Learn More.

Irish American Heritage Month

Congress designated March as Irish-American Heritage Month in 1991 and the president issues a proclamation commemorating the occasion each year. Originally a religious holiday to honor St. Patrick, who introduced Christianity to Ireland in the 5th century, St. Patrick’s Day has evolved into a celebration of all things Irish. The world’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade occurred on March 17, 1762, in New York City, featuring Irish soldiers who served in the English military. This parade became an annual event, with President Truman attending in 1948. Learn More.

Disability Awareness Dates:

  • National Brain Injury Awareness Month

  • National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

  • National Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month

  • National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

  • National Essential Tremor Awareness Month

  • National Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month

  • National Trisomy Awareness Month

  • 2nd week of March - World Glaucoma Week

  • March 1 - Disability Community Day of Mourning

  • March 1 - International Wheelchair Day

  • March 3 - World Hearing Day

  • March 4 - National Brain injury Awareness Day

  • March 12 - World Glaucoma Day

  • March 21 - World Down Syndrome Day

  • March 25 - National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day

  • March 26 - Purple Day for Epilepsy

Veteran and U.S. Armed Forces Awareness Dates:

  • Month of the Military Caregiver 

  • March 29 - Vietnam Veterans Day


April

Arab American Heritage Month

National Arab American Heritage Month (NAAHM) is a time for celebrating the history, contributions, and culture of the diverse population of Arab Americans. In 2019, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) issued a congressional resolution for NAAHM to be recognized on a national scale. Learn More.

Autism Acceptance Month

This April, the Autism Society of America is proud to continue its fourth annual #CelebrateDifferences campaign in honor of Autism Acceptance Month. Every day, we work to create connections, empowering everyone in the Autism community to live fully. We believe that acceptance is creating a world where everyone in the Autism community is connected to the support they need when they need it. And by everyone, we mean every unique individual: the implacable, inimitable, and irreplaceable you. Learn More.

Celebrate Diversity Month

Celebrate Diversity Month takes place in April every year. It was initiated in 2004 to recognize and honor the diversity of the world around us. It is a time to recognize and understand our differences, be it gender, race, ethnicity, faith, sexual orientation, and other factors, while honoring the common essence of humanity. By appreciating our similarities and differences, the month aims to get people to foster a deeper understanding of others, regardless of who they are, what they are, or how they live. Learn More.

Deaf History Month

Based on the feedback from the NAD Deaf Culture and History Section (DCHS) and various stakeholders, including from organizations that represent marginalized communities within the Deaf Community, the NAD Board has chosen April 1-30 as the National Deaf History Month (NDHM). This decision is partly based on a mandate from our delegates that the NAD engage in efforts to dismantle racism within our community, and this requires ensuring that our historical lens must include the experiences of BIPOC Deaf People. The efforts of NDHM must celebrate and recognize all Deaf People in the U.S., especially BIPOC Deaf People. Learn More.

Disability Awareness Dates:

  • Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month

  • Paralyzed Veterans Across America Month

  • Parkinson's Awareness Month

  • Sarcoidosis Awareness Month

  • April 2 - World Autism Awareness Day

  • April 6 - Bohring-Opitz Syndrome Awareness Day

  • April 7- World Health Day

  • April 11 - World Parkinson's Disease Day

  • April 13 - Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) Awareness Day

  • April 19 - Global Porphyria Day

  • April 29 - World Wish Day

  • Every last Wednesday of April - International Guide Dog Day

Veteran and U.S. Armed Forces Awareness Dates: 

  • Month of the Military Child

  • April 5 - Gold Star Spouse Day

  • April 17 - Purple Up! Day

  • April 30 - National Military Brats Day

 

May

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America's history and are instrumental in its future success. Learn More.

Jewish American Heritage Month

May is Jewish American Heritage Month. The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Jewish Americans who helped form the fabric of American history, culture, and society. Learn More.

Haitian Heritage Month

Haitian Heritage Month is a nationally recognized month and an opportunity for individuals including Haitians and lovers of the Haitian culture to celebrate the rich culture, distinctive art, and delicious food, and learn the traditions of Haiti and its people. The celebration is an expansion of the Haitian Flag Day on May 18th, a major patriotic day celebration in Haiti and the Diaspora created to encourage patriotism. Learn More.

Military Appreciation Month

May, marked officially as Military Appreciation Month, is a special month for both those in and out of the military. Not only do we pause on Memorial Day to remember the sacrifice and service of those who gave all, but the month also holds several other military anniversaries and events, including Military Spouse Appreciation Day and Armed Forces day. Learn More.

Disability Awareness Dates:

  • ALS Awareness Month

  • Better Hearing and Speech Month

  • Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month

  • Ehlers-Danlos Awareness Month

  • Fibromyalgia Awareness Month

  • Huntington's Disease Awareness Month

  • Lupus Awareness Month

  • Lyme Disease Awareness Month

  • Mobility Awareness Month

  • Myositis Awareness Month

  • National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

  • Older Americans Month

  • Prader-Willi Syndrome Awareness Month

  • Williams Syndrome Awareness Month

  • 1st full week of May - Deaf Awareness Week

  • A full week in May - International Face Equality Week

  • May 5 - International 5p Syndrome Awareness Day

  • May 6 - International Day for Osteogenesis Imperfecta

  • May 12 - International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND)

  • 3rd Thursday in May - Global Accessibility Awareness Day

  • May 20 - World Autoimmune Arthritis Day

  • May 30 - World Multiple Sclerosis Day

Veteran and U.S. Armed Forces Awareness Dates:

  • May 1 - Loyalty Day

  • May 1 - Silver Star Service Banner Day

  • May 10 - Military Spouse Appreciation Day

  • May 13 - Children of Fallen Patriots Day

  • May 18 - Armed Forces Day

  • May 27 - Memorial Day


June

LGBTQ+ PRIDE Month

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In the United States the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as "Gay Pride Day," but the actual day was flexible. In major cities across the nation the "day" soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events. Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBTQ+ Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Learn More.

Caribbean Heritage Month

National Caribbean American Month is celebrated every June to honor and celebrate America’s rich and diverse culture, which also includes the Caribbean-American population. People from this community have not only evolved the American culture but have also contributed greatly to the development of the nation in areas of science and medicine. There are also numerous Caribbean Americans whose services the U.S is grateful for even today. This month aims to recognize the contributions of all Caribbean-American people and to teach people more about their culture and history. Learn More.

Immigrant Heritage Month

June is Immigrant Heritage Month in the United States. Immigrant Heritage Month is an initiative put forward by the I Am An Immigrant foundation that seeks to celebrate our shared heritage as an immigrant nation and the important contributions to our economy, culture, and common identity by immigrants from all around the world. The celebration formally began in 2014 and seeks to give immigrants and refugees in our country the opportunity to explore and celebrate their background as well as to create awareness on how diversity and immigration are both essential elements of our social fabric. Learn More.

Juneteenth

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. It marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people were freed. The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Learn More.

World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day is an international day designated by the United Nations to honor refugees around the globe. It falls each year on June 20th and celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. World Refugee Day is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives. Learn More.

Disability Awareness Dates:

  • Aphasia Awareness Month

  • Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month

  • Hemiplegic Migraine Awareness Month

  • Audiobook Appreciation Month (audiobooks are a vital accessibility resource!)

  • 3rd week of June - Learning Disability Week

  • Last week of June - Helen Keller Deafblind Awareness Week

  • June 13 - International Albinism Awareness Day

  • June 17 - CDKL5 Awareness Day

  • June 18 - Autistic Pride Day

  • June 21 - Global Day of Recognition of ALS/MND

Veteran and U.S. Armed Forces Awareness Dates:

  • June 12 - Women Veterans Day

  • June 14 - Flag Day

  • June 27 - National PTSD Awareness Day


July

Disability Pride Month

All disabilities and their intersecting identities should be acknowledged, valued, and respected, and one way to do that is during Disability Pride Month. Disability Pride Month is celebrated every July and is an opportunity to honor the history, achievements, experiences, and struggles of the disability community. It marks the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, landmark legislation that broke down barriers to inclusion in society. But barriers still exist, which is why we need to honor every kind of disability, the people who identify with them, and the wide range of supports they need to thrive. Learn More.

International Non-binary People's Day

July 14 is recognized around the world as International Non-Binary People’s Day. This occasion shines a light on those who identify as non-binary and celebrates the rich diversity of the community. The term “non-binary” describes someone who does not identify exclusively as a man or a woman. Non-binary folks may identify as being both a man and a woman or as falling completely outside these categories. Many non-binary people also identify as transgender, though not all do. Learn More.

Disability Awareness Dates:

  • National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month

  • National Fragile X Syndrome Awareness Month

  • National Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month

  • 2nd week of July - National Therapeutic Recreation Week

  • July 22 - National Fragile X Syndrome Awareness Day

  • July 26 - American Disabilities Act Anniversary


August

International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous peoples have sought recognition of their identities, their way of life and their right to traditional lands, territories and natural resources for years. Yet, throughout history, their rights have been violated. Indigenous peoples today, are arguably among the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups of people in the world. The international community now recognizes that special measures are required to protect their rights and maintain their distinct cultures and way of life. In order to raise awareness of the needs of these population groups, every 9 August commemorates the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, chosen in recognition of the first meeting of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations held in Geneva in 1982. Learn More.

Women's Equality Day

At the behest of Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY), in 1971 and passed in 1973,  the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.” The date was selected to commemorate the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. This was the culmination of a massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women that had its formal beginnings in 1848 at the world’s first women’s rights convention, in Seneca Falls, New York. The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality. Workplaces, libraries, organizations, and public facilities now participate with Women’s Equality Day programs, displays, video showings, or other activities. Learn More.

Disability Awareness Dates:

  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month

  • August 21 - National Senior Citizens Day

Veteran and U.S. Armed Forces Awareness Dates:

  • August 7 - Purple Heart Day

  • August 16 - National Airborne Day


September

Latinx Heritage Month 

Each year, Americans observe National Latinx 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. 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. Learn More.

Disability Awareness Dates:

  • Craniofacial Awareness Month

  • International Orthostatic Tremor Awareness Month

  • National Guide Dog Month

  • National Pain Awareness Month

  • National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month

  • World Alzheimer's Disease Month

  • Last week of September - International Week of the Deaf

  • September 9 - International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness (FASD) Day

  • September 18 - National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day

  • 3rd Saturday in September - Usher Syndrome Awareness Day

  • September 21 - World Alzheimer's Day

  • September 25 - International Ataxia Awareness Day

  • September 30 - Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Day

Veteran and U.S. Armed Forces Awareness Dates:

  • National Service Dog Month

  • September 11 - Patriot Day, National Day of Service and Rememberance 

  • September 20 - POW/MIA Recognition Day

  • September 29 - Gold Stay Mother's and Family's Day


October

Italian American Heritage Month 

Italian Americans throughout the nation join together to celebrate their heritage during the month of October, but the name of the month is as varied as those who celebrate. Depending on the organization and region, October may be Italian American Heritage Month, Italian American History Month, Italian Heritage Month, Italian Culture Month, Italian Heritage and Culture Month, or Italian History Month. However, it is recognized as National Italian American Heritage Month in the annual proclamation signed by the President of the United States. Learn More.

Flipino American Heritage Month 

Filipino Americans are the second-largest Asian American group in the nation and the third-largest ethnic group in California, after Latinas/os and African Americans. The celebration of Filipino American History Month in October commemorates the first recorded presence of Filipinos in the continental United States, which occurred on October 18, 1587, when “Luzones Indios” came ashore from the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Esperanza and landed at what is now Morro Bay, California. In 2009, U.S. Congress recognized October as Filipino American History Month in the United States. Various states, counties, and cities in the U.S. have established proclamations and resolutions declaring observance of Filipino American History Month. The late Dr. Fred Cordova, along with his wife, FANHS Founder Dr. Dorothy Laigo Cordova, first introduced October as Filipino American History Month in 1992 with a resolution from the FANHS National Board of Trustees. Learn More.

Polish American Heritage Month 

The Polish American Heritage Month has been celebrated annually since 1981, when it was first organized by Mr. Michael Blichasz in Philadelphia, President of the Polish American Congress Pennsylvania Eastern Division and the President of the Polish American Cultural Center. Thanks to the advocacy effort of Polish Americans, the House Joint Resolution 577 passed in 1984, declaring August the Polish American Heritage Month. President Ronald Reagan urged all Americans to join in the celebration honoring their Polish heritage in the United States. Two years later the month was changed to October. Learn More.

National Coming Out Day

National Coming Out Day is a day to honor the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary, queer, asexual, intersex, and Two-Spirit. The first observed National Coming Out Day was on October 11, 1988, on the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights as a reminder that one of our most basic tools is the power of coming out.  Learn More.

LGBTQ+ Heritage Month

Even though most people think of the Stonewall Riots in June when they think of LGBTQ+ history, some other important historical events took place in October. The first and second Marches on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights took place in October 1979 and 1987. These marches aimed to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation in the military, federal jobs, and family protection laws. While these goals have only recently been achieved, the marches successfully established a large network of members across the country, unifying the community around common priorities, and forced the country to realize how many LGBTQ+ people and allies are in the US. Learn More.

Disability Employment Awareness Month

“Observed each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) celebrates the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities past and present and showcases supportive, inclusive employment policies and practices that benefit employers and employees. Learn More.

Disability Awareness Dates:

  • ADHD Awareness Month

  • Down Syndrome Awareness Month

  • Dwarfism Awareness Month

  • Dyslexia Awareness Month

  • Learning Disability Awareness Month

  • National Disability History Month

  • National Special Needs Law Month

  • Selective Mutism Awareness Month

  • Spina Bifida Awareness Month

  • Begins first Monday of October - Dyslexia Awareness Week

  • 2nd full week of October - Dyspraxia Awareness Week

  • 3rd full week of October - Invisible Disabilities Week

  • October 5 - American Veterans Disabled for Life Awareness Day

  • October 5 - World Meningitis Day

  • October 6 - World Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day

  • The Thursday during Dyslexia Awareness Week- World Dyslexia Awareness Day

  • October 7 - International Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness Day

  • 2nd Thursday of October - World Sight Day

  • October 15 - Blind Americans Equality Day/White Cane Awareness Day

  • October 20 - World Osteoporosis Day

  • 3rd Wednesday of October - Disability Mentoring Day

  • October 22 - International Stuttering Awareness Day

  • October 29 - World Stroke Day

Veteran and U.S. Armed Forces Awareness Dates:

  • October 26 - National Day of the Deployed


November

American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month 

November is Native American Heritage Month, or as it is commonly referred to, American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges. Learn More.

National Military Family Appreciation Month 

November is Military Family Appreciation Month—a time when America honors and recognizes those unique sacrifices and challenges family members make in support of their loved ones in uniform. No matter what rank or branch, or where life has taken them, our nation’s military families share the common threads of service and sacrifice. Learn More.

Veteran's Day

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.” Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. Learn More.

Transgender Awareness Week

Each year between November 13 – 19, people and organizations around the country participate in Transgender Awareness Week to help raise the visibility about transgender people and address issues members of the community face. The week before Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20, people and organizations around the country participate in Transgender Awareness Week to help raise the visibility of transgender people and address issues members of the community face. Learn More.

Disability Awareness Dates:

  • 22q Awareness Month

  • Epilepsy Awareness Month

  • November 8 - Aicardi Syndrome Awareness Day

  • First Tuesday after Thanksgiving - Giving Tuesday

Veteran and U.S. Armed Forces Awareness Dates:

  • Month of the Military Family

  • November 9 - Gold Star Father's Day


December

Human Right's Day

10 December 2023 marks the 75th anniversary of one of the world's most groundbreaking global pledges: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This landmark document enshrines the inalienable rights that everyone is entitled to as a human being - regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. The Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 and sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected. Learn More.

Disability Awareness Dates:

  • HIV/AIDS Awareness Month

  • December 1 - World AIDS Day

  • December 3 - International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Veteran and U.S. Armed Forces Awareness Dates:

  • December 14 - National Wreaths Across America