Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Cultural Calendar

Two MU Students

JANUARY

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day/Celebration

On the third Monday of January each year, we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Day Jr., the only national holiday commemorating the actions of an African-American. Originally petitioned to honor King’s dedication to trade unions, it would be established on Nov. 2, 1983, by President Ronald Reagan.


FEBRUARY

Black History Month

Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month, is celebrated every year during the month of February in the United States. Because of the timing of the birthdays of two very important individuals in the fight to end slavery, Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln, Black History Week was originally slated for the second week in February in 1926. In 1976, it was expanded to encompass the entire month of February to recognize the significant achievements made by the African-American community in all aspects of American society.


MARCH

National Women’s History Month

Annually celebrated in March, Women’s History Month acknowledges the many contributions women have made in America’s rich past. From its beginnings as International Women’s Day on March 8, 1911, it has been expanded twice by the United States Congress, first as a weeklong celebration in 1981 and to its current month-long celebration in 1987.


APRIL

National Deaf History Month (March 13 to April 15)

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) urges everyone to recognize and celebrate March 13 – April 15 as National Deaf History Month. This month includes three key moments in American History for the Deaf community: The March 13, 1988, Deaf President Now protest; the April 8, 1864, signing of the Gallaudet University charter by President Abraham Lincoln; and the April 15, 1817, establishment of American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Conn. as the first permanent public school for the deaf.


MAY

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month*

Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month is a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. In June 1977, Reps. Frank Horton of New York and Norman Y. Mineta of California introduced a House resolution that called upon the President to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian/Pacific Heritage Week. The following month, Sens. Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga (both of Hawaii) introduced a similar bill in the Senate, where it was passed. On Oct. 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a joint resolution designating the annual celebration. In May 1990, the holiday was expanded further when President George H. W. Bush designated May to be Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

*Will be adjusted to be implemented prior to the close of the semester.


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.

*Will be implemented during the academic year


SEPTEMBER

National Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month (Sept 15 to Oct 15)

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated each September 15- October 15 in the United States to recognize the contributions made by people of Hispanic descent and to celebrate Hispanic culture. Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15 because it is the anniversary of five Latin American countries’ Independence Day: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.


OCTOBER

Disability Awareness

Disability Awareness/Disability Inclusion, celebrated year-round both nationally and internationally, enables us to recognize individuals with disabilities and the importance of diversity in our community. The official Developmental Disability Awareness month, recognizing impairments in physical, learning, language, or behavioral areas is celebrated in March, but in October, Methodist University will celebrate, educate, and expand conversations on disability awareness.


NOVEMBER

National American Indian Heritage Month

National American Indian Heritage Month was initially celebrated in 1916 by the state of New York, but it was not until 1990 that President George H. W. Bush established it as a month-long festival. Not only does National American Indian Heritage Month showcase the rich culture of the native people of this land, but also honors those American Indians who have suffered injustices. Therefore, we celebrate all Native Americans during the month of November.


DECEMBER

World AIDS Day (December 1)

World AIDS Day, designated on Dec. 1 every year since 1988, is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection and mourning those who have died of the disease.