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Cultural, Heritage, and Awareness Celebrations

Below is a list of Cultural, History, Heritage, or Awareness celebrations/months/days. This list is not comprehensive. We welcome your feedback, including additions to the list. If you're thinking about organizing an event and are interested in a consultation or requesting logistical support, please contact the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

January

Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Third Monday in January)

“MLK Day” is a national holiday marking the birthday of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. King was a leading spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968. He protested racial discrimination in state and federal law and helped advance civil rights for people of color in the United States.

February

Black History Month

Black History Month in February is is dedicated to celebrating the achievements and history of African Americans. The celebration pays tribute to African Americans who struggled and advocated to achieve full citizenship in the U.S. Key people and events in the history of African diaspora are honored.  

The Library Resource Guide on Black History Month is a great resource for additional information.

March

Women's History Month

Women's History Month was previously a week-long event in Sonoma, California. Women’s History Month became an official annual celebration when Congress signed the resolution in 1987. It was originally established to draw attention to and improve the focus on women in historical studies. International Women’s Day (March 8) also falls during this month.  

Consult the Library Resource Guide on Women’s History Month for additional information.

Irish-American Heritage Month

The Irish-American Heritage Month was first celebrated in 1991. It honors the contributions of Irish immigrants and their descendants in the U.S. Saint Patrick’s Day (March 17), the Irish national holiday and a cultural and religious celebration of the patron saint of Ireland also falls during this heritage month. 

César Chávez Day (March 31)

César Chávez Day (March 31) is observed in the United States on March 31 each year. The holiday celebrates the birthday of César Chávez, a migrant farmworker who became a leading activist in the fight against racial and economic injustices toward Chicanxs communities. Chávez co-founded the National Farm Workers Association in the early 1960s and gained support to have his organization be the first successful farm workers’ union in the United States.

National Deaf History Month

National Deaf History Month, March 13 - April 15, commemorates the achievements of people who are deaf and hard of hearing. The history month is spread across March and April, which recognizes a series of important historical events in deaf history dating back to the 1800s.  

May

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

The Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is celebrated in May as it commemorates the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and marks the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants. 

Library resources on AAPI Heritage Month

Jewish American Heritage Month

The Jewish American Heritage Month in May honors the celebration of the 350th Anniversary of American Jewish History that took place May 2004. The Jewish American Heritage Month celebrates American Jews’ achievements and contributions to the United States. 

Memorial Day (Last Monday of May)

Memorial Day is a federal holiday that honors the United States military personnel who have died while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May. 

June

The LGBTQIA+ Pride Month

The LGBTQIA+ Pride Month is celebrated in June to mark the Stonewall Uprising in 1969.

The Library Resource Guide on Pride Month has additional information.

Information on the annual LA Pride Parade and Festival

Juneteenth

Juneteenth is a federal holiday on June 19 that honors the end of slavery and the emancipation of enslaved African American in the United States. This holiday is often observed for celebrating African American culture. In June 2021, Congress passed a resolution establishing Juneteenth as a federal holiday, and it was soon after signed into law by President Biden. 

September

Latinx Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15)

The Latinx Heritage Month celebrates the contributions of Latinx Americans and the richness of the cultural history of those with ancestries typically from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The period encompasses the dates on which several countries in the South and central America celebrate their respective Independence days.  Read about the contributions of the Latinx community and access educational resources.

Library resources guide on Latinx Heritage Month

October

LGBT History Month

The LGBT History Month is celebrated in October to include the National Coming out Day, the first march on Washington for gay and lesbian rights and Spirit Day.  

Equality Forum

November

National American Indian Heritage Month

In November we celebrate American Indian Heritage month, which has been observed since the approved joint resolution in 1990. The month recognizes the contributions of the first Americans to the establishment of the US as we know today. The proclamations vary (e.g., “Native American Heritage Month”, “National American and Alaskan Heritage Month” etc.) 

International Education Week

The joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education promote and celebrate programs that prepare Americans for the global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences.

Learn more about International Week.

 

Veterans Day

November 11 is observed as Veterans Day to honor America's veterans. Historically November 11 marks the day when fighting ceased between the Allied nations and Germany. For more information, please review the VA website