National Mentoring Month - January
In recognition of the positive impact mentoring has on youth, the Harvard School of Public Health and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership combined their efforts and inaugurated National Mentoring Month in 2002. Enjoying support from the U.S. President and members of Congress, NMM raises awareness, recruits individuals and promotes the growth of mentorship programs throughout U.S. communities.
African American History Month (Black History Month) - February
An annual celebration to honor and commemorate important people and events in the history of African Americans. Begun in 1926 as “Negro History Week” by historian Carter G. Woodson to raise awareness, it was expanded in 1970 to a month. The week was met with enthusiasm and prompted the creation of black history clubs and increased interest from educators and progressive whites. Woodson’s hope was that the month would eventually be eliminated when black history became fundamental to American history.
Women's History Month - March
A time to celebrate women and promote equality among the genders. Women’s History Month has its origins dating back to 1909 with the first National Women’s Day in February of that year. The first Women’s History Week was observed in 1978 in California, and by 1981 it had become a national event. In 1987 Congress extended it for the entire month.
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month - May
Celebrates the culture, traditions, and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S. First observed in 1978 as a week-long celebration, the first week of May was chosen to commemorate two significant anniversaries: The arrival of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad (which many Chinese laborers contributed to) on May 10, 1869. It was designated as a month-long celebration May 1992.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month - June
A month to reflect and celebrate the enduring legacy of the LGBT community, to celebrate those standing up for equal rights and treatment for all Americans, and to recommit to securing the fullest blessings of freedom for all. The month of June was chosen to commemorate the Stonewall riots in June 1969 when, for the first time, the gay community joined together in a 3-day protest at the Stonewall Inn in NYC to fight for their rights, gaining national attention. In 2011, President Barack Obama called “upon all Americans to observe this month by fighting prejudice and discrimination in their own lives and everywhere it exists.”
Hispanic Heritage Month - September
Recognized from September 15th through October 15th, Hispanic Heritage Month honors and recognizes the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States, and celebrates the heritage and culture of Latino Americans.
Disability Employment Awareness Month - October
Declared in 1988 by the United States Congress, this is a month dedicated to raising awareness for the employment issues and to celebrate the contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1945, Congress declared the first week of October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” The word “physically” was taken out in 1962. Significant progress has been made by disability advocates, leading to the passage of the American Disabilities Act in 1990, and the designation of a full month to recognize the indispensable contributions of America’s millions of working-age people with disabilities.
American Indian Heritage Month - November
Declared a Heritage Month in 1990 by President George H. W. Bush, this commemorative month celebrates Native American culture, traditions, music, art, dance and environmental philosophies for conservation. It encourages communities to share concerns and solutions for building bridges of friendship and understanding in local areas.