monthly cultural observances
In honor of the histories and contributions of our cultural groups at UNC Charlotte, we commemorate heritage months throughout the year. These recognitions are an opportunity for all to learn more about their rich tapestry of traditions, people, scholarship, history and current experiences. It is important to note that while these acknowledgements are attached to a particular month, learning and honoring their traditions and contributions is not time-limited.
Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month
Latinx Heritage Month started as a weeklong celebration in 1968 and has grown to a month from September 15 through October 15 to incorporate the independence days of Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua. The month recognizes the legacies and contributions of individuals who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, Central America, South America and the Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean.
LGBTQ+ History Month
LGBTQ+ History Month honors members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender nonconforming and queer communities. October was chosen to nationally commemorate LGBTQ+ history, political activism and contributions because several important dates fall within the month, including National Coming Out Day (October 11), Spirit Day acknowledging LGBTQ+ youth (October 20), Asexual Awareness Week (last week in October) and others.
National Disability Employment Awareness Month
NDEAM dates back to 1945 when Congress declared the first week in October “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” Since that time NDEAM has evolved to include the entire disability community and the emphasis has shifted to focus on employment in the community at competitive wages.
Native American Heritage Month
In November, Native American Heritage Month celebrates the long history of Indigenous people and communities. During this month we acknowledge the rich culture, unique traditions and ongoing contributions of Native Americans.
Black History Month
Black History Month began as a way to teach people about the history of Black Americans and their contributions to society, it sought to ensure that these perspectives were included in the national narrative. Today, Black History Month is a call to inclusion year-round and celebrates more than Black history, but also the ongoing achievements of African Americans in all realms of society.
Women's History Month
Celebrate Women's History Month at Harvard from March 1 to March 31, 2021. Women's History Month began as a smaller "Women's History Week" on March 7, 1982, and was later petitioned by the National Women's History Project to become a month-long celebration. The month of March officially became Women's History Month in 1987 and gives us the opportunity to acknowledge the historical contributions of women in the United States. International Women's Day is observed on March 8th.
Jewish American Heritage Month
Jewish American Heritage Month was proclaimed by President George W. Bush on April 20, 2006. The President said, "We celebrate the rich history of the Jewish people in America and honor the great contributions they have made to our country."
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month began in 1977 as a smaller ten-day celebration in May and transformed into a month-long observance in 1990. The month commemorates the resilience and legacy, traditions, and culture of Asians, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders across the United States.
Older Americans Month
Older Americans Month got its start in 1963 as a result of a meeting between President John F. Kennedy and the National Council of Senior Citizens when May was designated as "Senior Citizens Month." At that time about 17 million Americans had reached their 65th birthday, about one-third of older Americans lived in poverty and the number of programs to address their needs was minimal. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter designated Senior Citizens Month as "Older Americans Month." Today, Older Americans Month is celebrated each May to honor and recognize older Americans for the contributions they make to our families, communities and society. The Administration for Community Living, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, issues a theme for Older Americans Month.
Pride Month was created to commemorate the Stonewall Rebellion which took place on June 28, 1969, considered by historians to be the start of the modern LGBTQ+ movement. The month commemorates the progress of LGBTQ+ history and civil rights, and celebrates queer stories and the excellence of the community.