Heritage Months and Identity Recognition Days

Celebrating Diversity

Millersville University honors the rich histories and contributions of historically marginalized groups by commemorating various heritage months and identity acknowledgments throughout the year. These acknowledgments serve as a chance for everyone in the community to delve deeper into the traditions, people, academic work, historical struggles, and present-day experiences of those who have triumphed over oppression to pave the way for inclusivity. It's crucial to recognize that the celebration of each heritage isn't confined to a specific time frame; rather, it's an ongoing commitment to embracing the diversity within our community.

The university's Office of Diversity and Inclusion encourages suggestions for additional cultural observances, emphasizing that such contributions foster awareness and create opportunities for intercultural learning and connection.

Additionally, when scheduling meetings and events, it's important to be mindful of religious observances to ensure inclusivity and respect for all members of the community.

heritage days

Please find the 2024 Millersville University Heritage Months and 2024 Identity Recognition Days

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2024 MU Heritage Months

  • February: 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.  

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  • March: Women's History Month

    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 8.

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  • April: Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

    National Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Month (SAAM) recognizes the ongoing need to put an end to the crime of sexual assault. April is also a time to acknowledge the resilience of those impacted by sexual assault including survivors and victims, as well as advocates and professionals supporting survivors, and to ensure that our homes, places of learning and work are safe for all.

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  • April: Arab American Heritage Month

    National Arab American Heritage Month was recognized in April 2021 by President Joe Biden, with the U.S. Department of State, some members of Congress and 37 governors issuing proclamations supporting the month. Arab American Heritage Month recognizes the achievements of Arab Americans. Across the country, cultural institutions, school districts, municipalities, state legislatures, public servants, and non-profit organizations issue proclamations and engage in special events that celebrate Arab American community’s rich heritage and numerous contributions to society.

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  • May: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

    Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month began in 1977 as a smaller ten- day celebration in May, and grew 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.

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  • May: Jewish American Heritage Month

    Jewish American Heritage Month was established in 2006 by President George W. Bush. This was a result of a concerted effort by American Jewish leaders to introduce resolutions in both the U.S. Senate and the House urging the President to proclaim a month specifically recognizing Jews in America and their contributions to the United States. Jewish American Heritage Month recognizes Jewish contributions to society.

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  • May: Mental Health Awareness Month

    Mental Health Month was established in 1949 to increase awareness of the importance of mental health and wellness in Americans' lives, and to celebrate recovery from mental illness. Mental health is essential for a person's overall health. Prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can recover from mental disorders and live full and productive lives.

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  • June: LGBTQ+ Pride 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 excellence of the community.

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  • July: Disability Pride Month

    The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990, a landmark law that prohibited discrimination against people with disabilities. In that same year, Boston held the first Disability Pride Day.  

    The month is a chance to honor each person's uniqueness as "a natural and beautiful part of human diversity," according to America's Disability Community

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  • September: Latinx Heritage Month

    Latinx Heritage Month started as a week-long acknowledgement in 1968 and has grown to a month-long celebration from September 15 through October 15. These dates were selected to incorporate the independence days of Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua. Latinx Heritage 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.

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  • October: 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 (during the last week in October), and others.

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  • October: National Disability Employment Awareness Month

    National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) celebrates the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities past and present and highlights supportive, inclusive employment policies and practices.

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  • November: Native American History 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.

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2024 Identity Recognition Days

  • January 15: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

    Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a federal holiday held on the third Monday of January. It celebrates the life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., an influential American civil rights leader.

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  • February 2024: Lunar New Year & Lantern Festival

    The Lunar New Year marks the first new moon of the lunar calendar and is derived from 12 full cycles of the moon. It is celebrated by many Asian communities including Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.

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  • February 4: Rosa Parks Day (as part of Black History Month)

    Rosa Parks Day recognizes and honors the American Civil Rights leader Rosa Parks. The California State Legislature created Rosa Parks Day and first celebrated February 4, 2000. California chose to recognize the date of Rosa Park’s birth. Ohio and Oregon celebrate the date of her arrest, December 1.

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  • March 31: International Day of Transgender Visibility

    nternational Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) is an annual event occurring on March 31 dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide, as well as a celebration of their contributions to society.

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  • May 6: Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah)

    Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah in Hebrew, marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. When the actual date of Yom Hashoah falls on a Friday, the state of Israel observes Yom Hashoah on the preceding Thursday. When it falls on a Sunday, Yom Hashoah is observed on the following Monday. In the United States, Days of Remembrance runs from the Sunday before Yom Hashoah through the following Sunday.

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  • June 19: 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.

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  • October 11: National Coming Out Day

    National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is an annual LGBT awareness day observed on October 11, to support lesbian, gay, bisexualand transgender people (a.k.a. the LGBT community, sometimes also called the queer community) in "coming out of the closet". First celebrated in the United States in 1988, the initial idea was grounded in the feminist and gay liberation spirit of the personal being political, and the emphasis on the most basic form of activism being coming out to family, friends and colleagues, and living life as an openly lesbian or gay person.

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  • October 14: Indigenous Peoples’ Day

    Indigenous Peoples' Day is a holiday in the United States that celebrates and honors Native American peoples and commemorates their histories and cultures. On October 8, 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden became the first U.S. President to formally recognize the holiday, by signing a presidential proclamation declaring October 11, 2021 to be a national holiday.

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  • November 8: National First-Generation Day

    National First-Generation Day was established in honor of signing the Higher Education Act of 1965 that expanded college opportunities for low-income and first-generation populations. Championed by the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) and the NASPA Center for First-Generation Student Success, the day brings awareness to the strengths as well as promotes visibility of first-generation college students, faculty and staff on campuses across the country.

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  • November 20: Transgender Day of Remembrance

    Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.

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  • December 3: International Day of Persons with Disabilities

    Each year on December 3, International Day of Persons with Disabilities promotes the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. The day raises awareness of the political, economic, social and cultural aspects of how disability affects people around the world. 

    More than 1 billion people in the world have a disability. At 15 percent of the world’s population, persons with disabilities account for the world’s largest minority. Furthermore, one out of every seven people is affected by disability. 

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