Alma College celebrates awareness weeks and months in honor of cultural history and traditions across many identity groups.
Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15)
This month begins on September 15 with the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. During this month Mexico declared its independence on Sept. 16th and Chile on September 18. This month is to celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors come from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
LGBTQ+ Awareness Month
While LGBTQ+ Pride Month is in June, LGBTQ+ Awareness month is in October. LGBT Awareness month began its celebration in 1994. It has since expanded to LBGTQ+ Awareness month to be more inclusive of all genders and sexualities. In October there are three major LGBTQ+ Holidays. On October 11 we observe National Coming Out Day. October 20 is Spirit Day when people wear purple to show support for LGBTQ+ teens who are/were victims of bullying. October 26-November 1 (Varies by year) is Asexual Awareness Week. Overall this month is a time to celebrate LGBTQ+ identified individuals and to give a chance for non-LGBTQ+ identified individuals to learn. There is a training called Safe Zone to help students become more aware of the diversity in the LGBTQ+ community and also to make the students an available resource to talk to judgment-free. All individuals that have completed the session receive a “Safe Zone” sticker.
Disability Employment Awareness Month
This month is also celebrated in October. It is used to recognize the important role that persons with disability play in the workforce and workplace diversity. Shortened to NDEAM, this month celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates about the value of a diverse workforce inclusive of their skills and talents.
Native American Heritage Month
This month began as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S. President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution in 1990 designating November as National American Indian Heritage Month. This month recognizes the first people that inhabited what is now known as the United States. It also remembers the struggles of violence, discrimination, and alienation that the Natives had to endure. November celebrates the Native American Culture but also recognizes the history of this culture.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
at Alma College
This day began with the signing of legislation in 1983 which officially marked the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a federal holiday. In 1994 congress designated this federal holiday as a national day of service. This day takes place yearly on the 3rd Monday in January. The MLK day of service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.” Although nationally this is a day of service here at Alma College we spend the entire week celebrating the legacy of Dr. King and his work.
African American History Month
The month of February pays tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society. This event began as a week-long celebration in 1925 and expanded to a month-long event in 1976.
Women’s History Month
The origins of Women’s history month are as a celebration in 1981 and the president proclaimed the week beginning March 7, 1982, as women’s history week. In 1987 congress declared the month of March 1987 as Women’s History Month. This month recognizes the changes that women have made to throughout history to improve the environment, the laws for women in the U.S. (and other oppressed groups), as well as other improvements to the world.
Asian-Pacific American Awareness Month
This month is about celebrating Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States. This month began in 1977 with the proclamation of the first 10 days of May being known as Asian-pacific Heritage week. In 1990 President George H.W. Bush signed an extension making the week-long celebration a month-long
celebration. The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the U.S. on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869.