Heritage & Awareness Events

Alma College celebrates awareness weeks and months in honor of cultural history and traditions across many identity groups.

Hispanic/Latinx Heritage 

Hispanic Heritage month begins on Sept. 15 with the anniversary of the independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. During this month Mexico declared its independence on Sept. 16 and Chile on Sept. 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.

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Fiesta Baile en la Calle

September 11, 2021 from 4 -10 p.m. EDT Superior Street in Downtown Alma.
Superior Street will be shut down and downtown Alma will be filled with activities and entertainment. The Diversity and Inclusion Office will be hosting Fiesta Baile en la Calle to cap off the night and celebrate the start of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Francisco Graciano Presentation

September 24, 2021 from 6 - 7 p.m. EDT Remick Heritage Center, Dance Studio.
Guest choreographer Francisco Graciano presents an informal lecture/demonstration of a new original dance created for the Alma College Dance Company, which will premiere on Nov. 12.

HisCo Loteria Event

October 8, 2021 from 6 - 7 p.m. EDT TVD Rotunda
Come join Alma College’s Hispanic Coalition on a few games of Loteria as a way to continue celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month; we will be playing 5 rounds with different prizes each time! The event costs $1 at the desk; all proceeds will go towards funding the HisCo Book Scholarship. Check out our posters around campus for more detailed information on the event + what you could earn!

Agricultural Workers & Health During COVID Times

October 21, 2021 from 10 to 11 a.m. EDT Tyler Van Dusen Commons North and South.
Join us for a panel discussion of farmworker health care in Michigan, with particular attention to the impact of COVID-19 in our local area and the importance of vaccination. Presentations will be in English, with availability for bilingual Spanish/English Q/A.

Movement in Music as a Mexican Rapper with Big Gemini

October 26, 2021 from 7 to 8 p.m. EDT
Big Gemini is a Mexican American Rapper. He will be joining us to cap off Hispanic Heritage Month and describe his journey to becoming a rapper and how his identity has shaped his art. He will also perform songs that marked different stages of his process.

LGBTQ+ Awareness

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 Awareness

Disability Employment Awareness month is also celebrated in October. It is used to recognize the important role that persons with disabilities play in the workforce and workplace diversity. Shortened to NDEAM, this month celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates others on the value of a diverse workforce inclusive of their skills and talents.

Native American Heritage

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 not only celebrates the Native American Culture but also recognizes the history of this culture.

Who was the REAL Christopher Columbus?

Tuesday, October 12, 2021 12:00pm - 1:00pm EDT Tyler-Van Dusen , Heather Room

Join us for a discussion in the Heather Room about Christopher Columbus and the thoughts behind Columbus Day.

BOUNTY Live World Premiere and Q&A

Wednesday, November 10, 2021 7:00pm - 8:30pm EST - TVD Student Lounge
Join us for the world premiere of the new Upstander Project film, BOUNTY, which reflects on colonialism, generational trauma, and the genocide of native peoples. The event will start with a film introduction, a showing of the film, then a Q&A with the film team.

Reflections on Healing the Mind, Body, and Soul with Inila Wakan: From the Pine Ridge Lakota Reservation

Tuesday, November 16 7:00pm - 8:30pm EST - TVD Student Lounge
Inila Wakan, a Lakota Tribal Member, will be joining us virtually to discuss traditions of healing the mind, body, and soul. We will be holding an in-person streaming in the TVD student lounge.

Rethinking Thanksgiving

Monday, November 22 1:10pm - 2:40pm EST Swanson Academic Center (SAC), SAC 113
Join us for a panel discussion about how we celebrate Thanksgiving and its legacies in American history and culture as it relates to respect for Native American History. Hosted by Danny Wasserman, Laura VonWallmenich, and Kristin Obertson. 

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 annually 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. Learn more.

African American History 

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

The origins of Women’s History Month as a celebration began in 1981 when 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 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

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.