Heritage Months and Identity Recognitions

2022 Harvard Heritage Month Calendar ImageIn celebration of the histories and contributions of historically marginalized identities, Harvard commemorates heritage months and identity acknowledgements throughout the year. These recognitions are an opportunity for all members of the community to learn more about the traditions, people, scholarship, history and current experiences of those who've overcome oppression to create opportunities for all.  It is  important to note that the celebration of each legacy included in the calendar is not time-limited and this calendar is a helpful tool to ensure we're inclusive of all members of our community. 

The Harvard Heritage Month Work Group invites you to share other widely recognized cultural observances for consideration. Your ideas and input help raise awareness, and provides opportunities for cross cultural learning and connection at Harvard.  

When selecting dates for meetings and events, please consider religious observances. Visit Harvard Divinity School’s Multifaith Calendar for dates, and learn more about and engage with world religions through the Pluralism Project at Harvard University.

You may download an accessible PDF of the 2022 calendar here

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2022 Harvard 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. 

Learn more about Black History Month. 

March: 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. Learn more about Women's History Month

April: Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness 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.  Learn more about Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Month

May: 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 to 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. Learn more and see stories in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month

June: 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.

Learn more about Pride at Harvard.

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. 

Although Disability Pride Day isn't nationally recognized, parades are held in a number of places nationwide, such as Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, San Antonio and more. In 2015, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio declared July Disability Pride Month in celebration of the ADA’s 25th anniversary.

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.

Read the full story in USA Today.

September: 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.

Learn more about Harvard events and resources for the Latinx Community.

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 (last week in October), and others. 

Learn more about Harvard events and resources for the LGBTQ+ Community

November: 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. 

Learn more about Native American Heritage Month

2022 Identity Recognition Days

January 17, 2022: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 17, 2022: 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.

February 1, 2022: Lunar New Year

February 1, 2022: 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. 

Learn more about Lunar New Year and get details about local, national, and campus celebrations.

March 31, 2022: International Transgender Day of Visibility

International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) is an annual event occuring 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.

June 20, 2022: Juneteenth (observed)

June 20, 2022 (observed): Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

October 10, 2022: 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.

October 11, 2022: National Coming Out Day

National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is an annual LGBT awareness day observed on October 11, to support lesbiangaybisexualand 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.

December 3, 2022: 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 on 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.