What are “History Months” or “Awareness Months” and why do we have them? History and Awareness Months celebrate the accounts and achievements of marginalized individuals often excluded or overshadowed in traditional history books. They serve as reminders for everyone to learn more about the rich heritage and culture of those different from ourselves. At USD, we celebrate these months in a variety of ways.
In February, the Union of African American Students organized and sponsored five events to celebrate Black History Month. These events included Comedy and Cuisine in the Muenster University Center Pit Lounge, a Dynamics of Black Love Panel in Farber Hall and a free screening of “Black Panther” at Coyote Twin Theaters.
The Center for Diversity and Community and the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies program kicked off National Women’s History (affectionately called HERstory) Month March 1 with an event that celebrated inspirational women figures. Upcoming events include two movie screenings on March 22 and March 29 at 7 p.m. in the MUC Pit and a celebration of South Dakota Women’s Suffrage on March 28 from 12-1 p.m. in the MUC Pit.
While June is officially LGBTQ+ Pride Month, Spectrum celebrates campus pride throughout the school year by organizing events such as Pride Week (March 19-23), Transgender Day of Remembrance and two drag shows each year. Also, March 31st is International Transgender Day of Visibility; this event is dedicated to celebrating and raising awareness of the achievements of transgender individuals across the nation and the globe.
National American Indian Heritage Month is in November; however, our Native student organizations hold events throughout the year to celebrate their culture and heritage. Tiospaye Student Council offers Indian Tacos on the second Tuesday of each month for $6 each (or 2 for $10) and is currently seeking art donations from Indigenous Artists for a silent auction in conjunction with the 46th Annual Wacipi on April 7th in the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.
History and Awareness Months also include Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (May), National Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month (September), and National Disability Employment Awareness Month (October).
Even if you can’t attend an official event, History and Awareness Months serve as reminders to learn more about individuals with different backgrounds and life experiences. Talk to a Native Elder, YouTube a pow wow, follow an intersectional feminist on Twitter, subscribe to a news feed related to LGBTQ+ rights, binge watch “Dear White People” on Netflix or read books by diverse authors. What’s important is to be engaged in the world around you!