Heritage/History/Pride/Awareness months matter greatly because it is an opportunity to share the histories and stories of specific identities. These months are an opportunity to showcase and recognize the complexities and richness of each of the identities being celebrated. They are important in providing the space, which many times in the past was denied, to teach, learn, and understand the history and examine how many identities are viewed within American or world discourse, and how groups are being oppressed and marginalized in society.
The month of May had two heritage months observed/celebrated: Jewish American Heritage Month and Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month. ALS Awareness Month, National Military Appreciation Month, National Mental Health Awareness Month, and many others were also national months in May.
LGBTQIA+ Pride Month
As stated by the Library of Congress:
"LGBTQIA+ Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In the United States the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as "Gay Pride Day," but the actual day was flexible. In major cities across the nation the "day" soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events. Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBTQ Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally."
Celebrate Pride Month by taking this LGBTQ+ Rights Movement quiz: https://www.historyquiz.com/quiz/629546fb1cfb750008e4edd7
Or, if you want to celebrate Pride in a community setting, attend an upcoming LGBTQIA+ event happening across Iowa in the next couple months!
- June 17: Ankeny Pride
- June 18: Iowa City Pride
- June 18: Fort Dodge Pride Festival
- June 25: Humboldt Pride
- June 25: Dubuque Pride Family Picnic
- June 25: Burlington Iowa Pride in the Park
- June 26: Fairfield Pride Picnic
- July 9: Cedar Rapids Pride
- August 26-27: Cedar Valley Pridefest in Waterloo
On Sunday, June 19, folks across the nation will be celebrating the commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. As stated by the Smithsonian National History Museum of African American History & Culture:
"Juneteeth - also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day - is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of African Americans who had been enslaved in the United States. Although the emancipation proclamation was signed almost two and a half years earlier, the news of this important decision didn't reach Texas until June 19th, 1865. Now, Juneteenth is celebrated annually on June 19th and has become a time for celebration. People honor Juneteenth in many ways from parties and parades to memorials and lessons. However it's celebrated, it's a time to share stories of resilience, resistance, and liberation, and to uplift Black joy."
These Juneteenth events are happening across the state this month!
- Juneteenth Celebration in Dubuque: June 18
- Juneteenth Park Celebration in Mason City: June 19
- Juneteenth Celebration in Fort Dodge: June 18
- Block Party Juneteenth Celebration in Cedar Falls: June 18
- 2022 Quad City Juneteenth Festival: June 18
- Juneteenth Festival in Cedar Rapids: June 18
- Juneteenth Celebration "Downtown at Sundown" in Iowa City: June 17
- Juneteenth Des Moines Metro Celebrations: all month
- Juneteenth Sioux Falls: June 25
- Juneteenth Open Mic in Council Bluffs: June 18