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Heritage Months and Cultural Recognitions

Northwestern is proud to honor our diverse community by commemorating national heritage months, days, and cultural acknowledgements throughout the year. These observances provide us with an opportunity to delve into the rich historical, cultural, and social dimensions of various identities, while amplifying voices that have often been marginalized. In addition to celebrating, programs and events throughout the year aim to educate others on various group’s histories and the many contributions to American society.

Take a moment to view the annual diversity calendar below. Programming for Heritage Months/cultural recognitions are listed based on the submissions received.  If you would like to have an event, program, or resource listed, please submit it using the button below. This allows our NU community to view all the events and programming happening across the University for a specific month (or day) in a central location – along with Planit Purple.

Submit Your Event

Annual Diversity Calendar

It is important to note the calendar items included is not time-limited and the communities acknowledged should be recognized for their contributions daily. Download a pdf version of the 2024 Diversity Calendar.


January Observances
All Month Muslim American Heritage Month
All Month Poverty Awareness Month
Third Sunday in January World Religion Day
January 1 New Year's Day
January 1 Global Family Day/World Peace Day
January 4 World Braille Day
January 15 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
January 27 International Holocaust Remembrance Day


February Observances
All Month Black History Month
February 10 Lunar New Year
February 14 St. Valentine's Day
February 14 Ash Wednesday
February 20 World Day of Justice


March Observances
All Month National Women's History Month
All Month Ethnic Equality Month
All Month Gender Equality Month
All Month National Multiple Sclerosis Education and Awareness Month
March 8 International Women's Day
March 8 United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace
March 10 Ramadan
March 11 World Day of Muslim Culture, Peace, Dialogue and Film
March 14 Equal Pay Day
March 21 Naw-Ruz (Baha'i New Year)
March 21 World Down Syndrome Day
March 25 International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
March 31 Easter



April Observances
Month Earth Month
All Month Autism Awareness Month
All Month Arab-American Heritage Month
All Month Community Service Month
All Month National Deaf History Month
All Month Celebrate Diversity Month
April 2 World Autism Awareness Day
April 7 International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda
April 20 First Day of Ridvan—Festival of Ridvan
April 22 Passover
April 22 Earth Day
April 26 Administrative Professionals Day
April 28 The Ninth Day of Ridvan,


May Observances
All Month Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
All Month Haitian Heritage Month
All Month Indian Heritage Month
All Month Jewish Heritage Month
All Month Mental Health Month
All Month South Asian Heritage Month
All Month Speech and Hearing Awareness Month
All Month Personal History Awareness Month
All Month Older Americans Month
May 1 - May 2 The Twelfth Day of Ridvan
May 5 Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah)
May 5 Cinco de Mayo
May 8 Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for those who Lost their Lives during WWII 
May 21 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
May 22 International Day for Biological Diversity
May 28 Memorial Day


June Observances
All Month National Caribbean American Heritage Month 
All Month LGBTQ Pride Month
All Month Black Music Month
June 12 Loving Day
June 14 Race Unity Day
June 19 Juneteenth
June 28 LGBT Pride Day


July Observances
All Month French American Heritage Month
July 11 World Population Day
July 26 Americans with Disabilities Act Signed "Disability Independence Day


August Observances
All Month National Civility Month
August 9 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
August 13 International Left-handers Day
August 19 World Humanitarian Day
August 23 International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition
August 26 Women's Equality Day


September Observances
September 15 - October 15 Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month
September 2 Labor Day
September 11 Patriot Day
September 15 International Day of Democracy
September 16 Mexican Independence Day
September 21 International Day of Peace
September 27 World Tourism Day


October Observances
All Month  Domestic Violence Awareness Month 
All Month  Down Syndrome Awareness Month 
All Month  Family History Month 
All Month  Filipino American Heritage Month 
All Month  LGBT History Month 
All Month  National Disability Employment Awareness Month 
All Month  National German Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) 
All Month  National Work and Family Month 
All Month  Polish-American Heritage Month 
October 2  International Day of Non-Violence 
October 6  German American Heritage Day 
October 10  World Mental Health Day 
October 11  National Coming Out Day 
October 14  Indigenous People's Day 
October 15  White Cane Safety Day 
October 16 Sukkot begins
October 17 Spirit Day–Anti Bullying 
October 17  International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 
October 18  Women in Military Service for America Memorial Anniversary 
October 19  World Humanitarian Action Day 
October 22  International Stuttering Awareness Day 
October 31  Halloween 
October 31  Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) 


November Observances
All Month  National Native American Heritage Month 
All Month  National American Indian & Alaska Native Heritage Month 
November 1 Diwali
November 9  World Freedom Day 
November 11  Veterans Day/Armistice Day 
November 13  World Kindness Day 
November 16  International Day for Tolerance 
November 17  International Students' Day 
November 20  Transgender Day of Remembrance 
November 28 Thanksgiving 
November 29  Anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre 


December Observances
All Month  Universal Human Rights Month 
December 1  World AIDS Day 
December 2  International Day for the Abolition of Slavery 
December 3  International Day for People with Disability 
December 10  International Human Rights Day 
December 20  International Human Solidarity Day 
December 25  Christmas 
December 25 - Jan 2 Hanukkah
Dec 26 - Jan 1 Kwanzaa 
December 31  New Year's Eve 
If you have recommendations on dates that should be added, send us feedback for consideration.