Guttman is committed to embracing and celebrating its vibrant cultural and ethnic diversity by honoring traditions and recognizing the contributions of the various communities that make up our family. The following month long celebrations are officially recognized as part of Guttman’s programming for its community: LatinX Heritage Month (Sept. – Oct.), LGBTQ+ History Month (Oct.), Black History Month (Jan. – Feb.), Women’s Her-story Month (March), and Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (April). Committees for each of these heritage weeks are comprised of students, staff and faculty. Everyone is welcome to become a member of any committee.
Heritage & Awareness Celebrations
Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Heritage
What is Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Heritage?
Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Heritage Month celebrates and exposes the Guttman community to richness of APIDA cultures and identities. Representation and Resistance explores the sociocultural over/under/mis-representation of APIDAs to formulate forms of resistance.
History of APIDA Heritage Month
Congress passed a joint Congressional Resolution in 1978 to commemorate Asian American Heritage Week during the first week of May. This date was chosen because two important anniversaries occurred during this time: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in America on May 7, 1843 and the completion of the transcontinental railroad (by many Chinese laborers) on May 10, 1869. It was later expanded from a week-long to a month-long celebration in 1990. Since then, May has been designated as a national Asian Heritage Month, much like Black History and Women’s History Month celebrations.
What is Black History?
Black History Month, or National African American History Month, occurs every February. It celebrates the achievements of black Americans and recognizes the central role of African Americans in the U.S.
History of Black History Month
Black History Month originated as Negro History Week. It was conceived by historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), the organization he founded. Woodson and the ASNLH hoped to raise awareness of African American contributions to civilization. They began visualizing the idea in 1925 and the first celebration was in February 1926, a week that had the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. They were met with an overwhelmingly positive response. By the mid-20th century, many city mayors across the U.S. issued proclamations celebrating the week.
In 1976, the celebration was expanded to a month. President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Since then each American president has issued African American History Month proclamations. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history.
What is LatinX Heritage?
Latinx Heritage recognizes and honors the enduring contributions and importance of Latinx people to the U.S. and celebrates the many heritages and cultures of Americans from or with ancestors from Mexico, the Caribbean, Spain and Central and South America. Guttman Community College has transitioned to this term, as “Latinx” relates to people of Latin American origin or descent and is used as a gender-neutral or non-binary alternative to Latino or Latina.
History of Hispanic Heritage Month
Hispanic Heritage month first began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson. It was expanded to cover a 30-day period by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 and is now officially September 15 to October 15. Mid-September was chosen because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.
What is LGBTQ+ History?
LGBTQ+ History honors and celebrates the accomplishments and achievements of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender folx as an affirmation of existence and a call to action. As a group that does not see its history taught at home, in public schools or religious institutions, Guttman has undertaken the responsibility of ensuring this community’s representation and engagement in advocacy.
History of LGBT Month
In 1994, Rodney Wilson, a Missouri high school teacher, believed a month should be dedicated to the celebration and teaching of gay and lesbian history, and gathered other teachers and community leaders. October was selected because public schools are in session and existing traditions, such as Coming Out Day (October 11), the anniversary of the first LGBT March on Washington on October 14, 1979, Spirit Day on October 20, Ally Week, and the anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s murder on Oct. 12, 1998, which sparked the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, occur during this month.
What is Women’s Her-story Month?
Guttman Community College participates in the national recognition of Women and their often-overlooked contributions to and major role in shaping the history of our nation and the world. Guttman has used this celebration to honor women at local, national and global levels, with a special emphasis on highlighting our own homegrown talent.
History of Women’s Her-story Month
Women’s History Month was initiated in the U.S. in 1978 as “Women’s History Week” by the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women. After the great success of the local celebration, dozens of schools planned special programs for Women’s History Week. Over one-hundred community women participated by doing special presentations in classrooms throughout the country.
In February 1980, President Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the Week of March 8, 1980 as National Women’s History Week. By 1986, 14 states had declared March as Women’s History Month. This momentum and state-by-state action was used as the rationale to lobby Congress to declare the entire month of March 1987 as National Women’s History Month. In 1987, Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month in perpetuity. A special Presidential Proclamation is issued every year.