March Cultural Awareness and Recognitions
March Cultural Awareness and Recognitions: Women’s History Month, Gender Equality Month, Irish-American Heritage Month, and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
In the Snohomish School District and community, we honor and recognize our diversity. Please join us this March as we acknowledge Women’s History, Gender Equality, Irish-American Heritage and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. As a reminder, though these months may be designated as times for specific recognitions, we encourage honor and recognition of our culture and diversity throughout the year.
Women’s History Month began as a national recognition in 1982 as “Women’s History Week”. The recognition grew from a weeklong celebration started by a school district in Sonoma, California. In 1987, after a petition from the National Women’s History Project, Congress designated March as Women’s History Month. Each year, the President delivers a proclamation celebrating the contributions women have made over the course of American history.
Check out this link for more information and specific topics related to the contributions of women in our history.
In addition, March is recognized by the United Nations as Gender Equality Month, coinciding with International Women’s Day on March 8. One of the goals of the United Nations is to empower women and girls while also ensuring their equal rights. As we continue our growth and learning in cultural awareness and honoring diversity, please visit this page from OSPI to read more about gender-inclusive schools. March 31 is the International Transgender Day of Visibility. The day is meant to celebrate accomplishments as well as bring attention to discrimination against people who are transgender or gender non conforming.
During March, we also celebrate and recognize the contributions of Irish-Americans. The timing was originally selected to coincide with St. Patrick’s Day, an Irish national holiday celebrated on March 17.
According to history.com, the first celebration of St. Patrick on the American continent happened as early as 1600 in St. Augustine, Florida. Some of the traditions associated with the holiday are American in origin. In Ireland, ham and cabbage were consumed during celebrations, while corned beef which was a less expensive substitute became a staple of Irish Americans living in slums in lower Manhattan.
March is also a time designated for awareness around developmental disabilities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in six or approximately 17% of children have one or more developmental disabilities. These include ADHD, autism, cerebral palsy, hearing loss, intellectual disability, vision impairment, and others. Developmental disabilities occur across all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups and are not always clearly visible. For more information on developmental disabilities, please check out this link.