June Cultural Awareness and Recognitions
June Cultural Awareness and Recognitions: National Caribbean American Heritage Month and LGBTQ+ Pride Month
In the Snohomish School District and community, we honor and recognize our diversity. Please join us this June as we acknowledge Caribbean American Heritage Month and LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Although these months may be designated as times for specific recognition, we encourage honor and recognition of our culture and diversity throughout the year.
National Caribbean American Heritage Month (NCAHM) was first recognized in 2006 by Presidential Proclamation. The observation serves to promote the culture, heritage, and contributions of the Caribbean people to the United States of America. Some notable figures of Caribbean heritage in our history include Alexander Hamilton, Colin Powell, Cicely Tyson, W.E.B. Dubois, James Weldon Johnson, Harry Belafonte, and Sidney Poitier.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride is observed during June in recognition of the Stonewall Uprising which occurred in 1969. The first Pride march was held in 1970 on the one-year anniversary of the uprising where thousands of people gathered to protest and raise awareness around hostility and discrimination. During the month of June, memorials are also held for those lost to hate crimes and recognition is given to LGBTQ+ individuals who have had an impact on history.
Please consider the following statistics provided by one of our student organizations: It is important to acknowledge and celebrate Pride Month because of all the challenges the LGBTQ+ community faces. LGBTQ+ youth, especially youth of color and transgender youth, are an especially vulnerable part of our community. According to The Trevor Project National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health 2021, 42% of LGBTQ+ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year and 75% of LGBTQ+ youth reported that they had experienced discrimination based on their LGBTQ+ identity at least once in their lifetime.
While LGBTQ+ Pride Month is a time to celebrate the progress and the strength of the LGBTQ+ community, it is also a great opportunity for reflection on how we can better support and uplift our LGBTQ+ staff and students.