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June Cultural Awareness and Recognitions: National Caribbean American Heritage Month and LGBTQ+ Pride Month

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.

For more information on recognitions throughout the year please check out this link from

Juneteenth FAQ (

What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth is a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. It is also called Emancipation Day or Juneteenth Independence Day. The name "Juneteenth" references the date of the holiday, combining the words “June” and “nineteenth.”

Origin of Juneteenth
Juneteenth was originally celebrated in Texas, on June 19, 1866. It marked the first anniversary of the day that African Americans there first learned of the Emancipation Proclamation, more than two years after it was initially issued. The holiday was originally celebrated with prayer meetings and by singing spirituals and wearing new clothes to represent newfound freedom. Within a few years, African Americans were celebrating Juneteenth in other states, making it an annual tradition.

Is Juneteenth a federal holiday?
Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the United States. Legislation establishing the holiday was passed on June 16, 2021, and signed into law the following day. Juneteenth had previously been established as a state holiday in Texas in 1980, with a number of other states later declaring it a state holiday or day of observance.

How is Juneteenth celebrated/observed?
Juneteenth celebrations in the United States typically include prayer and religious services, speeches, educational events, family gatherings and picnics, and festivals with food, music, and dancing. The day is also celebrated outside the United States and is used to recognize the end of slavery as well as to celebrate African American culture and achievements.

How did the civil rights movement affect Juneteenth celebrations?
Juneteenth celebrations in the United States declined in the 1960s, overshadowed by the civil rights movement. However, the holiday began to regain its importance in 1968 when the Poor People’s Campaign, originally led by Martin Luther King, Jr., held a Juneteenth Solidarity Day. Interest in Juneteenth continued to increase in the following decades, and the first state-sponsored Juneteenth celebration was held in Texas in 1980.

Resources and helpful links