Engaging with Cultural Holidays: May & June 2024

By: Chatashia Brown, Manager, Diversity, Equity & Community Engagement 

Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 

Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month celebrates the diverse cultures and accomplishments of those who trace their roots to Asia and the Pacific Islands. It is a time to acknowledge and pay homage to the contributions AAPI Americans have made to society and culture. The month of May was chosen to mark the arrival of the first known Japanese immigrant to the United States on May 7, 1843. AAPI Heritage Month began as a week-long celebration first recognized in 1978 and was extended to a month-long recognition in 1990. AAPI heritage includes over 40 countries and 25,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean.   

Best Practices for Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month in the Workplace

Jewish American Heritage Month 

Each May, the U.S. celebrates Jewish American Heritage Month, a time to honor the significant contributions and achievements of Jewish Americans. This observance recognizes the profound impact Jewish individuals have had on America’s history, culture, science, innovation, and art. Jewish American Heritage Month gained official recognition in April 2006, following resolutions passed by both the House and Senate and a proclamation by President George W. Bush

Best Practices for Acknowledging Jewish American Heritage Month in the Workplace 

      • Provide opportunities for education. Invite speakers or historians to discuss the impact of Jewish Americans on local and national levels. Workshops can also focus on understanding Jewish traditions, holidays, and community challenges, enhancing employees’ cultural competency.
      • Encourage collaboration with Jewish organizations. Partner with local Jewish museums, libraries, or cultural centers for authentic and educational exhibitions or events that can be hosted at your workplace to enrich your employees’ understanding of Jewish history and culture.  
      • Understand and combat antisemitism. Learn about the history of antisemitism, the steps you can take to confront it in your community, and the work being done by organizations across the country. 
      • Read & watch: 
Pride Month 

Pride Month, observed every June, celebrates LGBTQ+ identity, culture, and resilience. It commemorates the 1969 Stonewall uprising in New York City, where patrons of the Stonewall Inn fought against police harassment, sparking widespread protests. This month is a time for reflection on the ongoing struggle for LGBTQ+ rights and a celebration of the progress made. During Pride Month, cities worldwide host parades, marches, and events to celebrate LGBTQ+ pride and raise awareness of community issues, providing a platform for individuals and allies to advocate for equality, acceptance, and visibility.  

Best Practices for Celebrating Pride Month in the Workplace


Juneteenth, a blend of the words June and nineteenth, is a federal holiday observed on June 19, celebrating the end of slavery in Texas. It marks the day in 1865 when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston to announce that the Civil War had ended and all enslaved individuals were now free. Texas was the first state to declare Juneteenth an official celebration in 1979, and President Joe Biden signed the legislation that made Juneteenth a federal holiday in June 2021.  As we celebrate Juneteenth, it’s important to reflect on its historical significance and the continued fight against systemic racism and oppression. 

Best Practices for Acknowledging Juneteenth in the Workplace