Recognition Months

Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice
January 1, 2023

Acknowledging and planning around affinity and issue recognition months, weeks, and days can be complicated. Efforts are often well-intended, signaling support and creating space, and can simultaneously be performative and reductive. With input from our staff and members, NASPA hopes to balance education, dialogue, visibility, and action. 

 

 

Black History Month History and Background

Led by founder Carter G. Woodson, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) conceived and announced Negro History Week in 1925 and first commemorated the event during a week in February 1926 that included the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The Association has shepherded the celebration for decades, providing teaching materials and a thematic focus to raise visibility of aspects of Black experiences, resistance, and influences. 

The celebration was expanded to a month in 1976 with a presidential proclamation by President Gerald R. Ford to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” 

The 2023 theme for Black History Month is Black Resistance in the spheres of politics, law, faith, education, healthcare, culture, arts, and sports. The theme, highlights "Black resistance strategies [that] have served as a model for every other social movement in the country."  

Sources:

Recognition Months - NASPA Programs and Initiatives

Black History Month - NASPA Programs and Initiatives

Recognition Months - NASPA Publications

NASPA Publications