We’re all in this together

A simple rundown of what makes the month of April special

As most people already know, most of the months in the year have a celebration or an observation related to them, for instance, February is Black History Month,  March is Women’s History Month, and June is Pride Month. Thus, it is only natural for some to wonder what other months signify. While a quick Google search may be the answer to this question, April seems to be showcasing a large, but less renowned amount of holidays/observations. 

If one were to look around campus, they would  spot the large teal colored banners along Rudder Way that state April is Sexual Assualt Awarness Month, if one also goes to Chilli’s at 9:30 p.m. with a small group of friends, they could also spot, located on the tables, that April is also Child Abuse Awareness Month. So which is it? 

In actuality, April is home to many names. According to seramount.com, Holiday Calendar and Heritage Months, April is Celebrate Diversity Month, initiated in 2004 to recognize and honor the diversity surrounding us. But, that is not all. 

April is also Autism Awareness/Acceptance Month, which was established to raise awareness and recognize people with autism by better understanding them. With Apr. 2 being the 15th annual World Autism Awareness day, although people with autism spectrum disorder, more commonly known as autism, have been around exponentially longer than 15 years, gaining awareness on the topic is always a step in the right direction. 

Autism refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as recorded by autismspeaks.org. While the ‘disorder’ is becoming more commonly discussed, there are still a plethora of people who go undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, and misunderstood, which is why it is important. 

 This month is also home to Ramadan, which starts on the second. This  month is the most sacred for Muslims or followers of Islam. Muslims believe that during this month, God revealed the first verses of the Quran, Islam’s sacred text, to Mohammed. During the entire month they fast everyday from dawn to sunset. Many people have the misconception that Muslims do not eat at all during Ramadan, but that is untrue. Eating is acceptable after sunset and there are special dispensations to those who are ill, pregnant or nursing, menstruating, traveling, and for young children and the elderly. While fasting is just one of the five duties, or pillars, of Islam there are so many more important parts to this occasion. 

Additionally, April  is also Arab American Heritage Month. This is an opportunity to celebrate and enhance our understanding of the diverse aspects and cultures while paying tribute to the contributions of Arab Americans and Arab-speaking Americans. In the U.S. a multitude of people confuse or confound Arab with Middle Eastern, however, based on linguistic and geographical factors we can determine these terms are not fully interchangeable. A common misconception is that all Arab Americans are Muslim, although approximately 25 percent practice Islam and around 63 percent are Christian or Catholic, as recorded by the Arab American Institute. Since there are approximately 3.7 million Arab Americans in the U.S. it is essential that their presence be celebrated.

It is also National Month of Hope, as deemed by non-profit organization Mothers In Crisis in 2018. One can practice this by spreading hope within themselves, their family, their community, as well as the nation/world. 

 April is also Cannabis Awareness Month. Despite the negative connotations surrounding the use of cannabis, take this time to educate oneself and others on its benefits and health uses. 

Apr. 27 is Denim Day, as a part of Sexual Assualt Awareness Month, Denim Day exists as its own event. As the month itself, exists as a voice of the victims of sexual abuse and violence, by bringing awareness to sexual violence worldwide and how to prevent it. Denim Day works to destroy the destructive attitudes surrounding sexual assualt, like victim blaming. This day is in regards to an Italian Supreme Court decision where they overturned a rape conviction based on the jeans the victim was wearing. Now in protest, people around the world wear denim to honor the survivor and other survivors who experienced victim blaming. 

While April may not be a quick Google search to find out the national month, holiday, or observance, there are still many important factors surrounding it. A plethora of holidays still exists within this month, like the favored Grilled Cheese Sandwich day. For more things to celebrate or observe check out nationaldaycalendar.org.