Celebrating Black History Month and Lunar New Year

To the UConn Community:

February is a special month for the UConn community, as it provides several opportunities to celebrate the history, legacy, culture, contributions, and successes of the Black and African American and Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities. We invite you to celebrate two cultural heritage events with us:

Black History Month: Every February, we participate in the annual tradition of Black History Month. Inaugurated in 1926 by “The Father of Black History,” Dr. Carter G. Woodson, and made into a month-long celebration 50 years later, we use this month to raise awareness about Black and African American contributions to history. We recognize and celebrate the tremendous value these cultures have brought to the world, to our country, and to UConn. Though we believe that these contributions should be celebrated every day of the year, Black History Month provides an opportunity to reflect on our commitments to anti-racism and to renew our efforts.

Lunar New Year: February 1 marks the start of Lunar New Year 2022, the Year of the Tiger. Lunar New Year has been observed for thousands of years and symbolizes the welcoming of a new beginning and a time of reunion with family and friends.  For the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community at UConn, it marks an occasion to celebrate cultural backgrounds, experiences, and identities. On Lunar New Year, we recognize and honor the rich culture, history, and experiences of the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community, which make up such a significant portion of the UConn community.

We recognize that the last two years have been especially difficult for these two communities as they have borne the brunt of increases in racially based harassment and violence. We believe that these communities make UConn stronger. We are thrilled to celebrate them and encourage all in our community to participate in this month of festivities.

The African American Cultural Center (AACC) will be hosting a Black History Month Opening Ceremony featuring renowned Civil Rights attorney Benjamin Crump and Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd. The program is this Thursday, February 3, at 6 p.m. Register HERE.  The UConn Foundation will also be hosting a guest speaker, Crystal Emery, to discuss racism as an inhibitor to freedom.

The Chinese Undergraduate Student Association (CUSA), Vietnamese Student Association (VSA), and Asian American Cultural Center (AsACC) will host a week-long event for Lunar New Year 2022 (February 13-18). This event will include celebratory social media posts about the origins, associated cultures, folktales and legends of Lunar New Year, and how students at UConn celebrate the event with their friends and family. AsACC will be distributing red envelopes to students throughout the week, and CUSA and VSA will host two watch parties (February 16 and 17) featuring a special video of all the performances and festivities for this year. Be sure to check their Instagram accounts @uconnvsa@uconn_cusa, and @uconn_asacc for updates.

All are welcome to attend these events. Come help us celebrate these communities!


Carl Lejuez
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Frank Tuitt
Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer