July 2022 Heritage Celebrations

To the UConn Community:

The Office for Diversity and Inclusion and the Provost’s Office would like to take this opportunity to remind you of several celebrations, commemorations, and moments of raising awareness for members of our community during the month of July:

Disability Pride Day and Month (July 26th): In the United States Disability Pride month is celebrated in July to commemorate the anniversary of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), which provides civil rights protections to ensure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. In 2008, the ADA became the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), which expanded the definition of “disability” in order to simplify the process for establishing a disability when seeking ADA protections. July 26th is celebrated as Disability Pride Day in honor of the ADA while Disability Pride Month provides an annual observance to promote visibility for the 160 million Americans with a disability and to raise awareness about the pride felt by people with disabilities. Disability Pride Month explores the lives of people with disabilities in positive ways while also endeavoring to create spaces for people with disabilities to explore their own lives in positive and public ways.

UConn seeks to ensure that students with disabilities have the same access to programs, opportunities, and activities as all others at UConn. The primary pathway for providing that access comes from the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD), which offers a variety of programs and services for students with disabilities, including at UConn Health. They’re also excited to roll out a new platform for MyAccess, which allows students to more easily request accommodations and facilitates faculty and staff efforts to meet those accommodations.  UConn also seeks to ensure that staff and faculty with disabilities are afforded reasonable accommodations, through OIE, the Human Resources department, and UConn Health’s Human Resources. Faculty and staff can also request OIE’s training to increase awareness and understanding of disability access and responsibilities at UConn. UConn also offers a Certificate of Interdisciplinary Disability Studies in Public Health

Eid al-Adha (July 9th – 13th): Eid al-Adha is the second and holiest Islamic Eid festival of the year. Known as the “Festival of the Sacrifice” – or colloquially as “Big Eid” – Eid al-Adha honors the willingness of Ibrahim (known as Abraham in the Christian and Jewish traditions) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to Allah; before Ibrahim carried out the command, however, Allah produced a lamb for him to sacrifice instead. Traditions vary from place to place, but celebrations typically include congregational prayers at a mosque, the sharing of meat, gift-giving, and inviting members of other faiths to opportunities that better acquaint them with Islam and Muslim culture. UConn does not have any specific Eid celebrations in place, but has several opportunities for building community through the Ahlul Bayt Student Association, the Black Muslim Association, the Muslim Student Association (Storrs, Hartford, and Stamford), the Islamic Center at UConn, Middle Eastern Cultural Programs, and Salaam, the Asian American Cultural Center’s program to raise awareness about islamophobia.

French American Heritage Month: In the United States, July is designated as the month to celebrate the significant contributions made to the United States by people of French descent. Approximately 12.5 million Americans are of French or French Canadian decent, including 750,000 Creole peoples. This month also celebrates historical events that cemented the important relationship between the United States and France.

 Independence Day (July 4th): The 4th of July is a national holiday commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Though organized around celebrating American independence from England, July 4th also provides an opportunity to celebrate the diverse peoples and cultures who make up our nation.

Muharram (July 29th – August 28th): Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar, second only to Ramadan in importance and holiness. Many Muslims celebrate the first day of Muharram as the Islamic New Year (July 29th) marking the start of the lunar year. Muslims celebrate the new year by visiting the mosque, praying for well-being, and spending time with loved ones. They also traditionally cook something sweet to share when breaking their fast. Muharram also includes Ashura (August 7th – 8th), which mourns the martyrdom of Ḥusayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad. Traditions and celebrations vary across locations and between Shia and Sunni peoples – Sunnis consider this a day of respect but do not take part in mourning traditions.

We welcome the celebration of each of these observances on our campuses. To see more information about resources and events happening this month and throughout the remainder of the semester, please visit our events page at www.diversity.uconn.edu/events.


Frank Tuitt
Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer

Anne D’Alleva
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Jeffrey F. Hines, MD
Associate Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer, UConn Health