April is National Diversity Awareness Month in the United States. In 2004, it was created as a monthlong celebration of Emancipation Day (celebrated in the District of Columbia on April 16), which marked the anniversary of the day President Abraham Lincoln signed the DC Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862, freeing more than 3,000 slaves in the District of Columbia. It has since been broadened to recognize and honor the diversity of the United States through the celebration of differences, developing greater cultural awareness in local communities.
National Diversity Awareness Month, also referred to as Celebrate Diversity Month, celebrates differences in the United States, including racial and ethnic groups, LGBTQ+ people, disability awareness, and more. In October, Global Diversity Awareness is celebrated to demonstrate the international multicultural society and to aid in embracing the values of other cultures.
There are many ways to uniquely celebrate National Diversity Month. Here are a few:
April is also Autism Acceptance Month. Starting as a weeklong educational opportunity in 1972, the Autism Society of America provides a variety of resources to inform and encourage celebrating differences and becoming more inclusive of individuals with autism. April was chosen as it overlaps with World Autism Awareness Day (April 2). Previously known as Autism Awareness Month, the Society shifted the terminology after receiving feedback from those in the autism community. “Inclusion begins with acceptance” has become the new framing for the month. This April, the Autism Society of America is proud to continue its fourth annual #CelebrateDifferences campaign in honor of Autism Acceptance Month.
Below, see what some DBP members are doing to celebrate National Diversity Month and Autism Acceptance Month in 2022: