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Month: May 2023

Jewish American Heritage Month

On April 20, 2006, President George W. Bush proclaimed that May would be Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM). This was a bipartisan effort sponsored in Congress by the late Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida. In 2018, the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History became the official convener of JAHM, responsible for staffing and organizing the month nationwide each year.

Recognition of Jewish American Heritage Month is a commitment to a more inclusive
and respectful society. Jewish Americans continue to enrich every part of American life as educators and entrepreneurs, athletes and artists, scientists and entertainers, public officials and activists, labor and community leaders, diplomats and military service members, public health heroes, and more. 

This Jewish American Heritage Month, let us join hands across faiths, races, and backgrounds to make clear that evil, hate, and antisemitism will not prevail.  Let us honor the timeless values, contributions, and culture of Jewish Americans, who carry our Nation forward each and every day.  And let us rededicate ourselves to the sacred work of creating a more inclusive tomorrow, protecting the diversity that defines who we are as a Nation, and preserving the dignity of every human being — here at home and around the world.  

                             JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President’s Proclamation 

Recently the University of Delaware community received a message from Fatimah Conley, Vice President, Institutional Equity & Chief Diversity Officer. Her message shared that a live zoom speak-out will happen on Thursday, May 18th at noon. “The purpose of this event is to move from conversation to action after the most recent hate-fueled/bias incident that occurred last week. As the details of what happened unfolded and communications were sent out across campus, I heard from many people that the community needs less talk and more concrete actions. The speak-out is a step toward understanding what the campus community, especially those directly affected by bias incidents occurring on campus, deems the necessary actions to be, so that we can work on, implement and/or effectuate those things.”

Celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month by learning more about Jewish Americans. Dive into our nation’s shared and diverse cultural heritage and discover something new this month!

Additional Resources

To learn more, please consider viewing this online exhibit The First Jewish Americans by the New-York Historical Society.

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Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in May in the United States since 1949. Nearly one in five Americans live with a mental health condition, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

When thinking about diversity, equity and inclusion issues, mental health might not always be top of mind. However, a recent Forbes article stated, “Employees from diverse backgrounds can face a lack of representation, micro-aggressions, unconscious bias, and other stressors that impact their mental health and psychological safety at work.”

As we take this month to raise awareness, it is important to recognize that stigma can be a barrier to talking about this issue, especially in the workplace. Beth Markley is the executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Markley said employers play the most important role in supporting people’s mental health needs. Companies and managers should provide employee assistance benefits and give employees time off when caring for someone dealing with a mental health issue.

Mental health is as important as physical health. It’s important for supervisors and members of leadership to let their employees know that sick days are available to use for all kinds of family medical and health issues, including mental health.

Practicing Self-Care

Practicing self-care does not mean you are choosing yourself over your loved ones. It means that you are simply being mindful of your own needs, so you are better able to support the people you care about. When mindful of your needs, you can better support the people you care about.

Annette March-Grier is a 2014 CNN Hero and the founder of Roberta’s House, a bereavement center in Baltimore, Maryland. March-Grier stresses the importance of putting yourself first to enhance mental well-being.

Everyone is looking for some kind of balance, yet few are finding it. Your state of mind is where it all begins. Make self-care a priority for your mental wellness. “Self-care is not selfish.” It is a truth that if you don’t take care of yourself, you will have nothing to give others. This includes healthy relationships that can be jeopardized because of stress, burnout, and lack of self-care. Your physical health is also connected to your mental health. Negative thoughts and suppression of these can overtime lead to disease.

Annette March-Grier

Upcoming Event

Mental Health First Aid

In honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, Beebe HealthCare is partnering with the University of Delaware to offer free Mental Health First Aid training. 

May 18, 2023, OR June 16, 2023, online with 2-hour pre-work and 9:00-3:30 via Zoom

Registration is limited, so please register early. Register here.

Resources at the University of Delaware

2023 Mental Health Month Toolkit

This #MentalHealthMonth, Mental Health America invites you to #LookAroundLookWithin to learn how your surroundings impact mental health. Learn more:

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Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

The contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to American culture and society have been significant, especially in science and medicine, literature and art, sports and recreation, as well as activism and law.

One of the first documented Asian American communities in North America was established in 1763 when a group of Filipinos jumped ship near New Orleans amid forced labor and imprisonment during the Spanish galleon trade.

Born in the Philippines, Larry Itliong immigrated to the United States in 1929 at the age of 15 and immediately began working as a laborer, up and down America’s West Coast, as well as in Alaska. By 1930, he joined striking lettuce pickers in Washington, and spent the next several decades working as a labor organizer and, eventually, a union leader—including forming the Filipino Farm Labor Union in 1956.

However, the effort to officially recognize Asian American and Pacific Islander contributions to the United States didn’t begin until the late 1970s and took about 20 years to make it a permanent month-long celebration.

In 1992, the month of May was designated by President George H. W. Bush as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Each year the President of the United States releases a proclamation recognizing these cultures and their contributions to the country.

During Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, our Nation celebrates the diversity of cultures, breadth of achievement, and remarkable contributions of these communities; of brave immigrants who, motivated by the promise of possibilities, picked up their lives and found new homes here; of native peoples who have stewarded these lands since time immemorial; and of community leaders shaping a brighter future for us all.  Throughout our history, they have represented the bigger story of who we are as Americans and embodied the truth that our diversity is our strength as a Nation. 


Meet Leonardo Aguila

Born in the Philippines, Leonardo Aguila immigrated to Guam – a United States territory – as a young man and enlisted into the U.S. Navy. After his service, he dedicated another 17 years as a civilian employee for the U.S. Department of the Navy. Leonardo is now a farmer who grows avocados, dragon fruit, and cherimoyas on his six-acre orchard in Fallbrook, California.

Leonardo has also worked with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to address gully erosion with an underground outlet pipeline, install a new, efficient irrigation system, and begin an irrigation water management regimen across his operation.

Learn more about Leonardo’s dragon fruit farm by watching the video below:

Dragon Fruit Farm Tour

Coming up

Check back soon to learn more about other month-long May celebrations, including:

  • Mental Health Awareness Month
  • Jewish American Heritage Month
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