October Heritage: Hispanic Heritage Month, Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Week, LGBTQIA+ History Month

October is a special month for the Office for Diversity and Inclusion as it provides several opportunities to celebrate the history, legacy, and culture of the Hispanic and Latinx communities, the LGBTQIA+ community, and Native and Indigenous Peoples.

National Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15th – the anniversary of Guatemalan, Honduran, El Salvadorian, Nicaraguan, and Costa Rican independence – through October 15th. First recognized as Hispanic Heritage Week by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968, President Ronald Reagan expanded the observation to a full month in 1988 to better celebrate the achievements, culture, and contributions of the Hispanic and Latinx communities. PRLACC kicked off UConn’s celebrations with “Singing Our Way to Freedom,” a documentary by Mexican-American historian Paul Espinosa, and “The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano,” a play by Assistant Professor in residence, Tlaloc Rivas.

In the spirit of this heritage month, we invite to learn more about the members of the Hispanic and Latinx communities who call UConn “home,” by viewing four videos that capture their voices:

Additionally, we invite you to join in the final week of events celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month:


LGBT History Month was inaugurated in 1994 by Missouri high school teacher Rodney Wilson, in order to celebrate the national and international contributions made by members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Wilson chose October because schools are in session and because October already has several LGBTQIA+ traditions, like National Coming Out Day (10/11), International Pronouns Day (10/20), Intersex Awareness Day (10/26), and Asexual Awareness Week (last full week of October). Overall, the goal of LGBTQIA+ History Month is to provide possibility models, build community, and emphasize the continued importance of civil rights.

Here are some opportunities to participate in LGBTQIA+ History Month events hosted by the The Rainbow Center:

  • The Inaugural Rainbow Center Symposium (10/15), a day-long event promoting empathy, teaching queer pedagogy, exploring identity and college success, and educating about asexuality and mental health
  • A LGBT Center Awareness Day table (10/19) in the Student Union Marketplace area
  • The Annual Rainbow Center Art Gala (10/20)
  • Platonic Stargazing (10/29), an event to introduce the community to different identities along the asexual and aromantic spectrums.

Indigenous Peoples’ Week occurs during the second week of October. Indigenous Peoples’ Week both celebrates the legacy of Native and Indigenous peoples and recognizes colonialism’s impact on these communities. NACP’s week-long celebration kicks off with Indigenous Peoples’ Day (10/11) – originally organized in 1992 as a counter-celebration to the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas, Indigenous Peoples’ Day officially became a national holiday in 2021. At UConn, NACP provides a week full of celebrations and events to respect and pay homage to Native and Indigenous peoples. Several virtual events are planned for it:

  • Indigenous Peoples’ Day: Past, Present, and Future Panel (10/11 at 6:00 PM).
  • Indigenous at Connecticut Universities: Student Perspective (10/12 at 6:00 PM)
  • Blanket Exercise, a virtual demonstration of land theft from Indigenous peoples in North America (10/13, 4:00 – 6:00 PM). Led by Akomawt.
  • Keynote Address: Tristan Ahtone and Robert Lee (10/14 at 4:00 PM).
  • Encounters: Land Grab CT – a Dialogue on UConn’s Colonial History (10/15, 12:00 – 2:00 PM).

You can find more information and events by visiting ODI’s websites: ODI Central Office, PRLACC, the Rainbow Center, and NACP.