Each month, Twanna curates her list of favorites. Stay timely and learn more about the holidays, awareness campaigns, cultural celebrations, and September days to remember taking place this month.
National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 – October 15
The (often overlooked) histories and accomplishments of Hispanic and Latinx Americans will take center stage during these four weeks. Museums, cultural centers, and organizations nationwide will hold events celebrating Hispanic and Latinx culture. If you’d also like to check out some online resources, go here.
Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month, September 1 – 30
Gynecologic cancers are cancers that affect female reproductive organs. Specific types include:
- Cervical cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Uterine cancer
- Vaginal cancer
- Vulvar cancer
The ultimate goal of Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month is to raise awareness of the different risk factors and symptoms of each. The commemoration also informs the public about prevention and the importances of regular gynecologic exams. If you’d like to know more about how you can get involved, check out the Foundation for Women’s Cancer.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Awareness Month, September 1 – 30
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is an often painful hormonal disorder that can lead to reproductive issues including irregular periods and infertility. However, we could all use a stronger misunderstanding of it. That’s why, during this month, those with PCOS advocate for research and educate the public on its symptoms as well as physical and mental effects (both).
Sexual Health Month, September 1 – 30
You hear a lot about health and wellness. But, what about sexual health? What does it mean to be sexually healthy? What behaviors and physical signs should we be looking out for or discussing with a health professional? Learn more about Sexual Health Month here. The celebrations are encompass World Sexual Health Day on September 4.
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, September 1 – 30
Prostate cancer will affect 1 in every 9 American males. While there’s no cure, you can lower your risk. The goals of this month are to raise awareness around prostate health, to educate people on the risks and symptoms, encourage people to get screened and advocate for more research.
Menopause Awareness Month, September 1 – 30
Happy Menopause Awareness Month! This is a great time to fight stigma learn more about the various stages and conditions associated with menopause. These can include early menopause, perimenopause, sex and menopause, and other issues.
Hunger Action Month, September 1 – 30
Bodies need nutritious food to thrive. But, here’s the problem: millions of Americans go hungry every day. This includes more than 12 million hungry children. Ending hunger is possible. We must have the will to work to do it. During this month, that’s exactly what happens — organizations and individuals work together to raise awareness, advocate, volunteer and donate funds in a nationwide effort to end hunger. Learn more about ways you can help.
National Recovery Month, September 1 – 30
Now in its 30th year, National Recovery Month seeks to celebrate those who work every day on their recovery from substance abuse or mental health conditions. This year’s theme is Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger. Find a wealth of information about recovery on recoverymonth.gov.
Self-Care Awareness Month, September 1 – 30
During these trying times, it’s especially important that we make the effort to take care of ourselves. Self-Care Awareness Month urges us to take personal wellness a little more seriously. Activities can include anything from the occasional spa day to daily meditation. Never forget that the greatest relationship you can have is with yourself!
National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month, September 1 – 30
National Suicide Prevention Week, September 8 – 14
World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. The LGBTQQAI+ community, who may face bullying from peers or rejection from their families, may have a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. (Learn more about the risk factors and warning signs.) However, we can prevent suicide. There’s always hope. If you or someone you know needs help, please don’t be afraid to reach out. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255).
Monday, September 2
This holiday is all about celebrating the country’s laborers. Formally established by Congress in 1894, many people now look at Labor Day as the unofficial end to summer. However, we feel that the way to celebrate the true spirit of the day is to recognize the efforts of early laborers to ensure better working conditions for all.
Friday, September 6
Death of Margaret Sanger (1966)
Born September 14, 1879, Margaret Sanger was a controversial birth control advocate, nurse, and writer. Her family background may explain why reproductive rights meant so much to her. One of 11 children, her mother had many miscarriages as well and died around 50 years of age. Sanger believed her mother’s death was linked to the stress of repeated pregnancies. Her work as a nurse put her in contact with women who were also suffering either physically or financially from repeated pregnancies. Eventually, she opened the nation’s first birth control clinic in Brooklyn (1916). In 1948, she helped found the International Committee on Planned Parenthood, a precursor to today’s organization. She also worked with doctors to help develop a birth control pill. Despite her contributions to reproductive health, Sanger’s legacy will always be marred by her aggressive flirtations with eugenics.
Read a Book Day
Monday, September 9
Surgeon General C. Everett Koop Airs His Views on Sex Education
In 1987 the then-Surgeon General released a report about the AIDS epidemic. In this report, he stated that not only should there be sex ed in schools, but that it should begin “…at the lowest grade possible,” which he felt was 3rd grade. He later added that “we have to be as explicit as necessary to get the message across.” America agreed, and by the early ‘90s, 47 states had some form of sex ed in the classroom.
Saturday, September 14
Alfred C. Kinsey Publishes ‘Sexual Behavior in the Human Female.’
Published in 1953, this book further established Kinsey’s role as a leader in the controversial field of human sexuality. This book, plus ‘Sexual Behavior in the Human Male’ are known collectively as the Kinsey Reports. Kinsey interviewed over 6,000 women for the book. These interviews looked at how factors such as age and religious beliefs impacted sexual behavior.
Monday, September 16
Global Internal Condom Day
Organized by several national and international gender equity and health groups, this day was created in order to educate the public about internal condoms, advocate for increased access to internal condoms, and encourage their wider use. Learn more about internal condoms.
Tuesday, September 17
Constitution and Citizenship Day
As part of Constitution Week (held from September 17-23), this day marks the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787 and acts as a celebration of U.S. citizenship. As the nation currently wrestles with what the true nature of citizenship really is, it may be a good time to review the Constitution. It might also be inspirational to read the stories of those who’ve had to fight to be considered a citizen.
Wednesday, September 18
HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day
It’s estimated that around 45% of people living with HIV or AIDS are aged 50 or older. In addition, rates of HIV infection are climbing amongst the 50+ age demographic. This goals for this day are twofold:
- To educate patients, medical professionals, and caregivers on how drug therapies may affect older adults.
- To raise awareness that anyone, at any age, can get HIV or have AIDS. Remember, safe sex is for everybody!
Friday, September 20
End of U.S. Military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy. (2011)
Officially established in 1994, ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ lifted the ban on lesbian and gay service members and protected them from discrimination – as long as they kept their identity under wraps. The policy meant that openly gay people were not permitted to serve. After years of debate, advocacy, and research, the government determined that allowing openly gay people to serve would not affect morale. The passage of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010 officially ended the policy.
Monday, September 23
Bi Visibility Day
Also known as International Celebrate Bisexuality Day, the goal of this day is to counter marginalization and support the bisexual community, promote the community’s contributions to history and culture, and to educate the public on bisexuality.
Tuesday, September 24
National Voter Registration Day
Got a lot to say about what’s happening in your community and country? Great! Make your voice heard and register to vote. Sponsored by several state and national entities, the goal of one of the most important September days to remember is to provide a wide variety of events and opportunities to educate the public on voting and to allow them to register. Organizations and volunteers nationwide will be out to register voters.
Wednesday, September 25
U.S. Congress approves the Bill of Rights. (1789)
Written two years after the Constitution, the Bill of Rights is intended to establish certain rights due to all citizens of the United States. The document encompasses the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution and covers two of our most controversial and legislated amendments, the First and Second. Though the document was written in 1789, it would not be ratified by the states until two years later.
Thursday, September 26
World Contraception Day
Supported by a coalition of international NGOs, scientific and medical groups, and governmental organizations, the purpose of World Contraception Day is to increase awareness about effective contraception and birth control methods. It also serves to educate young people about sexual and reproductive health issues.
Saturday, September 28
Banned Websites Awareness Day
Started by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), the purpose of Banned Websites Awareness Day is to call attention to those websites and social networking sites that many schools prevent students from accessing. While schools maintain that these sites are blocked over concerns over their content, these sites are often educational. The AASL rightly is concerned that filtered sites may include those with information on and for the LGBTQI community, health matters, or even bullying. The organization asks librarians and teachers to demonstrate how blocking these sites is a disservice to the very students they’re trying to reach.
International Safe Abortion Day
Held every year on September 28, this day is dedicated to ensuring that to access legal, medically-safe abortions is available to all. Organized by The Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights and other organizations, this day of action has its roots in advocacy efforts in the Caribbean and Latin America. To see what actions happening in your part of the world, visit the official website.
Monday, September 30
International Podcast Day
Podcasts are big business – and big entertainment. Whether you’re interested in true crime, food, or sexuality and relationships – our favorite topics! – there’s a podcast out there for you! This day is dedicated to celebrating creators, producers, industry leaders, and listeners. If you produce a podcast, the official site provides several ideas to promote your content and engage with listeners all over the world.