Celebrate and Learn about May Heritage Months with These Fun Facts

Here’s a pop quiz from OCC’s Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ): 

  • What word of Romanian origin refers to the highly seasoned smoked beef, typically served in thin slices, that is associated with Jewish cuisine? 
  • How many countries are there in Asia? 
  • What is the most common mental disorder in the world?
  • What percentage of people over 65 years old are in nursing homes? 

Keep reading to find the answers in bold to these questions and other interesting facts as OCC celebrates Heritage and Awareness Months in May.  

Honor and Learn about our Diverse Community

During the month of May OCC encourages employees, students and faculty to research a few significant recognitions to learn more about their impact, importance and historical context, and grow in our understanding of diversity, equity, inclusivity and justice.  

“By celebrating heritage and awareness months, we learn about one another, we honor the richness of our diverse community, and we strengthen the support, respect and understanding of each other,” said DEIJ Director Kristina Marshall. 

This month we feature a few facts and helpful resources on the following: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Jewish American Heritage Month, Mental Health Awareness Month and Older Americans Month.  

OCC and our community are invited to update your Zoom background with many options, to represent DEIJ in all your virtual meetings.  

Test Your Knowledge and Spread the Word 

Answers in Bold  

Jewish American Heritage Month  

Jewish American Heritage Month is the annual recognition and celebration of America’s Jewish population proclaimed in 2006 by President George W. Bush. The recognition was passed unanimously following the efforts of Jewish Congress members, who urged President George W. Bush to recognize the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to American culture. The month of May was chosen to coincide with the highly successful celebration of the 350th Anniversary of American Jewish History in May 2004.  

 Test Your Knowledge  

  1. The Jewish day of worship is known as Shabbat (or Sabbath) 
  2. A Bar Mitzvah ceremony celebrates a boy’s coming of age at 13. What is the ceremony called when a girl reaches that age? Bat Mitzva 
  3. What is the world’s oldest monotheistic religion? Judaism 
  4. Israeli-American psychologist Daniel Kahneman is typically considered one of the founders of Behavioral Economics. Although he'd won a Nobel Prize a decade earlier, his fame ascended when releasing the 2011 book "_______, Fast and Slow." What word should fill in that blank? Thinking 
  5. What word of Romanian origin refers to the highly seasoned smoked beef, typically served in thin slices, that is associated with Jewish cuisine?  Pastrami 

Further Learning 


American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is a celebration of the people, culture and customs of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (often referred to with the acronym “AAPI”). According to the  Asian Pacific Institute, this term includes “all people of Asian, Asian American or Pacific Islander ancestry, who trace their origins to the countries, states, jurisdictions and/or the diasporic communities of these geographic regions. We offer the resources below to add to your education and awareness of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. 

Test Your Knowledge 

  1. What percentage of the world's population lives in Asia? 60% 
  2. Why is Asian Heritage Month in May? It marks the arrival of the first Japanese Immigrants in the United States 
  3. Kalpana Chawla was the first Indian-American woman to do what? Go to Space 
  4. In the 18th century, which Asian/Pacific Islander group was the first to settle in the U.S? Filipinos 
  5. How many countries are there in Asia? 48 
  6. Which country invented paper money? China 

Further Learning  


Mental Health Awareness Month 

Mental Health Awareness Month, which has been observed in May since 1949, is an opportunity for people from all walks of life to join together and spread awareness about mental illness and advocate for better mental health.  

Test Your Knowledge 

  1. What is the first recognized form of psychotherapy? Psychoanalysis 
  2. What is the most common mental disorder in the world? Anxiety disorders 
  3. What is the first line of treatment for ADHD? Behavioral therapy 
  4. Who was the first person to use the term “autism”? Eugen Bleuler 
  5. How many Americans have a mental illness? Approximately 1 in 5 

OCC Sponsored Event 

Further Learning 

Older Americans Month  

A meeting in April 1963 between President John F. Kennedy and members of the National Council of Senior Citizens led to designating May as ‘Senior Citizens Month,’ the prelude to ‘Older Americans Month. When Older Americans Month was established in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthday. In 2021, the American Community Survey estimated more than 55 million Americans had reached 65 years of age. Interest in older Americans and their concerns continue to grow including healthy aging, security, independence, and productivity.  

Test Your Knowledge 

  1. What is the fastest growing age group?Individuals 85 and up are the fastest growing age group according to the US Census Bureau 
  2. Who is the fastest growing demographic on Facebook?  Senior Citizens. Estimates show about 70 percent of 65+ age group visit Facebook daily 
  3. What percentage of people over 65 years old are in nursing homes? Approximately 3.6 percent 
  4. How many older adults volunteer? Nearly half of all adults 65 and older volunteer in some form 
  5. What makes seniors more vulnerable to elder abuse? Social isolation 

 Further Learning   

For further information on DEIJ at OCC visit https://www.oaklandcc.edu/diversity/. 

About OCC    

Oakland Community College offers nearly 100 degrees and certificates programs with the resources students need to be successful and advance our community. As a top transfer institution, OCC offers one of the state’s most affordable tuition rates and flexibility in scheduling with face-to-face and online options. The College is nationally recognized for its high-demand career training with expert faculty in their fields. More than 1 million students have enrolled in the College since it opened in 1965. Learn more at  oaklandcc.edu.       


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