Pride Month, Juneteenth, and More People & Culture News Trends
A look at the people and culture news from PR Newswire in May and June that you might have missed.
By Ally Bautista | Published July 12, 2023
Throughout May and June, PR Newswire distributed 2,900 people and culture-related press releases. These two months brought on a handful of designated months and holidays to commemorate diverse groups. Four recurring themes our team noticed while tracking the headlines are Pride Month, Juneteenth, Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and Mental Health Awareness Month.
Let’s take a closer look at these trends and additional newsworthy stories from May and June.
Popular People & Culture Releases
These were some of the most-viewed people and culture-related releases over the past two months:
- Michelle Obama announced the launch of PLEZi Nutrition, a kids’ nutrition company created to bring higher standards to how the U.S. makes and markets foods and beverages for kids.
- The USAA Poppy Wall of Honor returned to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., for Memorial Day weekend. This year’s installation featured a special panel to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the U.S. exit from the Vietnam War.
- New social-first dating app Archer debuted, aiming to create a safer space for gay, bisexual, and queer men to seek connections. The app will first be available in the New York City area, followed by a national roll-out within the year.
- Group Black and Nielsen released the Black Creator Impact Report to analyze the economic and cultural impact of Black creators based on follower growth, follower interaction, and media value on social media platforms.
People & Culture News Trends
These are a few of the trends we noticed among people and culture-related press releases in May and June, with a few examples of each.
Taking place annually in June, Pride Month commemorates the 1969 Stonewall Riots and recognizes the impact that members of the LGBTQ+ community have had on history and society. It also celebrates LGBTQ+ culture, and many events like parades and parties are held throughout the month. Over the past two years, LGBTQ+ visibility has increased, and many companies and organizations have been keen to show their support.
Launches of Pride collections were particularly popular on the wire, with Skittles, PetSmart, Chipotle, and others announcing product launches. But with 90 releases that mentioned Pride Month, that wasn't all. Other topics included news about Pride events, education, campaigns, and more. Some examples include:
- San Francisco Pride, one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world, announced Hayley Kiyoko, Princess Nokia, and Jake Borelli as headliners for the 2023 event.
- It Gets Better announced the 2023 grantees for its 50 States, 50 Grants, 5000 Voices program. The initiative will provide a total of $625,000 in grants to fund projects that uplift and empower LGBTQ+ students.
- OUTFRONT Media Inc. partnered with GLAAD for the "15 Seconds of Fabulous" campaign. Select OUTFRONT billboards displayed positive messages to and from the LGBTQ+ community and their allies.
- Mindpath Health shared 10 tips on how to be an active ally and why it's crucial for moving toward a more equitable world.
Observed on June 19, Juneteenth honors the day in 1865 when enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, learned they were freed. What began as a regional commemoration of emancipation spread across the country, and although Black Americans have long been celebrating Juneteenth, it didn’t become a federal holiday until 2021. Back then, only 37% of American adults said they knew something about Juneteenth. In 2022, the number jumped to nearly 60%.
As the public continues to grow more aware of and learn more about the important holiday, many companies and organizations have followed suit, honoring Juneteenth with educational events, charitable donations, and more. Here are some examples:
- The Juneteenth Foundation hosted its third annual Freedom Festival in Washington, D.C. The weekend featured a black-tie Juneteenth Honors event, a diversity-focused career fair, and more.
- The Los Angeles Public Library held its inaugural celebration, “June Jubilee: A Celebration of Black Excellence.” The family-friendly event included informative workshops, live entertainment, and activities for all ages.
- Applications for Nexus Community Partners’ Open Road Fund opened on Juneteenth. The wealth-building resource will grant $50 million to eligible Black Minnesotans and Dakotans who are descendants of the Atlantic Slave Trade.
- KAY Jewelers and Zales honored Dr. Opal Lee, the “Grandmother of Juneteenth,” with a special edition pendant. From June 1 to July 31, 20% of each sale of the pendant is being donated to the Black in Jewelry Coalition.
Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month
May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, also called Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Month. It recognizes the history and contributions of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in the U.S. With an estimated 24 million Asian residents and 1.7 million Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander residents in the United States in 2021, companies and organizations were eager to spotlight those communities.
PR Newswire distributed over 100 releases that mentioned the AAPI/AANHPI communities in May and June. Among those were AAPI Month celebrations, fundraising efforts, and more. Here are a few:
- The Paley Center for Media held a month-long celebration that provided visitors with the chance to view screenings of AAPI contributions to the entertainment industry. The curated selection of offerings included animation, anime, and scripted shows.
- The Asian American Foundation celebrated the successful first year of its $1.1 billion AAPI Giving Challenge. It also launched several efforts, including the 2023 STAATUS Index and The AAPI Database.
- SCORE highlighted resources and mentoring available for AANHPI entrepreneurs seeking to start or grow a small business.
- In an effort to correct data inequity in public opinion polls, NORC at the University of Chicago and AAROP partnered to develop Amplify AAPI, the first-ever AANHPI-focused survey panel.
Mental Health Awareness Month
Established in 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month is observed in May to raise awareness about mental health and promote mental well-being. Each year, 1 in 5 U.S. adults experiences mental illness, which illustrates how common it is and the importance of education on a topic that is sometimes considered taboo.
While this designated month aims to destigmatize mental health for everyone, several mental health-related releases in May and June specifically discussed youths and the ways in which companies and organizations are helping. Some examples include:
- Planet Fitness launched the High School Summer Pass, inviting teens ages 14-19 to work out for free at any of its locations in an effort to prioritize mental and physical wellness.
- The Trevor Project revealed the findings of its 2023 U.S. National Survey on the Mental Health of LGBTQ Young People, underscoring the negative impacts of anti-LGBTQ stigma and victimization.
- TimelyCare and Born This Way Foundation partnered for the “Be There Certificate,” a free online mental health course to support college students.
- Genius of Play released the “Emotional Wellness Playbook,” a resource for parents and educators featuring play-based activities that help children develop their emotional skills.
In the coming months, we anticipate seeing more releases that celebrate diversity through commemorative months and days, such as Disability Pride Month and Black Business Month. Education-related content, such as community-focused scholarships and grants, could also hit the wire as the back-to-school season nears. Until then, we'll keep our eyes on the headlines to bring you the top stories!
About the Author
Ally Bautista is a Customer Content Specialist at PR Newswire. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, she enjoys baking, creating visual art, and keeping up with pop culture news in her free time.