April Showers Love and Awareness

April showers awareness for Autism, Sexual Assault, Jazz Appreciation and more wonderful causes and initiatives. It is also the awareness month for Child Abuse Prevention, Parkinson’s Disease and Youth Safety, to name a few more. Here are our highlights for April.

Autism Awareness Month

Digitally generated Autism awareness design vector

>Autism Awareness Month

This nationwide effort to promote autism awareness, inclusion and self-determination began nearly 25 years ago by the Autism Society. As the nation’s leading grassroots organization, they raise awareness and advocate for persons with ASD so that they, too, have the opportunity to achieve the highest possible quality of life. Each year, tens of thousands face an autism diagnosis.

For 2017, the focus is to ensure acceptance and inclusion in schools and communities that results in true appreciation of the unique aspects of all people. The hope is to get one step closer to a society where those with ASDs are truly valued for their unique talents and gifts.

Light Up Blue for World Autism Day

April 2 is World Autism Day

April 2nd is World Autism Day. This is the signature campaign of Autism Speaks. They are joined every year by the international autism community and recognize the UN-sanctioned day and World Autism Month by encouraging everyone and every entity to ‘light blue’ in support of people living with autism. Thousands of iconic landmarks and buildings join hundreds of thousands of homes and communities around the world to “light blue”.

>Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)

Celebrating its 15 anniversary, Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) raises public awareness about sexual violence and educates communities on how to prevent it. The 2017 camaign theme is “Engaging New Voices,” which calls on new groups to get engaged and assist in changing the culture to prevent sexual violence. There are specific actions that individuals, communities and the private sector can take to promote safety, respect and equality to stop sexual assault before it happens. The hope is that SAMM is providing all with the tools they need to start the conversation.

Change the culture

The statistics are staggering, but we can change them. Lend your voice.

Unfortunately, Sexual Assault is a public health issue affecting women, men, children, families and communities. According to SAAM, nearly 1 in 5 women in the United States have experienced rape or attempted rape in their lives, and 1 in 71 men have experienced rape or attempted rape. Nearly 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men have experienced sexual violence victimization other than rape at some point in their lifetime (Black et al., 2011). The good news is that it is preventable and it is happening. Educating the masses on safe behaviors, thoughtful policies and healthy relationships goes a long way to creating safe and equitable communities where every person is treated with respect.

Jazz Appreciation Month

Jazz Appreciation Month is the brainchild of the National Museum of American History to pay homage and celebrate an entire month to the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz.

Women in Jazz. Photo credit: http://americanhistory.si.edu/smithsonian-jazz/jazz-appreciation-month/featured-musician-ella-fitzgerald

Celebrating 100 years of the First Lady of Song Photo credit: National Museum of American History

This year’s theme celebrates “Women in Jazz” coinciding with the centennial of the legendary Ella Fitzgerald.

There are so many great women composers, arrangers, orchestrators, and instrumentalists who have and continue to leave an indelible print on the history and future of jazz. The goal of JAM is to stimulate and encourage people of all ages to participate in jazz – to study the music, attend concerts, listen to jazz on radio and recordings, read books about jazz, and more. So, check out the events in your local community, school, library and venues; listen to jazz on radio or on your devices and laptops. Whatever you do, simply enjoy.


There are so many more worthy causes and initiatives happening this month. To point out a few more, here are some links: Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month, National Child Abuse Prevention Month and Youth Sports Safety Month. — Abbe is Socially Sparked! @sosparked news @asparks01