Happy Black History Month! I am excited about the celebrations that will begin at so many schools as we acknowledge the contributions and achievements of Black Americans. When I was a PAAC leader, I remember being approached by other parents to “lead” the Black history programs at our school. Whereas on one side, when we want our full history shared, we have to step into leadership. It is important for all children to understand from which we have come, what we have overcome, where our greatness resides and see ourselves in our ancestors. However, on the other side, the history that we are sharing is a part of American history and everyone should be involved to bring the celebration to life. I know your school community is thankful for your leadership, perspective and insight. As well as we are thankful for you and those who are allies in this work and lift up this celebration with us for all to learn and grow.
In the past few years, particularly this year, there have been attacks on education and curriculum. Research has shown that one of the important steps to close the opportunity gap is to have inclusive language and a culturally responsive curriculum. It is important for students to see themselves in history through the curriculum in truth and to witness the resilience and brilliance of a people. It is important that children are able to receive information and think critically to make informed decisions to know what is important to hold on to and what is necessary to disrupt and let go in order for us to grow as a healthy nation. Black History Month is a time of reflection, celebration and promise. Whether you lead the effort, co-lead the effort, or show up in the way that you can, make sure you are a part of the many celebrations for yourself and your children. We all must remember, reconnect, and hold strong to what is important for radical liberation.
PAAC Leaders and Members – these programs and workshops were designed with you in mind. As you lead, co-lead, and show up however you can at your school, we know, from experience, it’s not always easy. These programs are meant to build you up while you stand in the gap for others. We look forward to finding you at one of the Black History Month celebrations and we will hold a seat for you in a Circle of Hope and/or the Parent Empowerment Workshop.
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