February is Black History Month, a month dedicated to remembering important people and events in African American communities around the world. This month, we will share news about how schools across our district, with the help of community partners, are planning exciting and educational experiences for students and families to celebrate Black History Month.
We know that welcoming schools and classrooms, where students’ language, culture, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, unique abilities, etc. are viewed as assets rather than deficits, are foundational to their success. This month offers opportunities to reinforce this commitment across the district and in our schools, including the celebration of Black History Month and National African American Parent Involvement Day on Feb. 12.
In addition, the Seattle Education Association and educators have come together to organize and participate in the nationwide Black Lives Matter at School week, Feb. 5-9.
At the Jan. 31, 2018, School Board meeting, the board directors adopted Resolution No. 2017/18-14 that declares “that the lives of black students matter, as well as the lives of all of our students of color, and that we encourage participation district-wide in the national Black Lives Matter At School Week from February 5-9, 2018.” Read the School Board Resolution.
A working group of educators and community partners has developed supplementary lessons for use during Black Lives Matter At School Week. You may view the teaching guide, K-12 lessons and additional resources on the SEA website. Participation of educators and schools in this week is voluntary, so please check with your student’s school regarding their level of participation and for ways to get involved.
Overall, the lessons aim to:
- Reflect the experiences of students, families and friends
- Help students understand inequities based on race
- Affirm that the lives of people of color matter
- Promote the belief that we all have a responsibility to work for equity as a core ideal
You can read about district’s race and equity initiatives in a recent Eliminating Opportunity Gaps/Ensuring Opportunities for Greatness (EOG) article.
Below are few resources to learn more about Black History Month.
- African American History Month a collaborative project of Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
- Smithsonian Education Black History Month
- National Park Service African American Heritage
- National Endowment for the Humanities Black History Month
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Black History Month