DASD Celebrates Black History Month
With a new Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, a committed Cultural Equity Task Force team and a school community excited to learn and grow in the area of equity, Downingtown Area School District (DASD) is looking forward to this year’s Black History Month celebrations.
Black History Month is the recognition and celebration of the successes and contributions of African Americans in the country and abroad. The individual credited for the creation of the month of celebration is Carter G. Woodson. Black History Month became officially recognized in 1976 by Gerald Ford, who said “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Canada and the United Kingdom also celebrate this historical month. Today we celebrate the past contributions, the present accolades and amazing future possibilities of Black people.
The district’s newest addition, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Justin Brown, explained the timeliness of this historical celebration. “Last year our country experienced a racial awakening after the killing of George Floyd. While the country acknowledges February as the time to highlight the accomplishments of our Black leaders, Black history is made & celebrated throughout the entire year. DASD is committed to bringing together our community and ensuring a racially equitable learning environment for the entire district.”
Throughout the month of February, DASD students and staff will participate in a variety of Black history activities, ranging from studying prominent African-American figures, reading literary works from famous legendary authors and participating in songs, dance and poetry.
The district’s Cultural Equity Taskforce will invite teachers, staff, community members and alumni to come together to share their stories. Through these conversations, the district hopes to better understand its school communities’ truths.
Brown plans to advance the district’s diversity, equity and inclusion objectives, adding, “I am proud to lead Downingtown's commitment to educational equity and ensure that the learning and working environment in the DASD is welcoming, accessible and affirming of all identities and lived experiences. In addition to Black history, DASD plans to celebrate other identities and provide similar initiatives and activities for these groups throughout the year.”
While DASD schools continue to celebrate Black History Month throughout February, there are numerous community activities scheduled this month within the greater Downingtown Area. Please check your local listings for events and programming. To learn more about DASD’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program, please visit www.dasd.org/diversity.