Celebrate Black History Month!
Annually, Black History Month is observed from Feb. 1 to Mar. 1 as a celebration honoring the contributions that African Americans have made and recognizing their central role in U.S. history. The tradition began in the Jim Crow era and was officially recognized in 1976 as part of the nation’s bicentennial celebrations.
Joined by our partners in the Michigan Partnership for Equity and Opportunity (MPEO), EdTrust-Midwest continues to work to close gaps in opportunity and achievement that disproportionately impact students who are the most underserved, with a particular focus on Black and Latino/a students and students from low-income backgrounds. Deidre Bounds, president at Ignite Social Media and MPEO member, took a moment to share with us what Black History Month means to her, and the advocacy work she does today.
“Every month is Black History Month for me,” explained Bounds. “I wake up every day as a Black woman, so I’m constantly reminded of the impact my people have on the world. The fact that we’ve carved out a month to remind others of that impact is critically important. It’s a time for us to educate those who are unaware of our contributions, as well as an opportunity for us to celebrate and honor African Americans who have paved the way and are still paving the way for others. My spirit of advocacy is rooted in my desire to continue the work of those who came before me, to honor their sacrifices and be an example for those who will come after I’m gone.”
When sharing what we can do collectively to lift diverse and inclusive voices in our communities, Bounds says we cannot solely be the voice for our communities, we must also be good listeners.
“The action we can take as a collective would be to identify opportunities to interact with and get first-hand knowledge of the experiences and challenges of those we serve. This will allow us to amplify the messages that are truly important and impactful to these communities.”