The Diversity Club at the RCS High School recently spent time as a group coming up with ideas of how to celebrate Black History Month while providing an educational opportunity to their peers. The students wanted to focus on lesser-known figures from the Black community to honor and recognize by bringing awareness to their impacts and contributions that helped change the course of history.
“We are always encouraging our students to take the lead on projects like this,” said Diversity Club Co-Advisor and HS Social Worker Jessica Doerr. “These students did just that. They came up with the ideas and executed them completely on their own, and it came out fantastic. Mrs. Mathias and I are very proud of them,” she continued.
“I spent most of my life living outside of the United States, and in coming here, there were many new things to learn, like the language, the culture, and the history. This project was a great opportunity to learn more about the people that paved roads and built doorways so the next generation could start a step further,” said Sophomore and Diversity Club member Carl-Hanee Coquillon. “This project can inspire the next generation to pave more roads and build more doors to keep future generations moving forward.”
With their idea in hand, they set out on creating a display for the High School lobby. After selecting the influential figures, they used construction paper and craft supplies to create a visual representation of their silhouettes, accompanied by a powerful quote from each figure. The display included quotes from Maya Angelou, Amanda Gorman, and Jackie Robinson, to name a few. Some additional powerful quotes accompany the piece as well.
“Within this project, there are some figures that are not explicitly from the United States or some that are not that well known, regardless, they have had a huge impact on the society we know today,” said Senior and Diversity Club member Uchenna Uba. “Black History Month isn’t just the Black community's history, it is history made by the Black community. It is everyone's history, and it is important that we celebrate and honor these contributions always, not just during Black History Month.”
The display organized by the students highlights the importance of always learning new things and expanding your understanding of the world around us. With an understanding of history and projects like this one, our communities can continue to grow and celebrate our differences.