February 2023 Newsletter

Posted on January 30, 2023
Categories: newsletter

Visit the Black History Month Page for upcoming events, professional development panels, academic resources, and more!

February is Black History Month!

“I love America more than any other country in the world and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”
― James Baldwin

Black History was expanded an acknowledged as a month long celebration to celebrate the country’s bicentennial in 1976. President Ford said this was a time for American citizens to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Black Americans have been an intrinsic part of the countries history accomplishing countless achievements to the betterment of the country. Whether in arts, politics, science, activism, or education, there are important figures who have often been left out of the narrative of our shared history.

This recognition is essential to having a better understanding of where we came from, where we are, and what equitable future we can build together. The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion looks forward to celebrating by sharing events, professional development opportunities, and resources.

Visit the Cultural Heritage Page to see highlights of historical figures, videos, and see the District calendar of events for the month.

February Events & Happenings

February is also: Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month, Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month, National Cancer Prevention Month, American Heart Month, Low Vision Awareness Month, World Day of Social Justice (Feb. 2oth)

Saturday, February 11th, 1:00pm – 4:00pm: Hidden Histories Panel Series “Challenging the System to Work”

PhilWP in collaboration with AAMP and the Social Studies Team of the School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Curriculum and Instruction offers this month’s NEH panel. Participants will learn about the Colored Conventions, where, over the course of seven decades, tens of thousands of Black men and women from different walks of life traveled to attend meetings publicly advertised as “Colored Conventions” to offer opportunities for free-born and formerly enslaved African Americans to organize and strategize for racial justice. Three District teachers, who are part of the Teaching the Colored Conventions Project, will share curricula and projects designed for classrooms. Participants will learn from teachers in workshop settings and engage in discussion about ways to use these ideas. (Registration Closed)

Tuesday, February 21st,  6:00pm-8:30pm:  A Radical Vision for Education through a Black Lens: The Sun Rises in the East Film Screening at Founders’ Hall, La Salle University

The Sun Rises in The East chronicles the birth, rise and legacy of The East, a pan-African cultural organization founded in 1969 by teens and young adults in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Led by educator and activist Jitu Weusi, The East embodied Black self-determination, building dozens of institutions, including its own African-centered school, food co-op, newsmagazine, publishing company, record label, restaurant, clothing shop and bookstore.

Wednesday, February 22nd, 12:00 pm-1:00 pm: Equity In Practice Series: Focus on Collective Climb, live via zoom

The “Equity in Practice” series is a collection of community learning opportunities hosted by the School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion in collaborating with Community based organizations (CBO`s) that are focused on equity, cultural awareness, and social justice. This month will focus on Collective Climb. Collective Climb is a Black Feminist organization empowering BIPOC teenagers (15-19) in West Philadelphia through three programs: Restorative Community project,  Youth Advisory Boards and Collective Kick-backs. Come to learn more about this organization, resources and services that they provide, and best practices that promote equitable action.

February Spotlights

Black History Month Staff Spotlight: Sandra Casimir

Sandra Casimir is a Behavioral Health School Counselor at The Philadelphia Military Academy. She shares why this month, and her heritage is important for her to celebrate.

My heritage and identity is important to me because Haiti is the first independent black nation in the entire world. If that’s not something to be proud of, then I don’t know what is!

Black History Month Program Spotlight: Black History Nerds Saturday School

The University of Buffalo Center for K–12 Black History and Racial Literacy Education hosts “Black History Nerds Saturday school”. This is a monthly professional development series for pre-K-12 schoolteachers and others interested in learning more about Black history and race. These one-hour sessions aim to help develop Black history content pedagogical knowledge. Professional development credits are possible.

DEI Office Updates

Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Learning Opportunities

We are excited to announce our robust schedule of learning opportunities that will be available this Winter/Spring. These various sessions look to enhance our professional and personal growth in areas around anti-racism and advancing equity. There are introductory sessions for those new to equity work and our Oppressive Thematic Ideologies sessions (OTI) examine specific themes related to different marginalized populations.

SDP staff can sign up on Cornerstone by searching “DEI”

Thank you for Joining our 2nd Annual Social Justice Summit!

We want to give a huge thanks to our presenters, organizers, moderators, and participants. Those of you who showed up on a day off in order to truly make this a day of service are incredible. Your dedication to equity work and making our district, city, and country a more equitable place is so important. Be on the look out for other opportunities to engage throughout the year.

If you would like to watch some of the recorded sessions you can visit the DEI youtube page.

Podcast Updates

Listen to our latest Podcast Episodes From this Month:

  • *NEW* Equity Is Access: Food Equity in Practice- Join us as we talk to several people in the the District Community and City to learn about what food equity is and what services are available for those in need of food.
  • Social Justice Summit Preview– Featuring our introductions from several of our presenters as well as information on what the Social Justice Summit is all about.
Have a person, program, or idea about what should be featured on the Equity Is podcast? Fill out the form below!

In Case You Missed It!

Social Justice Summit Presentations and Workshops are Now available on Youtube!

Most of the sessions for the Social Justice Summit were recorded and are now available to view on the DEI Office Youtube Page. This year included both interactive sessions and presentations. Check out some of the highlights below.

Workshop- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Classroom: Engaging Students in School based Equity Work

For this workshop we have CAPA High School Seniors, Gabby Rodriguez and Sophia Roach who will be leading us through a workshop that focuses on creating the conditions for student-led equity work at the school level.

Empowering Youth Presentation: With Girls Inc. and The Cobbs Creek Foundation

We’ll be hearing from presenters covering the topics of creating pathways to the future for female identifying and non binary youth and bridging the educational gap through SEL courses, tutoring support, and gendered mentoring. Thank you again for being here with us today to dive into the work being done across the city to advance equity for students in the School District of Philadelphia and to move us forward toward a space of hope and healing.

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