The month of February is designated to celebrate and shed light on Black History. ProAct’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee put together a list of significant people in Black History for all sites to learn and discuss. 28 people for 28 days. It was almost impossible narrowing down the list of people that have had such significant and pivotal influence in Black history, global culture and civil rights.
Participants at all sites took interest in discussing groups of people such as the Little Rock Nine and the Freedom Riders. They also learned of civil rights heroes Rosa Parks, Richard and Mildred Loving, Nelson Mandela, and more.
Everyone was excited to learn, and many did not know a number of stories like entertainer Josephine Baker, who was awarded the Legion of Honor for her feats of bravery during World War II. Also, learning about François Toussaint Louverture, a Haitian slave, who led the first successful slave revolt and liberated Haiti from European powers.
The Valentine’s Day dance seemed an appropriate venue to celebrate Minnesotan musicians like Prince and Jimmy Jam, who have had major musical influence everywhere around the world.
Participants enjoyed researching different historical figures to complete a matching game where they had to match the person to the reason they are well known in history.
A group of participants visited the Minneapolis Central Library to view the exhibit, Testify, created by former MN Supreme Court Justice and NFL Hall of Famer, Alan Page. The exhibit included Page’s family collection of African American art and artifacts.
There were many more artists, musicians, actors, TV personas, politicians, inventors, activists, and scientists celebrated throughout the month who sparked so many questions and great group discussions.
*Pictured above: Kris and Michael mesmerized by Maya Angelou’s presentation of her iconic poem, Still I Rise.