Amy Murphy is being nominated for her initiative to celebrate Black history during the month of February 2022. Black History Month at Royal Oak Schools was celebrated and reinforced through the district website, school marquees, and social media. Every post and sign seen by students, families, and the community sparked conversation and critical thinking in and out of the classroom.
The initiative included the words, “Celebrate Black History,” on every school marquee outside of each of the eight schools with signs in the district. She chose to say “Celebrate Black History” and not Black History Month to send the message that Black history should be celebrated and not just during one month.
The message was backed up with social media posts that went up on all platforms of the district’s social media throughout the week. The first post was on February 1 at 5 AM simply stating: Black History Month and a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” At 8:30 AM a post promoting Black History Month resources went up suggesting having powerful discussions or activities at home using the resources provided. At 3:00 PM a link was provided to “Dr. Kim’s Corner,” a segment written by the DEI Coordinator at the district about Black History Month. It didn’t stop there as almost daily beautiful posts were shared of famous Black Americans, what they were famous for, a photo of them, and a powerful quote. Each post was tagged with #celebrateblackhistory. These famous Americans included video game inventor Jerry Lawson, Track and Field Star Jesse Owens, Shirley Chisholm, first Black American Congresswoman, Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, Kamala Harris, Oprah Winfrey, and many more. (Not your typical Black History Month figures.)
Amy Murphy ended the month with DEI Coordinator Kim Martin reading aloud a story for children to enjoy. Martin read Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters on camera. Then pages of the story were overlaid on top of the video for easy viewing and listening.
Multiple forms of technology were used in this initiative and each post, the signs, and the read-aloud made Royal Oak Schools stand out from other districts honoring Black History. Her creativity and personal touch shown in each action. Students, staff, and families all benefited from this initiative which not only encouraged conversation and communication but provided topics to start conversations and critical thinking.
Check out the initiative here: https://www.facebook.com/RoyalOakSchools/photos/a.10151727260919066/10160397769694066