Black History Month


Greetings Hawken Community:
We wanted to pause and take a moment to acknowledge Black History Month, founded by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a historian, professor, and Dean at Howard University and the second African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University. In 1926, this tradition began as a week-long celebration during the second week in February, before becoming a month-long recognition in 1976. It was Dr. Woodson’s intention to encourage the telling, documenting, and honoring of the Black individual’s story; he understood the importance of a people knowing themselves and their origin stories and in sharing those stories. Across the school, people are honoring the history of Black people in the United States through storytelling and celebration, as we recommit to meaningful action.
Here are a few examples to highlight:
  • The Upper School Black Student Union has created a series of four videos and advisory discussions that trace through lines from Reconstruction to current events, celebrate Black excellence, and invite discussion about the many ways African American people continue to help build our nation.
  • The Middle School will continue examining issues of social justice in film and engage in reflective activities as a continuation of the MLK Celebration and year-long advisory theme on difference.
  • The Lower School will hold an all-community assembly to learn more about important Black social justice leaders.
In the wake of the racial injustice and inequities we have witnessed in the last year and in recent months, it is that much more important we take intentional time to honor what makes each identity unique and hear Black voices. We hope this note encourages you to celebrate, learn, and move forward together with truth, dignity, and action.
P.S. Check out these virtual events to learn more offered by the Smithsonian and ASALH.

List of 4 news stories.

  • Jacob Kordeleski, Middle School support teacher

    Why Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a More Equitable Columbus Day

    Jacob Kordeleski
    “He has … endeavoured to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions.”

    So speaks the Declaration of Independence, the document most revered for its Americanism aside from perhaps the Constitution. Just paragraphs after the famous statement that “All men are created equal,” an entire continent of native peoples is reduced to a group of “savages.” How is it that our nation, which prides itself on freedom and equality, inflicted so much hate and hardship on the natives that call America their homeland? Why do some institutions (such as Hawken), choose to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day on October 12, while others choose to celebrate Christopher Columbus, the man who enabled this injustice?
    Read More
  • Students Reflect on Stamped Book Club

    The morning after the downtown Cleveland George Floyd protests, which happened to be the last day of school at the end of a wild year, the constant banter in the House Leader group chat went quiet. I knew something was up, but it wasn’t until hours later that I started hearing from kids, one by one, that “something awkward” happened, though they wouldn’t give me details.
    Read More
  • Hispanic Heritage Month

    Sofía M. De Jesús
    Well, it’s 2020 and Hispanic Heritage Month snuck up on me again. The month spans from September 15 through October 15 and every year, I spend some time reading, learning, and studying about my own heritage more closely, even though that’s always something I like to do regularly.
    But what is Hispanic Heritage Month? When did it start and why? Why is it important to me and others like me?
    Let me try to address that one question at a time.
    Read More
  • Introducing DEIJ Blog: Voices of Fair Play

    Darnell Epps
    Dear Hawken Community, 
    Hawken’s DEIJ team and I are excited to announce the upcoming launch of a blog dedicated to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice at Hawken. In the year ahead, you will hear more about the work taking place at Hawken as we continue to grow in this work and to learn about present and historical inequities in our local and global communities. On this site, we will share stories about our school community’s DEIJ journey and also feature resources to promote greater understanding about injustice and ways to take action. We are deeply committed to delving even further into these issues to educate, think critically, dialogue, and take steps to meaningful action. To echo  Hawken’s Diversity Statement, “Our motto of Fair Play demands nothing less.” 
    Read More
An independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school, toddler through grade 12

Lower & Middle Schools, 5000 Clubside Rd, Lyndhurst, OH 44124
Birchwood School of Hawken, 4400 West 140th Street, Cleveland, OH 44135 

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