Conversation, Education, And Representation During Black History Month 2021
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“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”Maya Angelou
Black History Month is an annual observance and celebration of the achievements and contributions of Black Americans, and their central role in the history of our nation. Black History is American History, but each year this month gives us an opportunity to deepen our knowledge, understanding, and engagement with the experiences of Black Americans, their triumphs, and the challenges they currently face.
A Brief History Of Black History Month
The origins of Black History Month can be traced back to Chicago circa 1915 when Carter G. Woodson presented on Black history at the nation’s celebration of the fifteenth anniversary of emancipation. Inspired by the thousands of event-goers who were fascinated by his exhibit, Woodson formed an organization to promote the study of Black life and history. Today this organization is known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.
Eventually, the ASALH developed an annual observance that grew into what we now know as Black History Month, which takes place each February! Each year, the ASALH provides a theme for Black History Month, and this year that theme is “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.”
Celebrating And Learning From Black Veterans
Join us for a conversation with author and Veteran Major General Alfred K. Flowers!
Not only is Major General Flowers a valuable member of the Endeavors Board of Directors, but he was also the longest-serving airman in Air Force history (46 years and five months!) and the longest-serving African American in the history of the United States Department of Defense. A man of service through and through.
Until recently, he served as the Endeavors Board Chairman, and when he told us he published a book, Reflections of a Servant Leader, we couldn’t wait to read it! We knew it’d be good, but we weren’t prepared for how much it inspired and stuck with us. Major General Flowers has an incredible story to tell, so on Thursday, February 18, we’re hosting a virtual discussion about his life, legacy, and impact on the communities we serve…And we invite you to join us! (Mark your calendars and visit the event page for more details!) Edit: This event has been postponed due to the inclement weather and power outages across Texas.
Addressing Educational Disparities In Our Communities
Part of observing Black History Month is acknowledging where our nation has fallen short of supporting our Black community members and working to better our nation for all its people. The events surrounding the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor are reminders of injustice that still exists in our country. In the wake of these tragic events, we worked to better understand our employees and the communities we serve to develop a course of action that would have a long-term, lasting impact for positive change.
One facet of that course of action was the establishment of two annual Major General Alfred K. Flowers scholarships for black students attending universities in Texas and North Carolina. Significant economic disparities still exist in educational opportunities, and we are committed to promoting equitable opportunities. The scholarships will assist black students interested in entering the social services sector to support these students in making a lasting, permanent, and sustained impact by advocating for advancement in black communities where we serve. We are extremely fortunate and proud to be able to offer two scholarships annually.
In fact, we’re thrilled to announce that Fayetteville State University in North Carolina has established one of these Major General Alfred K. Flowers scholarships with a $25,000 endowment from Endeavors. In a recent FSU press release, Endeavors President and CEO Jon Allman shared that “Endeavors is honored to sponsor this scholarship named on behalf of Major General Flowers. He is a positive role model who continues to aspire for meaningful lives in service to others.”
Students, check out the general scholarship eligibility requirements here or contact us at [email protected] for more information about the application process and deadline.
Learn more about how Endeavors serves communities across Texas and North Carolina here.
10 Ways To Observe BHM Safely In 2021
Here are ten fun, meaningful, and socially-distanced ways to observe Black History Month!
- Support Black-owned businesses and restaurants.
- Enjoy and promote Black art, film, and literature.
- Create a playlist of Black musicians to jam to during workouts or work-from-home.
- Bring an author, historian, or activist into your workplace (virtually, of course) to speak about race relations and civil rights.
- Engage in healthy conversations about Black mental health, online and in-person.
- Support organizations fighting to end homelessness (like Endeavors!).
- Support Black Veterans by donating to an organization that provides them with services, or by reaching out personally.
- Read your children stories about Black Americans from history.
- Visit a museum with a Black History exhibit. Can’t get to one in person right now? There are plenty that offer virtual exhibits online!
- Welcome and engage in honest, meaningful, and respectful conversations about race, systemic oppression, social justice, and equality with family, friends, and coworkers. Lead by example, and you can create change.
Endeavors is a longstanding national non-profit that provides an array of programs and services in support of children, families, Veterans, and those struggling with mental illness and other disabilities. Endeavors serves vulnerable people in crisis through innovative personalized services. For more information, please visit www.endeavors.org.