Black History Month at St. Mary’s

Jennifer Engleman
Black History Month is celebrated every February to pay tribute to the achievements of Black Americans who have helped shaped American history. This year, Marco Camargo asked for a committee of volunteers to share ideas to help engage our students, faculty and staff to celebrate this important time in history.
Thank you to this year’s committee: Alicia Eldridge, Catherine Nguyen, Dalilah Farrish, Dan Kearney, Doug Patterson, Johnny Marmelstein, Kelly Garrett Zeigler (parent), Kim Mansfield, Kim Ford, Linda Garrett (Grandparent), Matt Kraninger (parent), Mimi Yogaratnam and Marco Camargo.
This amazing committee created four weeks of activities for EEP, Lower and Middle School. The committee compiled Black History month resources and tools to guide faculty in their class discussions. The information our committee provided helped address identity, diversity, justice and action in the classrooms. The four weeks of Black History Month have focused on:
  • Black Arts and Literature – “Sulwe” by author Lupita Nyong’o, courtesy of Netflix Jr., was read aloud during Community Enrichment to Lower School Students. Early Education students have stories and activities focusing on Black Inventors and Historic Leaders.
  • Black Entrepreneurs – We were fortunate enough that the Kraninger family conducted and filmed an interview with a local Black Entrepreneur, Willie Carroll, from DUB FIT Fitness that was shared through Community Enrichment with students.
  • Activism and Civic Engagement – St. Mary's Middle School hosted a virtual discussion panel featuring Aliso Viejo city councilman Richard Hurt and OC Supervisor Chief of Staff LaShé Rodriguez. The panel focused on the role of local government in our lives, issues facing Orange County, and how being an active citizen is vital for communities. The panel was facilitated by a Grade 8 Student and Middle School Individuals and Societies Teacher, Dan Kearney, and included questions from the audience.
  • Families – Many of our families have read stories over Zoom to various classrooms sharing their culture and traditions. We will focus further on “families” following Winter Break.
All school students and families have access to the stories and activities on our Resource Board under Community Enrichment. Thank you to everyone who has supported this important month at St. Mary’s!