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Why Black History Month Matters

By Will Collins + Lydia Young
February 28, 2017

Black history – and the celebration of it – is critical at a time when racial profiling, professional inequality and failing school systems are not yet archived in history. The commemoration of the struggles, achievements and milestones of Black men and women of the past and in the present reminds us of the progress that has been made, and equally as important, the distance that our nation has yet to travel.

We must reflect and take action on many urgent and critical imperatives that exist in our community. Much like various points of the past, African Americans continue to face the same basic threat of systematic disenfranchisement. The experiences that our Fellows have are both breathtaking and unimaginable, yet their enduring resilience is reminiscent of the millions who were marginalized and dehumanized over the last three hundred years. Yet here at OneGoal, the smiles, curiosity and fire that we see in the eyes of our Fellows represent the radical hope we have for an anti-racist, equitable and prosperous future for them.

As we continue to march forward in the fight for understanding, empathy, and equity, we must face the blood, the hate, the love, the resistance and the power that has pushed and pulled us here. We must embrace and be grateful for the progress that brings us to this day, but continually strive for more – for true equity where those with the “least” have the same opportunities as those with the “most.”

If you believe in justice, the power that comes with a transformative education, and the innate ability of our Fellows and all students, then we urge you to stand up in the face of inequity and GET INVOLVED WITH ONEGOAL. We are working for educational equity and to ensure the school is transformed into an oasis of liberation.

Thank you for your partnership and work,

Will Collins, Senior Director of School Partnerships

Lydia Young, Director of Teacher Support

Will leads OneGoal’s secondary and post-secondary partnerships team in Chicago, working to transform institutions for our Fellows and close the college divide across the city of Chicago. Lydia works directly with more than 20 OneGoal Program Directors to maximize the opportunities students have to college acceptance & graduation.