Education in the United States, especially in large cities in New York and Chicago have been troublesome for years. Business leaders have been attempting to tackle this problem from many angles. There has been some success and various organizations continue provide programs to continue national awreness on this issue.
On Friday, September 27, 2013, students in the New York-area schools will get to hear the husband-and-wife team of Ray Chew and Vivian Scott Chew, and other leaders, as they join hundreds of African American HistoryMakers across the nation for the 4th Annual Back to School With The HistoryMakers program to COMMIT to excellence and finishing their education.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is chairing the nationwide effort with the goal of having more than 500 black leaders go “back to school” in 68 cities and 30 states. The program puts HistoryMakers in direct contact with over 25,000 students across the nation, to inspire them with their life’s stories and to encourage youth to strive for excellence.
The theme of the day is “COMMIT.” The HistoryMakers will personally recount their own school experiences and the struggles that they encountered on their paths to success and, most importantly, to encourage students to COMMIT to their education.
In a recent interview with The HistoryMakers Executive Director, she states, “We are trying to create a movement, but telling stories.” The HistoryMakers Founder and Executive Director, Julieanna Richardson, goes on to say, “By bringing these living leaders into today’s educational system, we are raising awareness about the achievements of the accomplished African Americans in local communities and bringing these leaders into schools to see things firsthand, while providing important role models for today’s youth. ”
Richardson is encouraging educators everywhere to use The HistoryMakers’ digital archive to enrich their students’ exposure to the contributions of African Americans across the globe. This year, schools participating in the event will receive a free one-year membership for the digital archive, which includes extensive and easy-to-access interviews with 310 HistoryMakers.
Last year’s successful Back to School With The HistoryMakers program sent nearly 500 of our HistoryMakers into schools in 77 cities and 35 states, including 102 year old “Bloody Sunday” civil rights pioneer, Amelia Boynton Robinson, neo soul artists Kindred the Family Soul (Fatin Dantzler and Aja Graydon), singer and actress Freda Charcelia Payne, and actor Harry J. Lennix. Many of the HistoryMakers have now adopted a school, one of the goals of the initiative.
The HistoryMakers, the nation’s largest African American video oral history archive, is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit dedicated to recording and preserving the personal histories of well-known and unsung African Americans. To date, the organization has interviewed over 2,000 HistoryMakers, with the goal of creating an archive of 5,000 interviews (30,000 hours) for the establishment of a one-of-a-kind digital archive.