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Black professionals' presence for the present and future (Black History Month)

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From a day to a week and finally a month, February is notable for a number of reasons, with a key one being the celebration of Black History Month. As the brainchild of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the concept is simple, yet powerful.

In order to combat the systematic exclusion and marginalization of the impact of people of color in America (and eventually, other parts of the world), Woodson's efforts during the month of February provide a highlight on the historical influences that are far-ranging and still being discovered. By sharing them for the present, one is able to provide a foundation for the future, not only for other people of color, but for multiple demographics overall.

A number of schools and organizations celebrate the month in their own impactful and creative way. As for the faculty and staff at Pinckneyville Middle School, their idea of sharing the present with the presence of African-American professionals is the manner in which they do so. Building upon their efforts from last year (2013), the middle school (based in Norcross) is extending invitations to the aforementioned community on key days throughout the month.

"Our students are encouraged and motivated to dream big when professionals are able to come in and share their stories", notes Ms. Bridget Roberson, a teacher at the middle school who is coordinating the speaker series. Either during the mornings (9:30-11:30am) or afternoons (1:30-3:30pm), guests are able to speak to classes for 15 minute intervals (a total of 5 classes) to stress the importance and value of education, their career paths, and helping answer questions about life beyond middle and high school (i.e. college and careers). Speakers are able to share information (via print or Powerpoint/jumpdrive) ranging from their educational background, skill sets needed for their career path, earnings potential, and other elements to provide students with not only an improved point of reference, but a larger understanding of the importance of their holistic (i.e. academic, community, and personal) development.

The dates that are targeted include February 10th, 12th, 14th, along with the 20th, 22nd, and 24th.

In celebrating this way, it provides a more creative manner in which to address some of the disconnects that become present during the middle school years for a disproportionate number of students. Otherwise, some of the social (peer), behavioral, and other areas of concern become more prevalent, resulting in a larger disconnection from the learning process.

For those who are able to participate or share the information with others, you are encouraged to contact Ms. Roberson via email ( or by phone at 770-263-0860.

History of any kind is relevant, especially during this time of year. In regards to sharing its impact, there truly is no better time than the present.

Take advantage of the opportunity to be present.



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