Uplift Education honors the accomplishments of African Americans, in every area of endeavor, throughout our history. We celebrate individuals through their contributions in arts, entertainment, law, politics, science, sports, civil rights and more who have worked to move our nation forward. Just last month, our country elected its first Black, woman Vice President of the United States--a move in the right direction to empower women of color!
As educators, we are committed to providing a school environment that is inclusive, just, and focused on equity. We believe it is vital to create an environment in which our Black students and staff feel valued and connected, not just during Black History Month, but each and every day. It is incumbent upon us to push forward conversations that explore the issues of racism, inclusivity, equity, and community. To take on this challenge, we have formed voluntary affinity groups among our leadership which are broken into different racial, ethnic, and cultural groups. Our goal is to provide a space where diverse groups within our organization meet regularly to share learnings, feel connected, identify opportunities, provide support, offer thought partnership, and align efforts. We are committed to following a comprehensive process that will identify areas where our network falls short, opportunities for growth, and thoughtful solutions that ensure we achieve equity for all.
To up our game in the classroom, we are re-evaluating our curriculum and implementing innovative instructional practices that allow our PreK-12th grade students to better understand their racial history and identity, and timely topics such as anti-racism. We have created the space to spend time with each of our scholar leaders from our Black Student Associations to hear about their experiences in our schools and determine steps to build a more unified student body.
Uplift values diversity and firmly believes that having an inclusive and global view is important to the success of not only our students, but the world. We believe in order to achieve our long-term goals for students to meet college and career completion targets of 70%, we need to help our largely minority student population have a strong and positive sense of self-identity. We encourage opportunities for students to listen to other perspectives and have productive debates to become more engaged citizens and social change agents.
Our students deserve an educational experience that is anchored on the social construction of knowledge, the development of conceptual understanding, and experiences that build scholar voice. Uplift established standards that ensure that our students met the highest levels of achievement while also ensuring that we build in flexibility to ensure an equitable experience for all students. We also intentionally build our staff pipelines so that we accurately represent students and families we serve. In support of this, we have made a significant investment, in partnership with organizations to train our faculty and staff on diversity, equity and inclusion.
Tashara Parker is an anchor and reporter at WFAA News 8 in Dallas, Texas covering traffic, breaking news and inspirational stories. She will be a guest speaker for Uplift this month to meet with our students to discuss her career and to inspire them with an intimate student-lead Q&A. Her goal on her new series is to bring awareness to the @thecrownact and focus on how schools and workplace can be more inclusive regarding hair. We are excited for Tashara to share with our students her confidence and deep love of her culture as she uplifts and represents her community.
“To me, Black History Month means celebration of the culture, the struggle and the dedication our people before us have put forth. I will go to school and make my mark; I will implement the same strategies that I did here and take them and make them bigger and expand in college.” Bri’ya Jackson, Uplift Hampton
Be sure to check out Uplift’s Facebook and Instagram as we document the amazing happenings taking place across our campuses to educate, celebrate, and reflect upon Black history throughout Black History Month. Join our mission by becoming a part of the Uplift community, and make sure to take time to celebrate and honor the contributions of African Americans throughout history.