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February 2, 2022
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JP O'Hare

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Statement Honoring Black History Month From Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr., the Board of Regents and State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa

Each year, Black History Month provides the opportunity to celebrate Black achievement and recognize the essential role education plays in highlighting diverse cultures and historically disenfranchised voices.

Black History Month is not a singular event; Black History is part of our nation’s legacy. As educators and role models, we must strive to move past the single-story narrative. All children can and should learn an appreciation for the roles historically underrepresented groups and people play in our past, present, and future. 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The time is always right to do what is right.” And now is the right time to make history and nominate the first Black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court to better reflect our country’s diversity, as President Biden promises to do.

It is also the right time to build upon a foundation of access, opportunity, innovation, trust, respect, and care so that every student in New York State has the support they need to succeed. It is up to each of us to ensure schools are places where all students are welcomed and valued for their unique life experiences and cultures.

Black History Month Commemoration

Throughout February, the State Education Department and New York State Museum recognize the importance of Black History Month in several ways.

The State Museum offers a variety of resources for students, educators, and the public. This includes research from historians and scientists, access to digital collections, virtual lessons and activities for the classroom, professional development videos for educators, and information about upcoming public programming related to African American History. 

The Department, together with Education Trust—New York, is highlighting New York State My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) students throughout the month on social media, including Twitter and Facebook. The #MyHistoryMyFuture campaign features inspiring quotes from outstanding students who share how MBK has changed their lives and their hopes and dreams for the future. Artwork from the New York State Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Art & Essay Exhibit will also be featured each day through the end of February using the hashtags #NYSMLK and #StudentsExhibitingMLK.