The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders

In the spotlight: Students come together to honor Black History Month

in ARS News/News/Showcase by

The month of February, also known as Black History Month, has begun. To celebrate the diverse student body and educate each other, a group of students have come together to create presentations and inspirational “Quote of the Day” at end of the day announcements.

The high school group has began meeting once a week during lunch since mid-January.The students work to bring together a strong, educational Black History Month celebration for the community to enjoy.

“I joined this group because I’m all about representation and celebrating diversity,” sophomore Bunmi Oni said. “I also like to help in any way and this feels like a small way to give back to my community.”

The group, formally known as Diversity And Multicultural Awareness (D.A.M.A), first came about during the 2014-2015 school year, when a group of freshman decided to make a safe space for minorities. The students wanted to celebrate Black History Month but failed the first time due to time constraints. D.A.M.A slowly became Real Talk, and the original members sprouted to other extracurriculars. Two years later, Ms. Pamela Mathai, eighth grade History teacher, brought these students, as well as new ones, back together.

“Ms. Mathai approached us and asked if we’d like to start the group again, and really prepare ahead of time for Black History Month,” junior Haley Loan said. “We decided to bring it back and have other high schoolers be a part of it too.”

Although the group is currently mostly African-American students, they hope to bring other students from different ethnicities into the group and celebrate other cultures.

“Black History Month is a starting point, but we want to expand our group and celebrations because our student body is so diverse,” Oni said. “We want other students to come with ideas of how we can celebrate their culture, that way we can shine light on different perspectives.”

Keyla Blanco’s perfect moment in time is when she is curled up on her bed, with her favorite food, and a superhero movie playing. Keyla is an indecisive, comic loving, superhero obsessed, fangirl. She wants to create movies that reflect the real world and its people. More diversity, whether that be people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, differently abled people, or any other underrepresented people, in films, is her biggest passion. Keyla grew up with her family and comic books and spends time with them constantly. Movies are her main escape, and they help her see the world. Keyla is shy at first but opens up after some time. Fitting to her personality, Keyla is the Entertainment Editor for the Polaris Press.

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