Celebrating Black History Month at Hathaway-Sycamores

Posted by on Mar 8, 2021 in Featured Slider, News | 0 comments

This February we celebrated Black History Month in a wide variety of ways at Hathaway-Sycamores, on our residential campus, in virtual staff events and as an agency. We honored the past as well as the present, shared poems and recipes, watched films, learned some history, were inspired and we honored members of our diverse team on social media.

At our El Nido residential campus the boys enjoyed special movie nights complete with popcorn, featuring 42 – The Jackie Robinson Story and Malcolm X, among other activities. The highlight of the month for the boys on campus was a virtual event, “Black Excellence,” presented by Little Voices – a group founded by singer Crystal Starr that is dedicated to supporting foster youth. Crystal was joined by Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriffs Howell and Davis, and special guest Walter Jones, the original “Black Power Ranger” in the Power Rangers series.

Walter Jones Virtual Guest at Hathaway-Sycamores

Walter sharing his life experiences with the youth at El Nido.

The group briefly touched on some of the challenges that they have faced as African Americans in their various professions. However, their focus was on the importance of taking control of your life, knowing your own worth, and not being defined by other people. Walter shared his belief, “Life is an adventure that you create for yourself.” One of the boys in attendance asked for advice about being a rapper. Walter answered, “Focus on your craft, don’t focus on the lifestyle and the money – do it because you love it.” There was a consensus from the group about the importance of doing what makes you happy and surrounding yourself with people who inspire you and make you better. They also stressed the need to work hard, have a vision, set goals, create your own path, and practice your craft. The presentation left everyone in attendance feeling positive and inspired, as one youth present shared, “I appreciate y’all giving me advise. You are role models to me, and you inspire me.”

One of the staff lead activities was an uplifting celebration titled, “The Voices of Black Essence.” The virtual event was hosted by Lauren Rogers, a clinician at our South Los Angeles office. Staff members shared history, a dance performance video, and recited poems by Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Phillis Wheatley and others.

Hathaway-Sycamores staff celebrate Black History Month

Hathaway-Sycamores staff participating in “The Voices of Black Essence.”

The activities for the month wrapped up with an event hosted by Hathaway-Sycamores Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee. Staff members who attended the virtual gathering were encouraged to share a brief biography of a Black/African American individual they admire or respect. The bios shared included jazz musician Wynton Marsalis, black historical romance author Beverly Jenkins, the first African American woman in Congress and first female presidential candidate Shirley Chisholm, Honduran herbalist and healer Dr. Sebi, a crafter and owner of an indie-dye yarn company Diane Ivey, and others. The assembled group left having learned something new, and at least several attendees had new books added to their reading lists.

Hathaway-Sycamores Staff Celebrate Black History Month

Hathaway-Sycamores staff members attending the Black History Month celebration.

In addition to being uplifted and inspired the virtual gatherings also gave staff members the much needed opportunity to connect with each other during the pandemic.

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