Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is the annual celebration of the achievements of Black Americans and a time for recognizing their crucial role in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” an idea of historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month, which is a great way to provide focused cultural enrichment to our student Dreamers at IHADLA.
IHADLA and our Dreamers celebrate cultural heritage all year with writing exercises, art projects, and field trips. Throughout all of our program sites, our dedicated program coordinators and staff use their personal and community networks to bring talented and inspiring professionals from all walks of life to share their knowledge and stories with our students.
IHADLA Inglewood Saturday Academy
IHADLA’s Program 16/17 in Inglewood is predominantly made up of African American students who are currently in high school. The Dreamers from Inglewood attend Saturday Academy, which is a weekly program for our high school Dreamers where they get to work on homework, receive tutoring, participate in themed workshops, and attend occasional field trips with the guidance and assistance of our program coordinators (Chaznae and Morgan), program assistant (Erik), program manager (Janell-MSW), and various volunteers. Through different inspirational Saturday Academy Dream Speakers, they have had the opportunity to learn about professional athletic careers (NBA, NFL, track and field), STEM careers, life skills, and mental health awareness.
IHADLA Inglewood African American Role Model Dream Speakers
Dream Speakers teach our Dreamers about future career possibilities and serve as role models for our students, as IHADLA aims to reach out to local community members who share similar backgrounds and stories with our Dreamers. Recently, Robert James, a retired African American NFL player, and Judith Onyepunuka, a successful track star at USC who studied the sciences, attended Saturday Academy as Dream Speakers. Some of our Program 16/17 students are interested in pursuing careers as professional athletes. Both Robert and Judith spoke in detail about their journeys as professional athletes, and also emphasized the importance of doing well in school and going on to higher education.
Black History Month Field Trip to the African American Firefighter Museum
Program 16/17 took a field trip during the first weekend in February to the African American Firefighter Museum in Los Angeles. The field trip was brought to IHADLA’s Program 16/17 by Firefighter Captain Brent Burton. Captain Burton has been a long-time supporter of IHADLA and has been deeply involved with the Program 16/17 Dreamers from Inglewood since they were in 4th and 5th grade. He has been featured as a Dream Speaker and has hosted special workshops to teach them about fire safety, firefighting as a career, and to share his story. Captain Burton thoroughly enjoys being part of the IHADLA family and has said that he loves coming out to volunteer his time!
Did you know?
This African American Firefighter Museum is the only one in the USA? The history of the African American Firefighter Museum began with a man named Sam Haskins. Haskins was listed as the first Los Angeles Fireman of African decent when he was hired in 1892. Sadly, Haskins was killed in 1895 while responding to a fire.
The lives and impact of African American firefighters throughout time is shown along the walls and within the atmosphere of the museum.
Spending time within these walls our student Dreamers could feel the passion for providing service that these African American men had. A successful field trip all around.
Robert, Judith, and Captain Burton are amazing and positive role models for our Dreamers! Thank you for being such wonderful individuals who bring fresh and inspiring stories to our Inglewood youth to educate and empower them to live fulfilling lives.