School Community Honors Black History Month

Sunday, February 20, 2022
Mercersburg's Black Student Union presents at a school meeting.

Mercersburg’s Black Student Union, supported by the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, is spearheading the school’s commemoration of Black History Month with an eye toward education and dialogue. Similar to years past, Mercersburg is centering student voices in our celebrations. 

”Black History Month is an opportunity for us, as a community, to pause and reflect and highlight contributions from Black inventors, entrepreneurs, scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and every other facet,” says Renata Williams, director of diversity, equity, and inclusion. “Our true goal is to infuse this history throughout the year—all 365 days.”

To officially kick off the month’s activities, the BSU led the student body through education and trivia during a school meeting February 4. Group members discussed the origin of the month and some important players in its creation. They also shared some of Mercersburg's own Black history, including information about Tom Leslie ’66 (Mercersburg’s first Black graduate) and Diane Wynter ’74 (Mercersburg’s first Black female graduate). After their presentation, representatives from each grade level were invited to the stage to face off against one another in answering Black History Month trivia questions. The Class of 2023 emerged victorious. 

As the month continues, the BSU plans to bring students together for movie nights that highlight Black empowerment and to share meals together that represent Black culture. To conclude the month on Monday, February 28, at 8 p.m. ET, Mercersburg is offering a virtual tour of the Homage Exhibit, an archival exhibit which creates learning opportunities around original historical and cultural artifacts. The collection includes African American artifacts that represent African American history from the era of slavery through the post-civil rights era. Collector Nia McAdoo and historian and moderator Nicole Moore will discuss the effect art and artifacts have in chronicling and providing a more holistic view of society.

“This Black History Month, we wanted to actively engage the community through our trivia, celebrate Black creatives with our movie nights, and spread the delicacies of Black people through ‘Taste the Diaspora,’” says Folake Okunsanya ’22, president of the BSU.

In January, the school joined together to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Learn more about that experience.

Last year during Black History Month, the BSU organized a series of “Black Excellence Talks” where the school welcomed its Black alumni and parents to host conversations about their lives, interests, and experiences.

To learn more about Mercersburg’s initiatives surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion, visit our website.

For more information on this story, please contact Lee Owen (owenl@mercersburg.edu) in Mercersburg’s Office of Strategic Marketing and Communications.


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