Talks Commemorate Black History Month
During the first three weeks of February, Mercersburg’s Black Student Union 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. In honor of Black History Month, these virtual events provided an opportunity for all of our students to see examples of Black role models within the Mercersburg Academy community.
“This program was created to invite our alumni to connect with our students in the spirit of representation,” says Leela Woody, interim director of diversity, equity, and inclusion. “It is important for all of our students, regardless of racial identity, to have the opportunity to see instances of Blackness being celebrated, and we feel grateful that our alumni have been willing to be a part of this conversation.”
Thirty individuals representing seven decades of Mercersburg connections took part in February’s events. See the complete list. Topics ranged from exploring how alumni found their way to Mercersburg to sharing personal experiences of identifying as both Black and gay to navigating life after graduation. One of the first presenters, Eyram Awittor-Awuma ’20, who served as president of the BSU as a student, shared what it was like to graduate from the Academy and begin her first year of college during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Skip Sydnor P ’12, who serves as Mercersburg’s director of campus safety, was one of the first parents to present in February. Sydnor shared his experiences as part of the Pennsylvania State Police, and he addressed the topic of racism.
“These unique engagement events are a celebration of our alumni and parents, as well as an opportunity for our future alumni to forge long lasting connections with current alumni,” says Jenn Flanagan Bradley ’99, director of alumni and parent relations.
In many ways, Mercersburg’s Black History Month events are a continuation of the conversations that members of the school community participated in surrounding Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January. Read more about that day.
To learn more about Mercersburg’s initiatives surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion, visit our website.