Dear community member,
As we enter February, the Santa Cruz COE and schools across Santa Cruz County are proud to recognize Black History Month — a time to reflect on the contributions, history, and experiences of African Americans. This month serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle against racial injustice and inequality, and the vital role that Black Americans have played in shaping our society, culture, and values.
Santa Cruz County schools are committed to providing an environment in which every student feels valued and respected. Recognizing Black History Month is encouraged by the California Department of Education, as well as by recently renewed resolution of the Santa Cruz County Board of Education, in alignment with our mission to celebrate diversity and promote a deeper understanding of our community, past and present.
I encourage educators to integrate this observance into their curriculum and classroom discussions. Relevant student data, personal learning and teaching resources are available through the COE’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative. I would also like to take this opportunity to highlight the efforts and advocacy of Santa Cruz Countywide Black Student Union, which recently tabled at the MLK Youth Day and and is currently planning the annual Black Grad Ceremony that will take place this Spring (those interested in participating can sign up here).
Santa Cruz County is fortunate to have a number of organizations and initiatives advancing this important work, from NAACP Santa Cruz County to the Santa Cruz County Black Health Matters Initiative, which works to create cultural connections and fostering a sense of belonging and safety.
As we continue to work to build an inclusive, equitable, and just society, let us take this moment to reflect, converse, and learn from Black Americans’ unique history and contributions to our community and nation.
Yours in education and equity,
Dr. Faris Sabbah
County Superintendent of Schools