Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
The DEI Committee is aiding the Office of Equity and Inclusion by fundraising for educational, professional and social opportunities for students, teachers, and alumni in order to foster diversity, equity and inclusion at Central. Make a Gift to the DEI Fund today.
How to get Involved
The AACHS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee meets every 2 months and works to increase the number of alumni of color who serve on the Board of Managers (BOM) and to create an inclusive and diverse alumni network which offers career information to students as well as advice for pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. The alumni network was requested by our students. We also work closely with Ms. Michelle Thornton, Director of Equity and Inclusion for Central High School.
To get involved with the AACHS DEI Committee, please reach out to co-chairs Dr. Steve Burnstein (222) and Hannah Baker (274): firstname.lastname@example.org
Initiatives: Big Brother/Big Sister and Summer Bridge Program
Two current initiatives at CHS: The Summer Bridge Program, and the Big Brother/Big Sister style program both bring the student population together in tight-knit ways. The Summer Bridge program serves incoming first-year students, in a summer week-long academic and study skills workshop aimed at keeping them engaged and thriving. The Big Brother/Sister programs match students from different grade levels and the older students serve as a sounding board to the younger students as they navigate their Central career.
Student Engagement at CHS
The Black Student Council is a collaboration of the diverse student organizations at Central relating to an African Heritage. This conglomeration of students meets regularly to align on key topics, engage the DEI Office, and plan events such as the HBCU Showcase.
Afrocentric launched in 2020, a self-published digital media powerhouse created by two Black Central Students. Their mission is to “Uplift and empower black students” and they showcase poetry, journalism, and fashion on their website.
Leadership from AASU, MMI (Minority Mentorship Initiative), APIU, the Bridge program (Big Siblings), and HLU (Hispanos y Latinx Unidos) led initiatives and participated largely in the DEI recruitment efforts for underrepresented students earlier this school year. Additionally, this school year these organizations have held community building events, academic enrichment, and mentoring programs for the Bridge-builder students and the greater Central community at large. All of the student groups who participated in International Day/Week activities, whether dancing, decorating a hall, or presenting on their culture in a classroom, engaged in DEI activities.
Improve Black student life at Central
“We, the signed alumni of Central High School, stand in solidarity with the African American Student Union (AASU) and support their demands to improve Black student life at Central. Central would not be Central without its remarkably diverse student body. Especially since Central prides itself on its diversity, it must work hard to truly uphold its mission of providing all students with a rigorous and caring college-prep education.” Read more.
Black History Month, February 2023, Year of Black Resistance by Dr. Stephen Burnstein (222)
Two important events are highlighted in a poem by Michael S. Harper entitled “American History ” (1) :
Those four black girls blown up
in that Alabama church
remind me of five hundred
middle passage blacks,
in a net, under water
in Charleston harbor
so redcoats wouldn’t find them.
Can’t find what you can’t see
Daryl Michael Scott, former president of the Association for the study of African American Life and History details the events that lead to the initiation of Black History Month (BHM) (2). “Negro History Week” was first celebrated in 1926. In February 1986, the year of the United States Bicentennial, President Gerald Ford made the observance of this week official. 1986 marked, not only the initiation of Black History Month by the Congress of the United States but also the first celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday as a national holiday.
The theme of this year’s Black History Month is “Black Resistance.” Harper’s poem calls to mind the 2023 theme as well as numerous events which lead to the founding of the Black Lives Matters movement and heightened recognition of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) concept. In 2020, several members of the AACHS Board of Managers brought forward a small group to study racist incidents at the school. This led to the AACHS DEI Committee and its support for Central’s director of DEI. A tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) followed by a visit to Howard University on April 13, 2023, will give 100 CHS students the opportunity to experience this wonderful museum whose lead architectural designer was Philip Freelon, 231 and also to visit Howard U, one of the HBCU’s attended by many of our graduates.
Please help us to celebrate Black History Month by making a contribution to AACHS’ DEI program, but more importantly, let’s be mindful of each other and help them to be safe and secure.
- “American History,” Michael S. Harper from “Songlines: New and Collected Poems. U. of Illinois Press, 2000
- “The Origin of Black History Month” by Daryl Michael Smith. ASALH News, Executive Summary, ASALH.org
The AACHS is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all volunteers, partners, staff, Board members, and friends of the Central High community. We endeavor to create a diverse Board of Managers. We aim to build relationships with a wide spectrum of partner organizations and charitable causes as we work to promote and activate volunteers to do good in our community.
The AACHS is an equal opportunity employer. We shall not discriminate and will not discriminate in employment, recruitment, Board membership, or job applicant on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, or for any other discriminatory reason.