Crossroads News

Black Family Alliance Hosts School Event: “Celebrating the African Diaspora”

By Anakela Washington P’25, 28, Black Family Alliance Leadership Member
Part of the mission of the Black Family Alliance (BFA) is to provide families with opportunities to connect, share and grow together as a community. At our last general meeting, BFA parents expressed a strong desire to have a Black History celebration that was inclusive of all families, and it became clear to the leadership team that we had found a fitting way to honor our mission. At the time, February’s end was mere weeks away, but BFA leadership was intent on creating an event that was “for us, by us.” 
Fueled by the call-to-action from the BFA community, we forged ahead. With the collaborative effort, energy, support and talent of the BFA community and in partnership with Crossroads’ Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, we were able to conceptualize, create and execute “Celebrating the African Diaspora,” a BFA-sponsored Black History Month celebration at Crossroads. The BFA “village” rose to the occasion and together, we accomplished a monumental and valuable feat. 
At the celebration, BFA community members and allies enjoyed a plethora of cultural festivities, including community member and faculty spotlights; face-painting; African, Caribbean and Southern/Creole food samplings; storytelling by a Nigerian griot; an interactive African dance and drum performance; Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony experiences; and a collaborative installation based on Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Remarkable student musical performances included a jazz ensemble featuring eighth graders Adi Petros, Melese Light-Orr and Kesh Puri; sophomore Nathan Petros and junior Owen Cazenave. Junior Harper Edgerly and senior Nneka Moweta sang stirring solo performances. 

There were also a variety of vendor booths representing important and relevant resources such as mental health, social/racial justice education, resources for community outreach, family involvement and more! Senior Meazi Light-Orr’s philanthropic school initiative in Ethiopia, “Kids for Kololo,” was also an exciting highlight represented at one of the information booths.
Since then, BFA leadership has received a deluge of overwhelmingly positive feedback from community members, who have shared their appreciation for the opportunity to come together in celebration of our culture and history, the experiential collective joy, the overall acknowledgement and inclusive impact of it being a school-supported event and the lasting, resultant communal love that lingered. For BFA leadership, the most rewarding part has been hearing the effective impact of our efforts and witnessing the collaborative outcome of the BFA family’s love as represented by the success of the event. We look forward to many more to come! 
To close the event, everyone sang the Black National Anthem: “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” led by BFA community member and celebrated musical artist Goapele. A verse in the song refers to “[singing] a song, full of the hope that the present has brought us.” And we all left the event, full of hope, indeed. 

Many thanks to the Crossroads Black Family Alliance community and allies for their contributions in making the event a success. Special thanks to Crossroads BFA Leadership Members Maisha Chappell (event co-chair), Carron Brown, Nicole Buchanan, Nicole Hoegl, Sam Jones, Tene Medford and Samira Poulos for their hard work in organizing and orchestrating the event. Gratitude also goes to the DEI Office and Parent Relations and Special Events Office for their assistance.

To read more about Black History Month celebrations at Crossroads, click here.