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Valley CORE Honors, Educates Community About Inspiring Black Americans (02/24/21)

Feb. 24, 2021

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Engineer Mae Jemison. Blues singer Ma Rainey. Bass Reeves, the first Black deputy U.S. marshal west of the Mississippi River.

Valley High School student group Community of Racial Equity (CORE) for Advancement is teaching its school community about these and other inspiring Black Americans in daily video announcements during Black History Month 2021. Working with Valley and district staff members, CORE shares what makes each person an inspiration as well as facts about their life and legacy.

Each video also includes a trivia question, with a contest for “fame, glory, and amazing prizes” taking place at the end of each week. This is just one way WDMCS schools are teaching and learning about Black history in their buildings this February as West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) celebrates Black History Month at a district level. Use the links below to learn alongside the Valley community, and reach out to your students’ school to see how they are observing Black History Month.

Valley CORE Black History Month Videos

  • Feb. 1: Frederick Douglass (sophomore Adriana Castellano with Principal David Maxwell)
  • Feb. 2: Viola Davis (senior Catalina Samaniego with WDMCS Executive Director of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Dr. Anthony Ferguson, Jr )
  • Feb. 3:  Mae Jemison (senior Vidya Iyer with Valley Equity Lead and teacher Erin Perry)
  • Feb. 4: John Lewis (junior Uma Dukle with teacher Greg Hudson)
  • Feb. 5: Pauli Murray (junior Seren Castellano with CORE adviser and teacher Petra Lange)
  • Feb. 9: Dr. Robert Bullard (senior Ellie Wellman with teacher Brant Reif)
  • Feb. 10: Dorothy Height (junior Alyssa Makena with teacher Kelsey Hudson)
  • Feb. 11: Johnaye Kendrick (junior Uma Dukle with teacher Heather Nail)
  • Feb. 12: Cicely Tyson (junior Lucy Murugami with teacher Janell Mikels)
  • Feb. 15: Ma Rainey (Grace Paye with teacher Catherine Divine-Koch)
  • Feb. 16: Edna Griffin (junior Alyssa Makena with teacher Kevin Neal)
  • Feb. 17: Shirley Chisholm (junior Mia Dukle with teacher Karen Downing)
  • Feb. 18: Deborah Roberts (junior Denise White with teacher Tory DeVries)
  • Feb. 19: Eartha Kitt (sophomore Veronica Thomas with teacher Rob Schebel)
  • Feb. 22: Ida B. Wells (junior Mia DeClay with teacher Ann Krois)
  • Feb. 23: Bass Reeves (sophomore Ben Nugent with teacher Dean Lange)

Black History Month 2021: An Ongoing Celebration

Black History Month is an annual celebration of the achievements of Black Americans and a time to recognize their critical role in the history of the United States. Watch for posts each week that highlight and honor the history of Black Americans and our own Black community members. 

Black History Month is not meant to be the only time we celebrate the accomplishments of Black people in the U.S. WDMCS invites you to join us in making the celebration and reflection associated with this month ongoing.