With 98 percent of KIPP LA students identifying as Black or Latino, our schools make it a priority to celebrate diversity not only during national holidays, but throughout the year. Read on to learn more about recent cultural events held at a few of our South Los Angeles schools.
Fight the Power
Students from all grade levels at KIPP Empower Academy participated in a three-part performance featuring 1960s History of the Civil Rights Movement and Black Panther Party, History of African Dance and Step Dance, and History of African American Culture and Rap Music.
Ms. Poster-Holbert, the dance instructor at KEA and organizer of the performance, explains that with everything going on in the world today, it’s important to show our children that they “can fight with positive means of art. They can sing. They can dance. They can write. They can draw. And they can unite as one.”
At KIPP Academy of Opportunity, eighth-grade students created presentations about their family’s heritage and shared with their classmates. Eighth grader Jasmine Pineda, who presented on the history of Guatemala, finds that “it’s really nice knowing that people actually want to share this with other people. I really like it because we live in this society where not all of us are accepted, and I really like that our school provides us with this opportunity.”
The fair also included performances by KIPP LA Prep’s mariachi band, a professional hip-hop dance group, and KAO’s own drumline. Audience members were asked to write their definition of “heritage” on a post-it note, which was then displayed for all to see and several students created visual artwork that decorated the event, including a permanent mural of Marvel’s Black Panther.
Mr. Daniels, the dean at KAO who dressed as a member of the Black Panther Party for the event, notes the importance of “educating students on their background, history, and culture,” which KAO strives to achieve not only through special events but also culturally-relevant pedagogy.
A Wax Museum of Black Leaders
In addition to their “Deeply Rooted” cultural celebration during Black History Month, fourth-grade students at KIPP Vida Preparatory Academy recently researched important Black leaders throughout history and created a living “wax museum” to tell their stories.
Students dressed in character as leaders ranging from Thurgood Marshall to Jackie Robinson to Oprah Winfrey and remained as statues until participants pushed their button to turn them on and learn more. Check out a few videos from the creative and entertaining event!