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Diverse Village East community celebrates Black History Month

 Village East Elementary Black History Month CelebrationThe gym at Village East Elementary was filled with the sounds of children laughing and parents talking as they enjoyed a delicious dinner together to kick off the school’s Black History Month event.

“We’re having our Black History Month celebration and we’re super excited about it,” Principal Mia Robinson said as she greeted a diverse group of students and families. “You can see that we have families of every ethnicity and nationality.”

 Village East Elementary Black History Month CelebrationAmong the families enjoying the communal meal were Sharon Assa and her husband Micah Reimers, who brought their daughters Maeve, a toddler, and Aiyana, who is in kindergarten at Village East. Even at the tender age of five, Aiyana knows something about Black history in the United States.

“It used to be white kids going to one school and Black kids going to another school, and Black kids couldn’t drink the same water as white people, but somebody changed that, so that’s why we’re here tonight,” Aiyana said.

Aiyana’s parents felt it was important to participate in the Black History Month gathering.

 Village East Elementary Black History Month Celebration“It’s really important for us to give her exposure to different cultures and to give more of an accurate explanation of these cultures,” Assa said. “I identify as Asian and I’m also first generation here, so I think it’s pretty important to learn about different cultures. That’s why we’ve been to multiple cultural nights.”

In fact, the Black History Month event was the third cultural night Village East has hosted this school year. The school marked Hispanic and Native American Heritage months in the fall, and will celebrate Women’s History Month in March, Arab American Heritage Month in April, and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May.

“The goal of these events is to go deeper in our understanding and knowledge of the heritage we’re celebrating,” Principal Robinson explained.

 Village East Elementary Black History Month CelebrationTo help with that, the school welcomed Terrance Carroll as their guest speaker. Carroll is a lawyer and minister, who was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 2007. Two years later, he was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives, the first African American to hold that office in Colorado.

 Village East Elementary Black History Month Celebration“Black history is American history,” Carroll said after thanking the crowd for inviting him. He then shared his experience as a Black politician and public servant in Colorado. He said he hoped to share inspiration and optimism with his audience.

“It’s easy to get caught up in the darkness,” Carroll said, “but whenever I see kids, I believe they’ll be better than us. I really hope that everyone who is here tonight leaves with some hope that things will get better, that things are getting better and that they’ll continue to be involved and take greater ownership of our community.”

Posted 2/13/2023.