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Social Justice Through Inclusivity » Monthly Observances

Monthly Observances

During each school year, the students, staff, and families of WISH Community & Academy Schools join in monthly celebrations and acknowledgments with our nation to highlight the immense value of diversity in our communities. Please check back often for additional resources and updates. 
Monthly Spotlight: Women's History Month (March)

Women's History Month Logo
With its origins from a local celebration in Santa Rosa, Women’s History Month became a national celebration in 1987 when Congress passed new legislation and President Reagan authorized this new annual observance. Ever since that legislation, each March we highlight the achievements women have made over the course of American and world history in a variety of fields. Our "main event" for the month will be in the form of a WISH Community generated "Tribute to Women" - and hope everyone participates. Additionally, our librarians will be recording and posting read alouds celebrating women and selecting other books for every aged reader. Our Spotlight Series will continue, this month focusing on inspirational women, and we'll be highlighting a variety of additional resources for every family to continue learning at home.
Featured Event
We will send an email to all of our community parents and guardians directing them to a Google Form to share their thoughts/feelings about women in their lives or other women that have influenced or inspired them. Responses will be gathered and made into a poem - a community-generated tribute poem to Women. This will be made into a video with various community members reading a line of the poem for the audio, with words on a slide (optional extension: ask for people to send photos of the influential women in their lives to add visuals to the story).
Stories in the Spotlight
Celebrating the achievements women have made over the course of American and world history in a variety of fields.. Read below to learn more about these great women who have influenced us all.
Dr Farah Alibay PictureDr. Farah Alibay (33 years old), is a Canadian Systems Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) who has worked on the InSight, Mars Cube One and Mars 2020 missions. Born in Canada to immigrant parents from Madagascar, she was raised in England and earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Cambridge University in aerospace and aerothermal engineering. In 2014 she earned her PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). While working on her PhD she interned at JPL and was hired full time soon after. In 2019 she joined the Mars 2020 mobility team. Her job is to make sure the rover doesn’t get lost on Mars. She and her team of 50 will be controlling all the Perseverance’s movements on Mars! Dr. Alibay works on diversity and inclusion in STEM, both to support them in her work environment and to ensure others don’t face the same challenges she did as an LGBTQ+ immigrant woman of color.
 Naomi OsakaNaomi Osaka (born 1997), a Japanese professional tennis player, recently won the Australian Open- her fourth Grand Slam Title. Osaka has been ranked number 1 by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and is the first Asian player to hold the top ranking in singles. Born in Japan to a Hatitan father and a Japanese mother, Naomi has lived and trained in the US since she was three years old. In 2018 she made her breakthrough when she won her first WTA title at Indian Wells Open. Later that same year she defeated 23-time Grand Slam singles champion Serena Williams in the final of the US Open. She is the reigning champion at the US Open and the Australian Open. When she won her first two back-to-back Grand Slam singles titles (the 2018 US Open and 2019 Australian Open), she was the first person to achieve this since Jennifer Capriati in 2001. Naomi has gained recognition as an activist, having showcased support for the Black Lives Matter movement in connection with her matches. She was named one of the 2020 Sports Illustrated Sprotsperson of the Year and also included in Time’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world in both 2019 and 2020.
Family Resources
Below are a number of resources about celebrating Women's History to share with your children at home to learn about the accomplishments of influential women across the globe. Please click the arrow to view the expanded content. 
To kick off our celebration of Women's History Month we are offering some bedtime entertainment!
Here is a link to our Padlet with a special section of read-aloud books that our librarians recorded. Bring your favorite screen to bed and let someone else read the story to your child! PLEASE keep coming back to the padlet as we will continue to share more throughout the month.
  • This website is a collaboration of the National Gallery of Art, Library of Congress, Smithsonian, National Archives, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, National Park Service, National Endowment of the Arts .

  • Visit the History Channel has a wide range of resources and can guide you to resources about Women Leaders, Women In Sports, Women in the Arts and Women in Science.

  • The Smithsonian has organized its resources about Women’s history into themes including activism, art, science, sports and more.


Previous Monthly Observances
Monthly Spotlight: Black History Month (February)

Black History Month
Each February WISH celebrates Black History Month, highlighting the accomplishments and contributions that African Americans have made to the scientific, legal, education, athletic, art, music, and social justice fabric of our country – something we do year-round but shine a brighter spotlight in February.
We believe teaching our children about Black History Month and the many important African American influencers and contributors continue to move our society forward. By teaching them to respect the history, culture, and accomplishments of African Americans, they will be more aware and more accepting of everyone within our highly diverse country.
Throughout the month our students will learn about the Black women and men who have shaped our society and culture. This will occur in the core curriculum as well as through music, art, and the written word. Below is a list of upcoming events, efforts, and resources for our entire community to be a part of this annual WISH tradition.
Please click below to view our very special Welcome Video featuring students and staff 
Featured Event:
“The Lived Experience of Black Leaders at WISH” Panel Discussion
Click here to rewatch moderator and WISH parent Tre’Shawn Hall Baker along with MS English teacher Victoria Phillips, 4th Grade Parent Jennifer Thomas, and WISH Facilities Manager Lawrence Shelton share their own experiences and the matters that are important to them. 
Stories in the Spotlight
Celebrating influential Black voices from the past and the present, in the areas of science, social justice, sports, and culture. Read below to learn more about these great Americans.

Amanda Gorman National Youth Poet Laurete"For there is always light, if only we're brave enough to see it, if only we're brave enough to be it." This sentence thrust Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history and current National Youth Poet Laureate, into the global conversation. An award-winning writer, cum laude graduate of Harvard University, and a Westchester local, Amanda stirred a nation and inspired a generation at the recent inauguration. We hope Amanda's love of writing excites all of our writers to reach new heights. Her picture book, "Change Sings," and book of poetry, "The Hill We Climb," arrives in September and available for pre-order now.
Astronaut Victor J. GloverVictor J. Glover Jr. This California native and highly decorated Naval Officer is the first African American to have an extended stay at the International Space Station, currently flying over our heads sixteen times each day. He was born on April 30, 1976, and grew up in Pomona, California. He attended California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in general engineering in 1999. Glover joined the US Navy and completed advanced flight training in 2001. He had a decorated career in the Navy, accumulating 3,000 flight hours in more than 40 aircraft over 400 carrier-arrested landings and 23 combat missions for the Navy. In 2012, he served as a legislative fellow on the late Senator John McCain’s staff. During this time, Glover was selected for the 2013 NASA Astronaut Group. He is currently serving as a pilot and second-in-command on the Crew-1 SpaceX Crew Dragon, named Resilience, which launched November 15, 2020. He is the first African American to have an extended duration mission aboard the International Space Station. Click here to learn more about Victor Glover, and follow him on Twitter @AstroVicGlover for up-to-date posts of his adventures on the Space Station.
Biddy Mason
Bridget “Biddy” Mason (1818–1891) is an American hero who was a founding mother of Downtown Los Angeles. Born enslaved, she became one of the first prominent citizens and landowners in Los Angeles in the 1860s. She also founded the First Af

rican Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles. In California, she successfully petitioned a court for her freedom and quickly used her skills as a midwife and nurse for her livelihood. She saved her money and purchased land in what is now the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. Mason became one of the wealthiest landowners in the city. She supported charities that helped feed and shelter the poor while also being instrumental in founding an elementary school for Black children. To learn more, visit the
Biddy Mason Memorial Park downtown.
Dr Keith Curry
Dr. Keith Curry is the President and CEO of Compton College and believes that “Every student is a success story”. Dr. Keith Curry, CEO of the Compton Community College District and president of Compton College, has earned many awards for his leaders
hip and vision in Compton and for every student in his network. Compton College was accredited in 2017 as the 114th California Community College. Under his leadership, many existing student services programs have been expanded and others created including the First Year Experience (FYE) program, and the Tartar Support program established in 2017 to offer a food pantry and other support for students facing food and housing insecurities. In addition, the Formerly Incarcerated Students in Transition (F.I.S.T.) program was established in fall 2016. Other positive outcomes in recent years include an increased number of degrees and certificates awarded; increased student enrollment and transfers; new full-time faculty members hired; new state-funded construction projects completed; and a balanced budget with a reserve.  In Dr. Curry’s words, “Every student can be successful with the right academic and support services. I want students to feel special and at home here at Compton College.” Dr. Curry earned his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of California, Irvine, and a bachelor’s degree in American studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. 
Kamala Harris is the first woman, first African American,Kamala Harris and first Asian American Vice President of the United States of America. Harris was born in Oakland, California, in 1964 to a Jamaican father and Indian mother. After earning her bachelor’s degree from Howard University and a law degree from Hastings College, she worked as an assistant district attorney in Oakland. She quickly rose through the ranks to become the first woman and first African American Attorney General of California in 2010. She proved to be a strong voice within the law and a stand out for political office. In 2016 she successfully ran for the US Senate, winning the seat held by Barbara Boxer in California. She was the first Indian American and the second African American woman in the Senate. She attempted to run for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2020, which Joe Biden won, and he picked her as his Vice Presidential running mate soon after. They were both inaugurated into their positions on January 20, 2021. Read more about Kamala Harris on the official White House website.
Kehinde Wiley a native Angeleno and Yale-educated artist may be Kehinde Wileyconsidered akin to Lin Manuel Miranda in the visual arts world! Born in 1977 in Los Angeles, Kehinde Wiley is famous for using Old Master European portrait paintings as the basis for his contemporary paintings featuring African American sitters. His striking compositions that uplift African American individuals to a majestic status has helped to flip long-outdated art historical expectations of portraiture on a grand scale. Wiley’s trailblazing work has garnered him many accolades and exhibitions, and some of his paintings can be found in museum collections around the world. In 2017 he was commissioned to paint the official portrait of former President Barack Obama in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and which will travel, along with Amy Sherald’s portrait of Michelle Obama, to LACMA in November 2021. Click here to learn more about Kehinde Wiley.
KizzmKizzmekia Corbettekia Corbett is the lead scientist working on the creation of the COVID-19 vaccine. Kizzmekia was born on January 26, 1986, in North Carolina, where she grew up in a large family. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences and sociology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She later received her Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology in 2014 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is currently an American viral immunologist at the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (one of the 27 National Institutes of Health). She was appointed to the VRC in 2014, and she is currently the scientific lead of the VRC's Coronavirus team and was instrumental in developing the COVID-19 vaccine. In December 2020, the Institute's Director, Anthony Fauci, said: “Kizzy is an African American scientist who is right at the forefront of the development of the vaccine.” Click here to learn more about Kizzmekia Corbett.
Theodore Lumpkin
Theodore “Ted” Lumpkin is a local hero who served in WWII in the all-black unit called the Tuskeegee Airmen! He was born in 1919 in Los Angeles, graduated from Jefferson High School, attended LA City College and was studying at UCLA when the Army drafted him in 1942. He was assigned to the 100th Fighter Squadron of an all-Black unit based in Tuskegee,  Alabama.  Because his eyesight wasn’t good enough to be a pilot, he trained
as an intelligence officer and was a 2nd lieutenant. He briefed pilots before bombing missions, and de-briefed them after their return, based in Italy. The Tuskegee Airmen were in much demand as they were known for their valor, and perfect record of never losing a bomber they were escorting and protecting on missions. On returning from the War, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from USC. He worked for many years as a social worker. He retired from the Air Force Reserve as a lieutenant colonel. Later in life he owned his own real estate company. The Tuskegee Airmen received Congress’ highest civilian recognition in 2007 with the Congressional Gold Medal. He died at age 100 in December 2020, just a few days before his 101st birthday. He lived in the Baldwin Hills neighborhood of LA for the last 30 years of his life.
Family Resources
Below are a number of resources about Black History Month to share with your children at home to learn about the accomplishments of famous and lesser-known African-Americans, including videos, works of art,  literary works, community businesses, and much more. 

BHM Business Directory Image
This week we feature the Black-Owned Business Directory

Websites to explore


Museums and Online Events

Upcoming and previous commemorations

Ability Awareness Asian Pacific Black History Month Logo Deaf History Month Logo Health Wellness Logo 
National Hispanic Month LGBTQ Native American Celebrating UpstandersWomen's History Month Logo