IUSD Celebrates Black History Month

IUSD Celebrates Black History Month

IUSD is proud to join the nation in recognizing Black History Month, which is a celebration of the achievements, contributions and the central role of African Americans in U.S. history.  Also known as African American History Month, this recognition was first established by historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans as a week-long celebration in 1924.  Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated February as Black History Month.  In IUSD, schools across the District will share various lessons, activities and information in honor of Black History Month. 

IUSD’s commitment to recognizing our diverse community, including the African American and Black communities, extends beyond a single month.  Please see more information below about IUSD initiatives and our ongoing efforts, to  improve teaching and learning and how we serve all students, staff and families.    

Black Lives Matter Board of Education Resolution 
As part of a larger commitment to honoring and serving our diverse community, in June 2020, the IUSD Board of Education adopted Resolution No. 19-20-48, proclaiming that Black lives matter and called for a commitment to creating an unbiased and inclusive society through education.  The Board and District committed to putting the tenets of the resolution into action.  This includes educating our students and community about racism and racial injustice, implementing curriculum that reflects diversity, examining textbooks and other instructional resources to ensure inclusivity, and holding professional trainings for staff with an explicit focus on serving Black students and our diverse community.     

In the Classroom
IUSD is committed to advancing equity, access, and social justice in the classroom.  By utilizing instructional planners that highlight diverse perspectives and address the California History-Social Science Framework, teachers honor the rich heritage of people of color and others from a variety of backgrounds to commemorate their profound accomplishments.   

IUSD schools also write annual goals in support of equity, excellence, diversity and inclusion.  Throughout the year, cross-curricular groups of teachers meet to discuss the Social Justice Standards and to share how they can be implemented in the classroom.    

Ongoing Professional Development Trainings
Teachers remain at the forefront of improving inclusion throughout IUSD. Our staff have led workshops and continue to provide professional development for IUSD employees around issues of equity, access, implicit bias, anti-racism and social justice. 

Equity, Excellence, Diversity and Inclusion
Utilizing our Continuous Improvement Efforts as a guide, the District’s Continuous Improvement Council is developing a multi-year plan to expand existing Equity Excellence Diversity and Inclusion efforts and to address our greatest areas of need.  Through an explicit focus on social justice and anti-bias, our schools  will help students cultivate the knowledge and skills necessary to reduce prejudice and take collective action to improve conditions for marginalized groups. By integrating the Social Justice Standards and addressing the four domains of identity, diversity, justice and action, we will help create civil and inclusive school communities where children cultivate empathy, challenge prejudice, and learn to be active participants within our democracy.

Over the past year, each school has integrated the Social Justice Standards into the curriculum, into their classrooms, and into their school culture. Each school has also developed a goal outlining the collective action they will take as a staff to create environments that challenge inequity, raise consciousness, and improve conditions for our marginalized groups. 

Equal Opportunity Schools
IUSD partners with Equal Opportunity Schools to help ensure that students of color and low-income students have equitable access to academically intense high school course work and the support needed to succeed at the highest levels.

At Promise Pilot Program
The At Promise program is an eight-week support group for African American/Black male students being piloted at an IUSD middle school. At Promise is designed to cultivate a positive cultural identity consistent with academic achievement and to help ensure that African American/Black males feel welcomed, valued and supported in their school community. The focus areas for At Promise include developing school attachment, a sense of belonging, empowerment, self-efficacy and motivation.

African American/Black Community Liaison
Shalonda Ibrahim-Abubakar, MSWI is the African-American/Black Community Liaison for IUSD.  Shalonda joined IUSD's Community Liaison team two years ago and provides the following services:  

  • Encourages and facilitates community and family engagement 
  • Builds bridges and partnerships between IUSD students, parents and staff
  • Collaborates with key school site staff and departments related to social justice 
  • Provides resources and referrals to ensure that students and parents get needed services
  • Advocates for parents’ and students’ needs
  • Meets those in the IUSD community where they are 

To learn more and to contact Shalonda, click here

Monthly African American/Black Parent Community Meetings
Please join Shalonda every third Tuesday of the month for the IUSD African American/Black Parent Community Meetings from 4:30-6 pm via Zoom.  Click here to learn more.