Dear Families,


February marks Black History Month, a tribute to African American men and women who have helped shape the American landscape and the rest of the world in the areas of science, politics, law, sports, the arts, entertainment, and many other fields. While Black History Month is synonymous with prominent figures such as  Martin Luther King Jr.,  Harriet Tubman,  Rosa Parks,  Muhammad Ali,  Jackie Robinson,  Langston Hughes,  Maya Angelou,  George Washington Carver and  Barack Obama, there are countless other African Americans who've made a profound impact in history: self-made millionaire  Madam C.J. Walker, astronaut  Mae C. Jemison, open-heart surgeon  Daniel Hale Williams, inventor  Garret Morgan, media mogul  Oprah Winfrey and "Father of Black History"  Carter G. Woodson, who lobbied extensively to establish Black History Month as a nationwide celebration, among many others. 


Wagner would like to pay tribute to the countless African Americans that have shaped the country we live in today. Our community will be doing several activities in the month of February to celebrate Black History.  Below is an outline of what we have planned:


ACTIVITY #1: Mighty Times: The Children's March

Who:  6th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade students
What: Students will watch the above mentioned film that documents how young people courageously took a stand against racial segregation and injustice in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963. This was a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement, and the children's crusade ultimately brought segregation to its knees. After the film, students will reflect on the contributions of African American children in the Civil Rights Movement through writing, partner work, and class discussions with their teachers. 

When: Thursday, February 6th


ACTIVITY #2: Do Now's 

Who:  6th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade students

What: In each class students complete their content specific "Do Nows" highlighting remarkable work from members of the African American community. For example, in math, students will complete a math problem related to their unit of study, containing the name of an African American mathematician. Following the completion of the problem, they will learn about the mathematician, their contribution to our society, and the impact of their work on our world today. 

When: During the week of February 10th


ACTIVITY #3: Enrichment Series with New York Historical Society


Who: 7th grade Social Studies classes

What: Enrichment Series titled "Underground Railroad, Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow, and Civil Rights."

In this lesson series, students will use artifacts, images, and documents to examine three critical periods of black resistance and resilience in American history. From investigating the case of William Dixon - a black man in New York arrested on suspicion of being a runaway slave - to studying a participant’s photographs of the Selma to Montgomery March, students will engage in discussion and small group work as they bear witness to African Americans' ongoing struggle for self-emancipation, citizenship, and civil rights.

Where: In 7th grade Social Studies classrooms

When: 3 days – February 10th, February 27th, and another date pending during the last week of February or first week of March.

ACTIVITY #4: Epic Theater Ensemble Performance (TBD)

Who:  6th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade students

What: Founded in 2001, this artist-run theater company presents new plays and new interpretations of classic plays in venues around Manhattan. The ensemble will perform a play for the students around social justice, educational segregation, or culturally responsive education. The ensemble often consists of other students (high School, college, and recent college graduates).  Following the play, students will reflect through writing paired with student-led discussions.

**More specific details to follow. We are still working with Epic Theater to finalize this activity.

When: During the week of February 24th

Where: Auditorium 


Thank you in advance for your support as we continue to move toward a more inclusive and diverse curriculum. 





Wagner’s Equity Team Core Leaders

Liliette Cabrera

Rehea Gomez

Charissa Hinnant

Jennifer Rehn Losquadro

Alison Schwenzer

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