When President Gerald Ford highlighted Black History Month in 1976 during the nation’s bicentennial celebration, he underscored an important truth: that powerful work and life-changing stories are too often neglected as we consider our past and our present. Black History Month offers an important moment for all of us to recognize and celebrate the significant contributions of Black community leaders and organizations working within the Black community to serve the common good.
This month, we have had the opportunity to reflect on the life-affirming work of groups like Black Pilots of America and Mentoring Urban Students & Teens. But we know there are so many more contributing to the common good of the Pacific Northwest. To name only a few:
- Organizations that collect and commemorate the diverse history of the Pacific Northwest, such as Oregon Black Pioneers, Oregon Historical Society, Washington State Historical Society, and Benton County Historical Society
- Organizations that lift diverse voices through artistic projects and performances, such as the Northwest Film Forum’s upcoming documentary on the Buffalo Soldiers and Metropolitan Youth Symphony’s Beginning Strings program serving 91% students of color
- Organizations that seek to help individuals and families break cycles of poverty and injustice through mentorship, new housing, and support, such as Divine Alternatives for Dads Service (D.A.D.S.) and LEAP Charities
- Organizations that celebrate and support educational success for students of color through scholarships, mentorships, and more, such as R. Merle Palmer Minority Scholarship Foundation and College Success Foundation
As we celebrate and honor the work of nonprofits and community leaders across all backgrounds throughout the year, we are grateful for an opportunity to pause and reflect on the unique service of those supporting the Black community. To those working to bring justice to all and serve the common good, we say thank you!