Celebrating Black History Month at 40 West
This month at 40 West Residences, residents will experience events and services themed around Black History Month. I wanted to meet with Daquisha ‘DQ’ Durrah, Supportive Services Coordinator, about the importance of this theme and what goals she has for the month!
Before getting into the specific events of the month, I asked DQ about the importance of celebrating Black History Month from her perspective.
“For me, I really wanted to bring an informational lens to this month. Over the last couple of years, there’s been some negative sentiment developing around black culture and Black History Month. But many people don’t know the impact that black culture and the achievements of black individuals have had on our world today. Without the success stories of the past events, we wouldn’t be able to shape and build the world today with the improvement of inclusion.”
I asked DQ to breakdown some of the events she has planned for the month.
“One of the favorites is our bingo game. The card will be made of various inventions from black individuals, like Henry Blair, who invented the first mechanical pencil sharpener. The prizes will then be associated with the inventions on the boards. For example, one prize will be an art book with pencils and sharpener, in honor of Mr. Blair!
“We’re also ordering a number of books written by black authors that residents will be able to check out and read. Lastly, we’ll have a window here dedicated to residents writing down their dreams, in commemoration of Dr. King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech, then displaying them for others to see!”
This month will be a great opportunity for residents to engage with each other and learn about important cultural histories. I asked DQ what her goals are for her residents this month.
“The ultimate goal I have is to promote diversity. It is about bringing awareness to the idea that we are all diverse and we all can contribute to something. By educating others we are showing and celebrating the achievements of black people, but also them as individual men and women.”
Spending time within the perspective and context of other lives and cultural backgrounds only expands our ability to connect with others and enrich our human experience. This month is a great opportunity to step outside of our comfort zone and learn about other perspectives and histories.