Families & Communities

Black History Month Features

February is Black History Month! While we must celebrate the lives of Black people every day, we believe it is important to also take time during Black History Month to recognize the rich and complex history, hard-won triumphs, and persistent challenges faced by Black people.

We especially want to highlight ways to support Black students, who continue to face systemic barriers that prevent them from accessing excellent and equitable schools.

For five decades, IDRA has remained committed to achieving excellent, equitable schooling for diverse students in our pioneering style that intersects research, policy, practice and community engagement. We’re happy to share news and resources with you as we kick off this special month.

2023 Features


The Story that Refuses to be Silenced, Terrence Wilson, J.D., February 7, 2023

The Father of Black History – What Carter G. Woodson Continues to Teach Us About Our Present Moment, Makiah Lyons, February 7, 2023

School Segregation through Vouchers – What Policymakers Can Learn from a History of State Efforts to Use Vouchers to Avoid Integration, Paige Duggins-Clay, J.D., February 7, 2023

Texas Lawmakers Propose Laws to Support Black Students, History and Heritage, Chloe Latham Sikes, February 16, 2023

Georgia General Assembly Considers Legislation that Would Support Students, Terrence Wilson, J.D., February 16, 2023

33 Years Later, Tough on Crime Still Bad for Students, Makiah Lyons, February 24, 2023

Bans on Black Literature and Learning are Nothing New – State Lawmakers Must Reject Calls to Reinstate Antebellum-era Policies, Paige Duggins-Clay, J.D., February 24, 2023

Black Student-Centered Policy Agenda, Morgan Craven, J.D., February 7, 2023

Just like their peers, Black students bring great talents, interests, joy and cultural contributions to their classrooms. They deserve to be supported and guided through their academic and social lives by teachers and administrators who care deeply about their success and believe in their potential.

Unfortunately, Black students bear the brunt of systemic inequities and the policies that create and sustain them, including underfunded schools, harmful discipline and policing practices, and a lack of access to meaningful counseling and coursework that prepare them to access and succeed in college. Black students also encounter administrators and educators who do not see the assets they bring but instead subscribe to harmful stereotypes about Black students’ – and their families’ – academic potential, social engagement and commitment to school.

Black students deserve excellent and equitable schools, just like everyone else. Policymakers can make changes at every level to achieve that goal, including those in IDRA’s newly-updated Black Student-Centered Policy Agenda. These policy recommendations can be adjusted for adoption at the local, state and national levels.

The Pivotal Joys of Learning Black History

We Must Do the Right Thing – Honoring the Legacy of a Southern Civil Rights Hero, Thomas Marshall III, M.Ed., February 7, 2023

Owning Our History – Henrietta Wood’s Story, Alisha “Tuff” Tuff, February 7, 2023

The Power of Music – A Reflection for Black History Month, Alisha “Tuff” Tuff, February 16, 2023

It Takes a Village to Change the World, Steve Kemgang, February 24, 2023

Black History through Music, Art, Song & Dance, Terrence Wilson, J.D., February 24, 2023

School Resource hub boxHighlights of Classroom Lessons in IDRA’s We All Belong – School Resource Hub

  • Gladys Bentley – Gender-Bending Harlem Renaissance Performer and Musician, Unladylike2020
  • African American History: Climbing the Wall, PBS History Detectives
  • CulturED Collection #2 – E-raced: A Lesson Uncovering the False Science of Race, IDRA
  • Yes, She Can: Michelle Obama, IDRA
  • Leading the Fight with Lead, IDRA
  • Successes and Failures in Resistance to Slavery, PBS Learning Media
  • AIM Framework for Teaching Intercultural Skills – IDRA Classnotes Podcast Episode 230
  • Tools for Teaching About Race and Culture – IDRA webinar
  • The Real World: Understanding the Difference Education Makes, IDRA
  • Sissieretta Jones – Opera Star & First African American Woman to Headline a Concert at Carnegie Hall, Unladylike2020
  • The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, C-SPAN
  • Runaway America: Benjamin Franklin, David Waldstreicher with C-SPAN

See these lessons and more on IDRA’s We All Belong – School Resource Hub

2022 Features

Honoring the Arms that Lift Us – Southern Stories from Our Black Staff

This month, some of IDRA’s Black staff members will share their experiences of how family, teachers and community, particularly Black women, have impacted their lives and sent them on a trajectory in working for justice and student opportunity in education.

Doing the Work of Love – A Letter to the Community who Raised Me by Thomas Marshall III


eNews: February 15, 2022

  • Students Speak Against Classroom Censorship
  • Resources for Learning
  • Resources for Safe Schooling

2021 Features

eNews: February 3, 2021