Black History Month Offers Mirrors and Windows

March 6, 2023

By:  Morah Shannon, Director of Instruction

Throughout the month of February, we lifted up the voices of those who have been marginalized and gave Mirowitz students an opportunity to understand aspects of Black history, culture and contributions.

Powerful learning creates both “windows” and mirrors, and Black History Month offered meaningful opportunities to experience both.

Windows appear when we study folks who differ from ourselves in important ways — for example, era, gender, nationality or race. Such learning moments are ripe for building empathy. We create “mirrors” when we study historical figures who share some aspect of identity with us, and that experience teaches us to value our own history, perspectives and heritage.

Walk the halls of Mirowitz and you’ll see many examples of the “windows” and “mirrors” — stunning displays of artwork, stories and well-crafted biographies inspired by key Black figures past and present.

Like everything we do at Mirowitz, Black History Month was pursued with purpose. We learned from charismatic speakers: Emmy Award-winning storyteller, Bobby Norfolk, and Monica Reed, a Black STEM teacher founder of America’s B.L.A.C.K.

We can work to dismantle racism through the learning that takes place in our classrooms. When I was growing up, we were taught to be “color-blind”. We heard, “I don’t see race, I just see children.” We contribute to passive racism when we choose not to acknowledge the ways in which a person’s race has impacted their life, access to power and resources​​.

At Mirowitz, we intentionally create an environment that normalizes conversations about race. Children who are raised here grow confident in their personal identities and are eager to understand others’.

Mirowitz students add to the diversity of our community and whatever community they join when they leave here. And they do so with sincere respect and curiosity that does not diminish their own identity.

They will be the leaders we need for our future — once we recognize that we are ALL created in God’s image, who recognize unfairness when they see it and who feel compelled to pursue justice.

Shabbat Shalom,

Morah Shannon