Celebrate Black History Month
February is famously “Black History Month.” It is also American Heart Month, Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and Oral Hygiene Awareness Month. Everybody and their dog, literally, has a designated month in which to celebrate. And that is just fine. But Black History Month is the Granddaddy of celebration months and with good reason. For so long in the US, the contributions of African-Americans, as individuals and as a culture, were missing from history and from the social consciousness of the majority population. A focus on heritage and history of African-Americans is, in fact, the history of the United States with all its fear and joy, tradition and progress, nativism and openness. Black History is your history, if you are an American.
BCTC is a multi-hued and multi-faceted community. We think we are stronger with many points of view and a respectful place and way to air them. Along with many others in society today, we are working to be welcoming to people of all perspectives and backgrounds. In that effort, we have proposed a Commitment to Unity that goes like this: “BCTC welcomes and respects people of all cultures, religions, ages, socio-economic statuses, sexual orientations, gender identities, national origins, and abilities. We celebrate individual differences as we evolve to be the face of a unified world. Our differences strengthen our resolve to deliver the highest standard of education in the Bluegrass Region.”
At BCTC, we are working on ways to improve our collective and individual Cultural Competence, also called intercultural or cross-cultural understanding. These terms are typically used to mean some knowledge of the culture-specific concepts of perception, thinking, feeling, and acting. Also, culture does not only refer to ethnicity, nationality, or race. Economic, educational, and other factors also act on culture. Often the goal of Cultural Competence is improving communication and interactions for people with different cultural perspectives. In addition, policy, practices, and personnel in organizations can benefit from the work to create a culturally competent environment.
We come together to stand with our blue-eyed and brown-eyed students; our scientists and artists; our men, women, and transgender students; our cabinet makers and nurses in training; our musicians and information technicians; our introverts and extroverts; and the huge array of talents and interests and characteristics and personalities that make up BCTC.
Join me in celebrating Black History Month and all the ways our collective history and progress has made the US and Kentucky a better place.