This February marks the second-annual celebration of Black History Month at McNicholas High School sponsored by Hands Across Campus. Theology teacher and Hands Across Campus moderator Teresa Davis said, “With Hands Across Campus, our mission is inclusion and diversity, and with Black history being so anemic in America, [Black History Month] had to happen [at McNick].”
An opening prayer service led by Rev. P. Del Staigers of St. Veronica and St. John Fischer parishes was held on Monday, Feb. 1 after school. Seventeen students and six faculty were in attendance. “The dialogue with students and Father Del of very real questions… during this very hard time of division… [allowed for discussion] about how to walk alongside folks and call them into the flock rather than call them out,” Davis said.
Several events are planned for the remaining weeks of Black History Month, both online and in-person. On Thursday, Feb. 11 Rockets Read Book Club will be meeting to discuss this month’s book: Stamped (For Kids) by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds.
On Thursday, Feb. 18 Mickey Townsend, a junior at Xavier University and member of Bellarmine Chapel, will meet with McNicholas Students virtually on Microsoft Teams. “She’s going to visit with… anyone who wants to come to talk about the realities of being a Black Catholic woman… and why she is an activist and a disciple for the Gospel,” Davis said.
On Monday, Feb. 22 Deacon Royce Winters of Resurrection Church in Bond Hill will also meet with McNicholas students virtually. “He will talk to us about being a Black Catholic in 2021 but also his journey to the deaconate as a Black man,” Davis said.
Anyone interested in joining either virtual event can contact Davis for the Teams’ code.
Similar to the prayer service with Staigers, Theology teacher Jeff Hutchinson-Smyth will lead a closing prayer service for the conclusion of Black History Month on Friday, Feb. 26.
“We don’t close out the month and forget our Black history, but we continue on the celebration,” Davis said.