The theme of the 2021 Black History Month assembly presented on Wednesday, February 10 by the Holy Cross Onyx Club was Justice, Equality and Unity. The video presentation began with a brief history about Black History Month. The officers of the club shared the biographies of three Black women who represented the assembly’s theme: Tarana Burke (MeToo Movement) representing Justice, Yara Shahidi (WeVote Next) representing Equality, and Amanda Gorman (National Youth Poet Laureate) representing Unity. Faith Kelly ’21 performed an original dance which she choreographed to the song “Stand Up” performed by Cynthia Erivo. Katiushka Howell ’22 sang the closing song, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.”
The special guest speaker was Stephanie Sprow Owens ’00. Stephanie is the Director of Student and Community Engagement, Reach Higher at Common App. In that role, she leads former First Lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to increase diversity, access, and equity in higher education for first generation, low-income, and minority students. Stephanie spoke about the importance of knowing the history of family and community. She challenged the students to explore the difficult and uncomfortable questions about true justice and what is the difference between equality and equity and why as Christians it is important to fight for both. She also asked the students to consider how we work together as one Holy Cross sisterhood to foster unity even while there are disagreements along the way.