Black History Month’s Roots and The Bronze Chapter’s Impact
As we honor Black History Month this February, it’s an excellent opportunity to reflect on the strengths, achievements, and challenges Black communities face. At Believe in Me, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering all children to develop the self-confidence they need to succeed, we recognize the importance of honoring Black history and supporting initiatives that uplift BIPOC’s (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) voices. One initiative that aligns seamlessly with our mission is The Bronze Chapter, a trailblazing organization dedicated to empowering BIPOC youth through outdoor education and community engagement. In this blog, we delve into the intersection of Black History Month and The Bronze Chapter’s transformative impact while positioning Believe in Me as a leader in supporting this vital space for BIPOC youth empowerment.
Black History Month: A Time for Reflection and Celebration
Black History Month found its origins in the summer of 1915 when Carter G. Woodson, a scholar dedicated to promoting the study of Black life and history, convened a meeting in Chicago to form the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). Inspired by a national celebration marking the fiftieth anniversary of emancipation, Woodson sought to institutionalize the study of Black history. He established The Journal of Negro History and advocated for the promotion of Black achievements through initiatives like Negro History Week, announced in 1926. Choosing February for its alignment with existing celebrations of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, Woodson aimed to build on traditions while emphasizing the collective contributions of Black individuals throughout history. Despite its success, Woodson envisioned a shift towards year-round education, advocating for integrating Black history into the curriculum.
By the 1960s, as the Civil Rights Movement gained momentum, Negro History Week evolved into Black History Month, reflecting a growing awareness and pride in Black identity and heritage. In 1976, the ASNLH successfully institutionalized the shift to a month-long celebration, and since then, every American president has endorsed Black History Month. Today, Black History Month continues to serve as a time for reflection, education, and celebration of Black individuals’ rich and diverse contributions to American history and culture, embodying the enduring legacy of Woodson’s vision and the ongoing commitment to honoring Black history in America.
Why Do We Celebrate Black History Month in February?
Woodson selected a week in February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
“Those two people were central to helping to afford Black people the experience of freedom that they have now,” said W. Marvin Dulaney, president of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), in an interview with NPR in 2023.
Believe in Me: A Beacon of Empowerment for All
At Believe in Me, our vision is to empower all children, regardless of background or circumstance, to develop their self-confidence to succeed. Through the generosity of our supporters, we fund youth empowerment programs that provide marginalized kids with a safe place to call home, a family that loves them, a feeling of community, and opportunities to learn, build self-esteem, and have fun. Our core mission centers around cultivating a space that radiates warmth, inclusivity, and friendship, where individuals can confidently explore their potential with support and encouragement.
The Bronze Chapter: Empowering BIPOC Youth Through Outdoor Education
Enter The Bronze Chapter, an organization dedicated to creating transformative experiences for marginalized BIPOC youth through outdoor education and community engagement. Led by BIPOC leaders, The Bronze Chapter’s Samish Island Nature & Adventure Camp provides a safe, multicultural, and intergenerational space where BIPOC youth can exhale, rest, and be themselves—free from judgment or racism. Believe in Me is proud to support The Bronze Chapter’s mission, as it aligns seamlessly with our commitment to empowering all children, particularly those historically marginalized.
Amplifying BIPOC Voices in Outdoor Spaces
Historically, outdoor spaces have been inaccessible or unwelcoming to BIPOC individuals, perpetuating a narrative that nature is a domain reserved for a privileged few. The Bronze Chapter challenges this narrative by centering BIPOC voices and experiences in outdoor education, fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment among BIPOC youth. By amplifying BIPOC voices in outdoor spaces, we challenge stereotypes, promote inclusivity, and create opportunities for personal growth, connection with nature, and community building.
Believe in Me’s Support for The Bronze Chapter
Believe in Me is proud to support The Bronze Chapter’s transformative work empowering BIPOC youth through outdoor education and community engagement. Through our grant funding, we enable The Bronze Chapter to provide scholarships for BIPOC youth to attend their Samish Island Nature & Adventure Camp, fostering leadership skills, cultural pride, and lifelong connections. Our partnership with The Bronze Chapter exemplifies our commitment to championing initiatives that promote diversity, inclusion, and empowerment for all children.
Empowering BIPOC Youth: A Commitment to Inclusivity and Equity
As we honor Black History Month and celebrate the achievements of Black communities, let us also reaffirm our commitment to supporting initiatives that empower BIPOC youth and promote inclusivity in all spaces. Through our partnership with The Bronze Chapter, Believe in Me continues to lead the charge in fostering a future where every child, regardless of background or circumstance, has the opportunity to thrive, grow, and succeed. Together, let us continue to amplify BIPOC voices, challenge systemic inequalities, and build a more just and equitable society for all.
About Believe in Me
Believe in Me is a nonprofit organization that empowers all children to develop the self-confidence they need to succeed. Through our grant funding and community engagement initiatives, we support youth empowerment programs that provide marginalized kids opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive. Join us in our mission to create a world where every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Discover the remarkable nonprofits we support on our website: www.believeinme.org/programs. Your time is a valuable asset, and we welcome your involvement, whether through volunteering, sharing this story to amplify their mission, or making thoughtful donations that play a crucial role in sustaining and expanding the positive impact on the lives of children in need. Join us in making a lasting difference!