At its meeting Tuesday night, the Salem-Keizer Public Schools (SKPS) Board of Directors unanimously adopted a proclamation honoring and celebrating Black History Month.

Black History Month is observed in February to recognize and celebrate the numerous contributions Black and African Americans have made and continue to make in the United States.

In part, the proclamation states, “Whereas while the observance of Black History Month calls our community’s attention to the continued need to battle racism and to build a society that lives up to its democratic ideal’”; and “Whereas this year’s celebrations and recognition of Black History Month are especially significant as we reflect on the historically monumental inauguration of our Nation’s first African American vice president, Kamala Harris, reminding students of their capabilities and potential.’”

There are more than 1,800 students in SKPS who identify as Black or African American. In the proclamation, the board of directors stated their commitment to create more pathways to hire educators of color and to increase staff diversity in the district. The board also stated their commitment to creating successful educational outcomes for Black and African American students.

The latest graduation data released in January showed that Black and African American graduation rates increased by three points over the previous year and a total of 22 points over the past two years. Additionally, dropout rates for Black and African American students in SKPS was the lowest of all student ethnicity groups at 0.59 percent.

PDF of Black History Month Proclamation 2021

Black History Month Proclamation 2021