Black History Month Kickoff & Opening Ceremonies
RVC kicked off Black History Month last Friday, February 3, with an Ebony Breakfast and Opening Ceremonies. The program included "Lift Every Voice and Sing," which reminds Black Americans that each generation has had to lift their voices, along with those within their community, to demand and protect their human rights. The ceremonies also included an African Libations Ceremony, an Introduction to Black History Month, the Signing of the Equity Plan with RVC Trustee Board Chair Gloria Cardenas Cudia, and an Awards Presentation.
In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month, calling upon the public to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history." Black, Red, Yellow, and Green are recognized as the colors symbolizing Black History Month. Black represents resilience; Red is meant to symbolize the blood of innocent Black lives shed throughout history; Yellow is intended to convey optimism, justice, and equality; Green is used to represent Africa's rich greenery and other natural resources.
The nationwide theme for Black History Month in 2023 is Black Resistance. Nearly 179 years ago, the Rev. Henry Garnett proposed that resistance is the only path to freedom, justice, equality; self-determination; and/or social transformation. In thunderous tones, Garnett shouted, "Let your motto be resistance! resistance! Resistance! The Resistance theme has resonated today through music, sports, photography, and politics.
The following honorees received an award from the RVC Black History and Culture Committee:
- Trailblazer Award - Suzanne Miller
- Luminary Award - Tekkahmah Curry
- High Impact Award - Danielle Baumgartner
- Silent Hero - Kimberly Haley
- Dedicated Service - Darryl Watkins
- Champion Award - Cierra Morris
- Visionary Award - Joseph Agbeko
- Legacy Award - Dr. Elaine Dussard
The ceremonies concluded with recognitions and certificates given to all black employees of RVC.