The Dean of Occupational Programs, Business and Education at Schoolcraft College says Black History Month is a great time to celebrate Black history.
To celebrate Black History Month, Schoolcraft College will highlight the stories of Black students, faculty, staff and administrators and what Black History Month means to them. Check back every week this month for stories on the Black experience here at Schoolcraft College.
Black History Month means a lot of things to Dr. Keambra Pierson.
The Dean of Occupational Programs, Business and Education at Schoolcraft College, Pierson said the month is a time to recognize and celebrate Black history.
“It is a time to acknowledge our contribution to history, culture and society,” she said. “Additionally, it serves as a reminder of the perpetual hardships faced by Black Americans, hardships that still hinder our progress as we fight for our place in this world.”
Reflecting on previous events – both good and bad – that have shaped our culture remind us to demand justice, equality and equity. Plenty in culture have reminded Pierson of the importance of Black culture, including Maverick City Music, a contemporary gospel group; author Daniel Black, who wrote Pierson’s favorite book, Perfect Peace; and Jessica Nabongo, a Detroit native and the first Black women to travel to every country on the planet.
Citing Ida B. Wells, Pierson said her quote “The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them” speaks to her. She said celebrating Black History Month is about realizing how far society has come, but knowing there is more to do.
“We simply must be honest with ourselves and acknowledge that we have come a long way but far too often lately it feels like we are regressing,” Pierson said.
Pierson attributes her path to the journey made by someone before her, a reason why Black History Month is so important. While she looks to the past at those who blazed the trail, she also looks to the future, knowing that someday, others may look to her as someone who laid the groundwork for their success.
When it comes to the role higher education plays, Pierson said seeking and encouraging diverse perspectives to prepare students not just to exist but to excel in our society is just one way to prepare students for their time outside the classroom.
“Diversity enriches the college experience and promotes a healthy, growing society, which strengthens communities and enhances economic growth,” Pierson said. “This sort of growth and change goes beyond a month-long celebration.
“It should be embedded in the culture of higher education.”