Celebrating Black Excellence
Greetings, friends. Welcome to our February 2021 update! Let me begin by sharing an incredible performance from our Primary School Music Group.
Before you check out the rest of the great things happening at Foundation Academies, I invite you to spend some time thinking critically about the significance of Black History Month, and how we can continue the momentum moving forward in 2021 and beyond.
Yesterday afternoon, one of our school leaders sent the following message to our staff: “The Black History program was EVERYTHING!!!! I have never been so proud of the awesome display of excellence that is Black History. I cried and cried some more!”
In many ways, this note made me pause and think. It is especially powerful because it sums up so many of the feelings that our school community feels in just a few short sentences.
First, as we know, every year, the month of February is celebrated as Black History Month, and we see it recognized across America in schools, state and federal government institutions, and in the mass media. But the imbalance between honoring white and Black contemporary and historical figures highlights how our nation’s history is steeped in practices that perpetuate a culture of white supremacy. Let this celebration of Black Excellence not be relegated to the month of February, but rather, celebrate the Black Excellence that is all around us, all the time.
Second, the overwhelming HOPE, positivity, and talents rising from our scholars continue to inspire us to do more.
I am reminded of Maya Angelou’s poem, “Still I Rise:”
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
I am proud and thankful that our staff and students continue to “untwist the lies of history,” and add to the legacy of Black Excellence with their tremendous talents on display. Please enjoy reviewing the wonderful things our scholars have prepared for Black History Month.
Lastly, I know that this continues to be an emotionally exhausting time for our school community. May we lean on each other for strength, hope, and love. I know that together, our FAmily will persevere and we will “rise” even stronger. WE ARE FAMILY!
Graig Weiss served as the Chief Executive Officer of Foundation Academies from 2014-2022. He began 5 years before as Middle School Principal. A 2003 Teach for America corps member, Mr. Weiss taught Math and Science in the Bronx and the Dominican Republic prior to becoming an administrator and was selected as Teacher of the Year in 2007.
Prior to entering the education field, Mr. Weiss worked in the financial services sector with Cambridge Associates, LLC in Boston, MA. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Science in Teaching from Fordham University, and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from the University of Scranton.