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Saltus students mark Black History Month

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Dr Vernée Butterfield has been an active participant in Saltus Grammar School’s Diversity and Inclusion group (Photograph supplied)
Saltus Grammar Students watch a Zoom presentation by Florenz Webbe Maxwell, a Bermudian author and former Progressive Group Member (Photograph supplied)

Saltus Grammar School is hosting a student-led assembly next week featuring discussions on Black History Month.

Middle and senior level students in the school’s Diversity and Inclusion group will speak on the significance of Black History Month while highlighting important Black figures in Bermuda and overseas.

Among those to be highlighted are Mary Prince, the first Black woman to have a book detailed about slavery and her life published in England, and Amelia Boynton Robinson who was the first Black woman to run for congress in 1964.

The school has chosen Black History Month to celebrate its achievements in fulfilling goals set out by the Board of Trustees’ Diversity and Inclusion Committee established in 2018.

A Saltus spokeswoman said the school “has made a commitment to ensure that inclusivity and diversity are the centrepiece of the Saltus experience for our community”.

Saltus recently welcomed Vernée Butterfield to attend Saltus virtually as part of ongoing educational sessions.

Dr Butterfield works at the Booker T Washington Academy in New Haven, Connecticut, recruiting teachers and providing professional development for educators on racial equity.

Dr Butterfield grew up and worked between New York, Connecticut and Bermuda which gave her an insight into different educational systems. She has a passion for ensuring that all children have an opportunity for global citizenry and responsibility.

The spokeswoman added: “Dr Butterfield contends that equity is not a feeling nor an idea, rather it is best actualised through the development and implementation of robust research-based practices.”

Dr Butterfield also spoke to parents on diversity and inclusion as part of a series featuring a variety of experts on education.

Deryn Lavell, Head of School at Saltus, said: “Seeking to understand and learning to have courageous conversations about diversity and inclusion at Saltus is a major focus for our community.”

Dr Butterfield is also working with students to produce a podcast focusing on a variety of subjects including race, gender and culture.

Students also benefited from a Zoom call with Bermudian author Florenz Webbe Maxwell whose book Girlcott was recently listed as a “must-read“ in Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine.

Girlcott was also awarded second place in the 2016 Burt Award for Caribbean Literature.

The novel details the 1959 Theatre Boycott which brought an end to segregation in Bermuda.

One Year 8 student described Girlcott as “an incredibly inspiring story of the history of segregation and discrimination in our ‘paradise’ home”.

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Published February 22, 2021 at 8:14 am (Updated February 22, 2021 at 8:14 am)

Saltus students mark Black History Month

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