African Heritage Celebration

A long time ago, there was a dream. It was simple; it was clear. This dream was that I would know you and you would know me. We would touch hands and the deepest part of our souls would connect without criticism in our hearts.  

Oh how we fought. Oh how we did not know. But there was a dream and it was the dream of freedom.

Tucked in the bosom of Spiritual Emphasis Week 2016, our scholars learned about freedom today.

Teachers have been nurturing the precious idea since the start of the year with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but today they saw it in action.

They saw freedom being lived out when people of all races, their friends and family, gathered together to celebrate diversity. 

Our celebration may have been different,  but, at One School, we champion different! 

So how did we celebrate? 

We celebrated African American Heritage by holding a special Open Mic. 

Here, we discovered freedom through sound--the sound of art, the sound of Africa, the sound of rhythm,  the sound of laughter,  the sound of music, the sound of silent expression, and the sound of hope from a missionary who is changing lives in Africa. 

We experienced together the sound of Ghana through a praise dance by Lisa Mayerson, the rhythm of a West African drum circle from 4th grade, the audible dreams of future world changers in 2nd grade, the tempo and evolution of Hip Hop by a phenomenal group of high school innovators,  the silent undulations of the Black National Anthem,  "Lift Every Voice and Sing" dramatized through an interpretive sign language performance, and finally, the sound of hope in the dream God places in our hearts through a special message by Pastor Wayne Dery.  

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Black History is full of sounds when you stop and think about, and what a glorious morning we spent simply listening. 

In fact, all week our scholars have been listening.  They have been tuning into the very core of what African American Heritage is really about--freedom and liberty, connection instead of criticism. 

They were learning what freedom and liberty they could experience in their own emotional and spiritual lives with SEW16, and how to connect with themselves, God, and others. So all the more, they were ready to comprehend how important freedom, liberty, and connection was and is to African Americans.

We honor our leaders and heroes of the Civil Rights Movement,  and pay deep respect for the sacrifices and lost lives of our brothers and sisters past and present.

It is our hope as a school and ministry that we teach our scholars above all about intentional love and how no dream is too big, especially the dream of freedom and connection. 

Special Acknowledgements to Pastor Dave Martin, Ms. Sasidek, Mrs. Meade and Mrs. Audrey Jones and her team of volunteers for the beautiful art gallery collection, the OSOTA Musical Theater class for coordinating and choreographing each component of their scholar led performance, along with Aidan Sanger for music production, and the OSOTA tech team, and other scholar and parent volunteers. 

A very special thanks to Mr. Frye as creative director and champion of the Arts here at One School.

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