March 26, 2019
Dan Dougherty, President, Cristo Rey New York High School
Every year, Cristo Rey New York puts on a spectacular gala to celebrate Black History Month. The theme of this year’s gala was “Let Me Tell You a Story of Black Success.”
When thinking of Black history, many times there is an understandable focus on the struggles and hardships that the Black community has faced and overcome. This year, however, our Black History Month Committee highlighted and celebrated Black success stories that may or may not be widely known.
The performances and dialogue that took place at the gala on March 2nd emphasized this point. The program for the night consisted of many different interpretations and examples of Black success. Students performed a traditional celebratory African dance as well as more contemporary hip hop and step routines. They sang songs commemorating up-and-coming Black artists and read poems they wrote about their own experiences.
We were also fortunate to be joined trustee from our Board, and who led a Q&A with students surrounding the topic of Black success. He discussed what it was like for him being young and Black, wanting to get an education in order to be successful and honor his culture. There was also a special commemoration of Nashia ’21, who recently had the opportunity to introduce the Director of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American at the 20th annual Frederick Douglass Book Award.
The event was a huge success and served as a timely reminder to appreciate the success stories of African Americans, both in and outside our community!