Celebrate Black History Month! 

It’s Black History Month here in the US!  Our participants from around the globe on a cultural exchange in the US are living in a time where more resources and learnings on the history of the US are available to learn and re-learn the history.  Black History Month (BHM) has a rich history dating back to 1915 when Carter G. Woodson, currently known as the “Father of Black History,” created the Association for Study of Negro Life and History. In 1926, Woodson created the first Negro History Week in February. February was specifically chosen as it covers the birthdays of Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln.

February, 1970, BHM First Observed: Proposed by Black educators and students at Kent State University in 1969, the first Black History Month observance takes place one year later. 

February, 1976, BHM Gets Presidential Endorsement: Gerald Ford urges Americans to honor the U.S. Bicentennial by also celebrating Black History Month.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”~ Nelson Mandela

APIA is a program under the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) and we invite you to join AIFS’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Committee as we explore Black History Month. We have put together a few activities that offer a wide range of options to get involved in Black History Month.

Take the challenge and increase your awareness by taking part in one, two, three or all of these activities. The lessons of Black History Month can help us move forward by understanding the past.

Martin Luther King Jr.

One cannot talk about BHM without thinking of Martin Luther King Jr, in fact we receive a day off to celebrate his lifelong contributions fighting racism. MLK was committed to stand up agait racism and named a “hero” for all. One of MLK’s most famous speeches is “I have a Dream,” which most of us are familiar with. In celebration of MLK’s lifelong contributions we ask that you review and think through MLK’s Six Principles of Nonviolence:

  1. Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people. It is active nonviolent resistance to evil. 
  2. Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding. The end result of nonviolence is redemption and reconciliation. 
  3. Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people. Nonviolence recognizes that evildoers are also victims. 
  4. Nonviolence holds that suffering can educate and transform. Nonviolence willingly accepts the consequences to its acts. 
  5. Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate. Nonviolence resists violence to the spirit as well as the body. Nonviolence love is active, not passive. Nonviolence love does not sink to the level of the hater. Love restores community and resists injustice. Nonviolence recognizes the fact that all life is interrelated. 
  6. Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice. The nonviolent resister has deep faith that justice will eventually win.

From The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change

Take our Black History Month Trivia Quiz

Join a National Event in Celebration of Black History Month

This year’s theme for Black History Month is Black Health and Wellness. Our DEI committee has located this free podcast: A Century of Stigma for Black America and Mental Health.

And during the month of February a tremendous course is yours FREE.  DON’T MISS THIS! Seven preeminent Black thought leaders share their insight on the reckoning with race in America in three parts: past, present, and future. Black History, Freedom and Love on MasterClass

For additional podcasts, check out these selections from NPR.

Support Black Owned Restaurants and Businesses Throughout the Month of February

  • Go out to dinner with friends and/or your host family.
  • Are you celebrating a friend/family member’s birthday in February? Buy a product from a Black owned business.

Award Winning DEI Initiatives at APIA  

AU PAIR IN AMERICA WAS AWARDED THE WINNER OF THE WYSE Global Youth Travel Award in the category of New Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
Our DEI leadership group worked very hard over the past year to engage with all APIA staff – local community counselors, overseas offices, and our main office – on topics such as implicit bias, intersectionality, and racial justice.  We continue to increase our understanding and sensitivity around inclusivity and belonging.  More information on the specifics tactics and DEI goals coming to the GA site soon.