From History and Social Science Teacher Stephanie Young
This past weekend Foxcroft partnered with the Virginia Black History Month Association for their annual gala. This year was the association’s 19th gala and Foxcroft’s second year sending students to act as hosts and ushers for the event. This opportunity, along with the gala itself, are open to people of all races, ethnicities, and nationalities.
The gala is a rewarding experience for our students because not only do they earn volunteering hours, but they also get the opportunity to engage in the greater Virginia community and the greater black community of the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia areas. This event is full of influential African Americans in business, politics, STEM, entertainment, and other fields, both locally and nationally.
This year the honored guests included: Reverend Wheeler Parker, Jr., a cousin of Emmett Till; Dr. A’Lelia Bundles, an author, journalist, and professor, and the great-granddaughter of Madam C. J. Walker; and Anthony Ray Hinton, a man falsely accused of murder who spent 30 years in jail and was exonerated with the help of the Equal Justice Initiative. These were just a few of the amazing voices the students heard speak about the conditions of our communities. In addition to the honored guests, the gala is also attended by school age children from all over Virginia. The association gives out scholarships during the evening for high school students and they have awards for a 5th grade essay writing contest. This is an evening of positivity and unity that is uplifting to the spirit as well as nourishing for the soul.
This year’s keynote speaker, Laz Alonso, used the theme of The Great Migration to speak about the perseverance black Americans showed in moving from the southern states to the northern and midwestern states. He compared those struggles to the struggles many current Americans have faced immigrating to America to pursue a better life for themselves and their families. Mr. Alonso’s speech resonated with many of our students given that, like him, their parents also immigrated to the US to pursue the American dream.
At the end of the night the girls were exhausted, but invigorated. They are already talking about next year’s gala. This is an experience that will stay with them for years to come.
An all-girls boarding and day school in Northern Virginia, Foxcroft prepares young women in grades 9-12 for success in college and in life. Our outstanding academic program offers challenging courses, including Advanced Placement classes and an innovative STEM program. Our premiere equestrian program is nationally recognized, and our athletic teams have won conference and state championships. Experience the best in girls' boarding schools: visit Foxcroft.