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Celebrating Our Community & Its Changemakers

KID Museum’s Black History Month Celebration, February 4, 2024

History is being made at KID Museum, and it was notably present during our Black History Month Celebration this year. The youth who walked through our doors in February to engage with Black innovators, inventors, and makers are the ones who will shape the future with their own inventions, innovations, and creativity. At KID Museum, we deeply value the power of representation and the importance of providing our youth with a place where they belong, with examples of what’s possible.

As the Senior Manager of Community and Partner Engagement, I facilitate intentional partnerships and deliberately design events that honor, center, and celebrate historically marginalized communities, providing kids and families with meaningful experiences that can develop a STEM and maker identity.

Acknowledging the immense diversity within the Black community, with individuals having different experiences, backgrounds, and cultures, I emphasize the concept of intersectionality in our interactions with community partners. This approach guides our decision-making processes and contributes to the creation of a meaningful environment– not only during special Community Celebrations like Black History Month in February but every day at KID.

Our community partners were carefully chosen for both their contribution to STEM and the arts, as well as their alignment with KID values: curiosity, creativity, collaboration and compassion. They, too, share our intent to work with children and families, and to showcase both historical figures and present-day innovators from our local community and beyond.

Odalys Lugo-Morales

Five dynamic partners joined us, offering diverse experiences, from exploring black holes with Dr. Ronald S. Gamble, Jr., a theoretical astrophysicist from NASA; learning about data collection and technology with computer engineer and IF/THEN Ambassador Afua Bruce; to learning about Black inventors from the past, present, and future with Culture Queen.

Dr. Ronald S. Gable, Jr.

Afua Bruce

Culture Queen

Two of our partnerships brought rich cultural experiences and a focus on the African diaspora to our Black History Month Celebration: our collaboration with the Edewor Foundation, dedicated to leveraging education for global change and societal development through Adult and Youth Literacy programs, and our partnership with the Josiah Henson Museum and Park (JHMP), which is situated on the plantation where liberator, maker, author and Reverend Josiah Henson spent much of his youth enslaved. Professor Edewor’s foundation, deeply rooted in Nigeria, shares our commitment to education. Together, we transformed our Materials Bar into a vibrant cultural space, showcasing traditional Nigerian regalia and facilitating a hands-on activity making bracelets and collars with cowry shells. Similarly, our partnership with the JHMP highlighted Josiah Henson’s resilience and ingenuity in fighting for freedom. Through wool carding and spinning, we honored the practical skills taught in the school for freed individuals, both kids and adults, that Josiah Henson established in Ontario, Canada, after escaping slavery.

Together, these activities, led by inspirational Black innovators, artists, and makers, showcase their diverse narratives while inviting youth to see themselves in STEM and sparking curiosity and interest.

Our Community Celebrations embody our commitment to working with our local community and advancing equity through intentional partnerships. They serve as a reminder of the significance of this ongoing commitment, urging us to amplify, honor, celebrate, and notably center historically marginalized voices not just in a singular month but every day. Through these efforts, the youth and families that come to KID Museum can see themselves reflected in both the past and present while also finding their place as the changemakers of the future. History is always in the making!

Odalys Lugo-Morales
Senior Manager, Community and Partner Engagement