Celebrating Black History Month: Five Changemakers to Know

by | Feb 5, 2021 | Changemaker Of The Week

This week, we want to use this space to amplify changemakers whose work has special relevance to Black History Month. Here are five changemakers in The Pollination Project community whose work educates, reframes, and uplifts historical Black voices. We encourage you to learn more about each of these special individuals and their work at the links provided.

LaGarrett King, ‘Teaching Black History’ Conference

Dr. LaGarrett King’s work encourages teachers to see and address the blind spots in how Black History is currently taught in secondary schools. He is the Founding Director of the Carter Center for K-12 Black History Education, and organizes an annual conference for educators. This year’s conference will be held in July, and will honor the men and women of Tulsa’s Black Wall Street (coined by Booker T. Washington) as well as other Black communities that gained economic independence along with those who were victimized by racial violence. Learn more at https://www.teachingblackhistory.org/


Kahlid el-Hakim, The Black History 101 Mobile Museum

The Black History 101 Mobile Museum is an award winning collection of over 10,000 original artifacts of Black memorabilia dating from the trans-Atlantic slave trade era to hip-hop culture. Dr. el-Hakim has been called the  “Schomburg of the Hip-Hop generation” because of his passionate commitment to carry on the rich tradition of the Black Museum Movement. The Black History 101 Mobile Museum has visited 40 states sharing “ourstory” at over 500 institutions reaching tens of thousands of visitors in diverse spaces including colleges, K-12 schools, corporations, conferences, libraries, museums, festivals, religious institutions, and cultural events. Find tour dates, book an exhibition, and learn more at https://www.blackhistorymobilemuseum.com/


Dr. Chaunda and Anthony Scott, The Minnesota Black Community Project

Throughout the fifties, sixties, and seventies, Walter Scott tirelessly chronicled the achievements of Black Minnesotans. Although he wasn’t a trained historian or documentarian, he meticulously wrote, designed, published, and distributed three books and numerous magazines full of stories and photos that showed real-life stories of African-American prosperity, achievement, and happiness. His children are continuing Walter Scott’s legacy through The Minnesota Black Community Project. They recently celebrated the publishing of “Minnesota’s Black Community in the 21st Century,” which highlights the contributions of today’s African-American Minnesotans and is available for purchase here. Learn more at http://www.minnesotasblackcommunityproject.org/


Peter J. Harris, “See You” & The Black Man of Happiness Project

Changemaker Peter J. Harris engages in creative, intellectual and artistic exploration prompted by one elemental question: What is a happy Black man? The Black Man of Happiness project explores African American life and history from a refreshing, life-affirming new angle: through the lens of happiness. Working with Research Librarian Helen Cate and designer Julie Ray, Peter uplifts historical images of Black men emanating a sense of joy. Learn more at https://blackmanofhappiness.com/


Kahlida Lloyd, Mission Reconcile

Martin Luther King Jr. once said “It is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is Eleven O’Clock on Sunday Morning.” Kahlida’s work grows out of both an understanding of the historical segregation of faith communities, and a recognition of the potential for those same communities to be powerful forces for healing and reconciliation. Mission Reconcile brings predominantly one-race churches—predominantly black churches and predominantly white churches—together to talk about race and create organic relationships. Learn more at https://www.iamareconciler.org/