Honoring Black history, advocating for social justice
By Najja R. Orr, MBA, PCA president & CEO
Originally established in the early 1900s as a week-long celebration recognizing the accomplishments of African Americans in the United States, Black History Month officially received its month-long designation by President Gerald Ford in 1976. While Black History Month is designated nationally in the month of February, it is important to honor and celebrate Black history and culture year-round. We are frequently reminded that the fight for social justice must never stop. Freedom, civil rights, and the fight for equality have no season and should always be a part of the larger narrative. Widespread, systemic change beginning with actions taken by many is part of an effective approach to social justice.
Racism, discrimination and prejudice have adversely affected our nation for far too long. Ways to combat them include embracing opportunities to share our commonalities as well as our rich cultural customs that make us unique. Embracing our nation’s diversity not only recognizes the tremendous contributions that all people have made to help shape our country, but also creates greater awareness and understanding of our ongoing efforts for true equality
We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
In our work to eliminate systemic racism and create a just and equitable society, using our individual and collective voices matter. Our society must continue its progress toward this goal, and we must continue to combat the wrongs that prevent all of our citizens from experiencing their greatest opportunities at life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Celebrations and opportunities to support Black history and culture are taking place throughout the City of Philadelphia during the month of February. I encourage you to use this month and to take opportunities throughout the year to learn about and participate in the many activities surrounding Black history in the city. (See the calendar, pages 8-9, of February 2022 Milestones newspaper for learning opportunities and activities in the city taking place in observance of Black History Month.)
National Caregivers Day: February 18
Caregivers deliver a variety of duties from personal care to medical services with compassion. Their days are often long and demanding, but they provide support to those who need it most. National Caregivers Day, held on the third Friday in February, honors those who provide quality, compassionate long-term and hospice care. These dedicated caregivers provide vital services, allowing older adults to remain independent for as long as possible.
If you are a caregiver for a loved one and need help, reach out to PCA’s Caregiver Support Program by calling the PCA Helpline at 215-765-9040 or going to our website (pcaCares.org/caregivers) for more information.