The National Black Caucus of State Legislators Commemorates Black History Month and Embraces Inclusive Education

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The National Black Caucus of State Legislators Commemorates Black History Month and Embraces Inclusive Education

Washington, D.C.– February 1, 2024 – The National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) proudly joins the nation in recognizing Black History Month—a time dedicated to celebrating the profound contributions of Black Americans throughout history. This annual observance serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of inclusive education, honoring the cultural assets of all students, and demanding equitable resources in our schools.

Representative Laura Hall (AL), President of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, emphasizes the significance of Black History Month, stating, “It is an opportunity for all Americans to acknowledge the immeasurable impact that Black individuals and communities have had on our nation’s progress. We must ensure that every student, regardless of their economic background, has access to an education that includes Black and ethnic studies courses, recognizing the experiences and narratives of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), and LGBTQ people.”

Research consistently shows that students who engage in culturally responsive education, which respects their diverse backgrounds and perspectives, benefit in numerous ways. These students develop strong relationships with teachers, experience increased school engagement, and persist in their academic achievements.

“A well-rounded education imparts not only academic knowledge but also instills honesty about who we are, integrity in how we treat others, and the courage to do what’s right,” said Representative Juandalynn Givan (AL), the sponsor of NBCSL resolution EDU-23-31, titled “Advocating for Honesty in Education.”

At NBCSL’s 46th Annual Legislative Conference, Rep. Givan emphasized the importance of education by sponsoring EDU-23-31, which underscores the vital role of education in shaping a more just society.

The resolution highlights several key points:

  • State Departments of Education have established curriculum and teaching standards aimed at providing high-quality education covering the entirety of U.S. history, fostering students’ understanding of the world, and empowering them to create positive change.
  • In some communities, there have been unwarranted criticisms of schools for teaching accurate U.S. history based on established district and state curriculum standards, often employing effective pedagogical methods.
  • Research shows that students who participate in Black and ethnic studies courses that encompass the experiences and stories of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), and LGBTQ individuals not only form strong teacher-student relationships but also experience increased engagement in school and greater persistence in their academic pursuits.
  • Having a diverse faculty and staff in schools that mirrors the demographics of the community, country, and world is beneficial for all students and educators.
  • Ongoing professional development and guidance for educators that focus on cultural responsiveness, anti-bias, and anti-racism, while including historically excluded perspectives, can create safe learning environments, and enhance students’ academic achievements.

The National Black Caucus of State Legislators stands firm in its commitment to advocate for schools to have the necessary resources to meet the needs of every child, including well-trained and supported teachers and curriculum that provide a comprehensive understanding of our shared history.

It is paramount to emphasize the importance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in our nation’s educational landscape as we celebrate Black History Month and reflect on the contributions of Black Americans. HBCUs have consistently stood as beacons of opportunity, providing access to higher education for Black students who have faced historical disparities and discrimination. These institutions not only serve as academic hubs but also foster a strong sense of community, cultural preservation, and leadership development. HBCUs have produced trailblazers, innovators, and changemakers who have made indelible marks on our society. The National Black Caucus of State Legislators recognizes the immense value of HBCUs and remains committed to championing their role in promoting excellence, equity, and diversity in higher education.

As Black History Month unfolds, the National Black Caucus of State Legislators calls upon policymakers, educators, and communities to prioritize inclusive education and allocate the resources required to make it a reality. Together, we can honor the legacy of Black Americans, celebrate their contributions to our society, and work towards a brighter and more equitable future.


NBCSL is the nation’s premier organization exclusively serving the interests of African American state legislators. With more than 700 members collectively representing over 60 million Americans, NBCSL serves as a national network, advocate and catalyst for public policy innovation, information exchange, and joint action on critical issues. Visit nbcsl.org to learn more.