Mercy Home marked another educational and enriching Black History Month with a number of events and celebrations throughout February.

This year, the Youth Advisory Board and Diversity Committee collaborated to plan the month’s activities. The theme of this year’s Black History Month was Great Migrations, referring to the era when more than 6 million African-Americans from the rural American South relocated to the cities of the North, Midwest, and West from 1916 to 1970.

A global map was posted at each campus where kids and coworkers could plot their family’s ancestry and migration. Each of the homes at our girls campus was assigned a migration boom city and asked to prepare a five-minute presentation and poster board on that city. The presentations examined the cultural contributions of African Americans in the cities of New York City, Detroit, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Our boys homes also prepared art projects about the Great Migration that were displayed in the cafeteria.

Our kids weren’t the only ones celebrating the month—a group of our coworkers also marked Black History Month by wearing African dress for a whole week.

Throughout the month, culturally popular foods were served during dinner. This culminated in a Soul Food Dinner at each campus, where fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, cornbread, and sweet potatoes were served.

“The Soul Food Dinner is always the highlight of Black History Month and the kitchen exceeded our expectation this year,” Gewanda Monroe, Couderc Program Manager, said.

At the Walsh Campus, each home contributed a dessert, including caramel cake, cookies, peach cobbler, and chocolate cake. The DePaul University Black Lawyers Association again hosted the dinner at the West Loop Campus, along with Chef Marci, a parent in Speh Home. In addition to serving a delicious meal, they also led our kids in a trivia session about notable black lawyers.

“The Soul Food Dinner is always the highlight of Black History Month and the kitchen exceeded our expectation this year.”

There were also trivia questions posted in each cafeteria about different eras of Black History. Prizes were awarded to those who answered questions correctly.

Black History Month also provided a great opportunity for our young women to share their talents with our coworkers and the other girls. A variety show was held on February 22 where our girls showed off a number of different skills, including presenting African-American inspired literature readings, including original works, music, dance and step numbers, and singing performances. The evening began with a performance of the Black National Anthem by Brittany Terrell, Asia, Chyna, and Anthaniya, and also included readings of original poetry by coworker Michael Akinlosotu and a musical performance by Tracy Lewis with many of our girls. All the participants did a wonderful job!