Last week’s Black History Month newsletter was a success! One teacher shared that as the only Black educator at her school, it was great to learn information about other Black teachers in Arizona. This week, we continue to celebrate local history makers and share important resources.
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African American Advisory Council Member History Maker
Zel Fowler, Gifted and Talented Educator
Zel Fowler has been an educator for fifteen years of which she is recognized for her differentiating and engaging teaching style that enhances student achievement. She has taught the grade levels of kindergarten through 8th grade, mostly in gifted cluster classrooms. Zel has established and lead various partnering extra-curricular clubs and programs such as Youth Court, Track and Field, Yearbook, and STEAM Enrichment; and competitions such as Made by Milk, Math League, and Future City.
Zel has established gifted programs and directed annual productions based on the landmark case, Brown v. Board of Education. She has also presented at local, national, and international conferences. In 2015, Zel was a recipient of the State of Black Arizona Community Luminary award, and she was recognized in Washington DC as the National Alliance of Black School Educators’ Distinguished Educator of the Year. In 2016, Zel was invited to the White House, by President Obama, in recognition of being an outstanding teacher.
Zel currently serves on the board for Indigo Cultural Center; a member of the Javits/Frasier Scholar committee for the National Association for Gifted Children; a selected member of the State Superintendent’s African American Advisory Council; and, October 2020, she was appointed to serve on Grand Canyons University’s Advisory Consortium as their professional association representative on GCU’s Board. For 2019-2021, Zel was elected to serve as a member of the board of directors for the National Alliance of Black School Educators, as its West Region Representative, and is the President of the Arizona Alliance of Black School Educators. Zel is currently a gifted and talented educator in the Phoenix Elementary School District, and a University of Phoenix doctoral student where her study is focused on the racial achievement gap.
Community Resources for Students and Families
The following resources were selected from the ADE Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion’s Black History Month resource page.
The 100 Black Men of Phoenix
The 100 Black Men of Phoenix (The 100) is dedicated to improving the quality of life of African Americans within the Phoenix, AZ metro area by enhancing educational and economic opportunities for all. Their two signature programs include: The Men of Tomorrow Academy (M.O.T.A.) - The 100 Black Men of Phoenix Men of Tomorrow Academy is a tuition-free leadership development program that serves to develop the social, cultural, intellectual, and physical well-being of male youth ages 12-18. Mentorship Education Network (M.E.N.) - The 100 Black Men of Phoenix Mentorship Education Network (M.E.N.) focuses on the positive self-empowerment of African- American and Hispanic adolescent males. The program consists of monthly field trips with 7th and 8th graders from the Roosevelt School District.
The 100 Black Men of Phoenix
The Tucson Chapter of Jack and Jill Of American, Inc.
Jack and Jill of America, Inc. is an organization of mothers dedicated to raising the next generation of African American leaders while enhancing the lives of all children. The Tucson Chapter was chartered in 1978 by twenty-two mothers with the desire to enhance leadership skills in children. We work to accomplish our mission by planning programming activities for our children, guided under a general five-point programmatic thrust: cultural awareness. educational development, health (education and advocacy), civic (legislative advocacy and service), and social/recreational areas. We are the premier African American family national organization.
Tucson Chapter of Jack and Jill of America
Library of Congress: Giants of Racial Justice: Malcolm X & Martin Luther King Jr
Thursday, February 18th at 5:00 pm (MST)
In an event celebrating African American History Month, Peniel E. Joseph (“The Sword and the Shield”) and Tamara Payne (“The Dead Are Arising”) will discuss their books on Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. with NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans.
This event is part of National Book Festival Presents, a year-round series that features high-caliber authors, their books, and corresponding Library treasures.
Please join us to watch this presentation as it premieres with closed captions on both the Library's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/libraryofcongress and the Library's YouTube site at https://www.youtube.com/loc/. The presentation will be available for viewing afterward at those sites and on the Library of Congress website at https://www.loc.gov/collections/event-videos/.
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture: Learning Labs
The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is excited to share resources that tell American history through the African American lens! Our interactive and free Learning Lab collections utilize objects, documents, imagery, and videos to enhance content knowledge, hone historical thinking skills, and inspire users to see themselves as agents of change.