• Cultural Calendar
The Importance of a Birthday for Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass was an escaped enslaved person who became an impassioned activist, abolitionist, and icon. His eloquence on the subject of equality and acceptance remains just as timely today as it was over two hundred years ago. “I would unite with anybody to do right,” he once said, “and with nobody to do wrong.”

However, it is an ironic fact that the brilliant Frederick Douglass would surely appreciate that while we now honor his birth date each February 14, Douglass himself was, until late in his life, not entirely sure of the date of his birth. Like many former enslaved people, he had never known his birthday, a fact that had caused him pain throughout his life. Years later, in 1877, one of his former owners, told Douglass on his deathbed that he believed that Douglass had been born in February 1818, a fact later confirmed by a ledger now kept in the Maryland Archives.

Frederick Douglass passed away on February 20, 1895, still fighting to the very end for social justice. As the years passed, schools began observing “Douglass Day,” with celebrations in dozens of cities across the U.S. through the years, and which eventually led to the celebration of Black History Month and the more formal recognitions of his truly towering achievements, at last… on his birthday.

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Local Seattle Public Schools Teacher Sara Rubio Nominated Among Four Washington Educators for National STEM Teaching Award

Each year, the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST) recognizes educators from across the country for both their deep knowledge of the subjects they teach as well as their ability to enable students to be successful in those areas. This year, four Washington educators are state-level finalists for the award: Dr. Rama Devagupta, NBCT (Southridge High School in the Kennewick School District), Dave Gamon (Northwood Middle School in the Mead School District), Anthony Harris (Tumwater Middle School in the Tumwater School District), and Seattle local Sara Rubio, a math teacher at Robert Eagle Staff Middle School in Seattle Public Schools.

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The Gathering of Nations

As the largest pow-wow in the United States, the Gathering of Nations has grown over the past four decades into one of the world’s most recognized and annual festivals. It was founded to offer an opportunity to provide Native and Indigenous people with the opportunity to celebrate and share culture.

The event is dedicated to providing support gathered from lessons handed down from the elders to those of younger generations in an experience for the heart, mind, and soul, rooted deeply in culture and blood.

Learn more about the Gathering of Nations, and get more links for information, in our Medium post here.

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Join PSESD’s Street Data Institute

Join PSESD’s Street Data Institute to learn alongside teams from across the region as we reimagine education in partnership with our students.

Through workshops with the authors and customized coaching from PSESD, school teams will listen deeply to students to build site-specific action plans focused on complex equity challenges.

Learn more here, and submit your application by May 1 at 12 noon!

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The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 

Observed each March 21 after the tragic day in 1960 when the police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire on participants in a peaceful demonstration against apartheid, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination remains an important one in the attempt to fight racism and racial discrimination worldwide.

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