Senior Education Department Official and First Book to Mark Black History Month with Reading Celebration and Film Screening

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The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans (the Initiative), in partnership with First Book, will commemorate Black History Month (February 1-29) with a celebration of reading and dancing on Monday, Feb. 8, at the U.S. Department of Education's headquarters in Washington, D.C. The interactive program, led by the Initiative's Executive Director David Johns, will showcase prominent African Americans who challenged and dispelled negative stereotypes about black youth. Building on the work of the President's My Brother's Keeper Taskforce, the event will focus on providing a platform for youth to speak about their experiences in schools and receive affirmation for their lived experiences.

Later in the afternoon, there will be a film screening and discussion of "The Rule," which documents the achievements of St. Benedict's Prep, an all-boys college preparatory school with an almost 100 percent college acceptance rate. The student-led discussion will focus on ways to support all students, including boys and young men of color, so that they feel safe, supported and engaged at home, in school and in their communities.