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February 24, 2023

By Emma Johnson, Communications Manager

On a Wednesday evening in February, the All School Multicultural Committee (ASMC) and the  Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) team hosted Roots and Rhythms: Recipes for Resilience, a special, all school celebration in honor of Black History Month.

This culturally anchored wellness workshop for adults and students celebrated the vibrant cultural practices that have been integral to the resilience and survival of Black communities across the United States and the African Diaspora. 

Students participated in a special workshop on Diaspora drumming and dance practices led by the Vashti Dance Company. The company members explained that they “aim to blend vernacular, traditional, and classical dance in an authentic contemporary perspective featuring live music and thought-provoking choreography rooted in historical and socially relevant themes.” 

Ethical Culture Fieldston School's ASMC celebrates a Black History Month event.

In this workshop, students not only danced and drummed in different styles from the African Diaspora, but they also learned some of the histories behind dance in Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America. 

At the same time, the adults in attendance spoke about wellness using traditional practices from African and Afro-descendant communities in a workshop led by Sacred Vibes Apothecary. Sacred Vibes Apothecary, local to Brooklyn, is a place of connection in our community — the organization aims to explore spiritual and physical health through social and racial justice lenses.

Ethical Culture Fieldston School's Black History Month event discusses more wellness routines.

This workshop paired practices — including an activity where they were invited to make tea from different restorative herbs — from the African Diaspora that bring healing and renewal with breakout discussion. Some of the questions they discussed included: 

  • What did our ancestors know about cultivating joy in turbulent times?
  • What cultural tools, recipes, and healing traditions have been passed down the line in your family?
  • How can we draw upon these resources now to strengthen us amidst the challenges of an ongoing pandemic, structural racism, and climate change today?
Ethical Culture Fieldston School's Black History Month event uses spices as part of their celebration.

Ethical Culture Principal Rob Cousins shared, “It was a wonderful event. I especially enjoyed the fact that there were two activities, one for the adults and one for the children. As a tea fanatic, I got to make my own blend of relaxing and revitalizing tea and enjoyed a thoughtful conversation while doing so.”

Ethical Culture Fieldston School's Black History Month event discusses wellness routines.