AFRICAN AMERICAN FEMALE EXCELLENCE
The mission of African American Female Excellence is to inspire excellence and accelerate academic achievement amongst African American girls and young women in OUSD. AAFE is the first-ever district-wide initiative in the nation, focused on specifically supporting the needs of Black girls and young women, and is housed in OUSD's Office of Equity. Queen Iminah is the co-founder & Program Director of AAFE. She is an OUSD graduate & 3rd generation OUSD leader.
African American Female Excellence was initially founded in 2017, and re-launched in 2020. AAFE's mission is to effectively mitigate the disparities in educational and social outcomes for African American girls and young women from elementary through high school and beyond. By institutionalizing systemic change, through district wide programming, advocacy, events and visibility, AAFE aims to eradicate systemic intersectional bias against African American girls.
In addition to providing OUSD-wide programs & events, AAFE is actively establishing safe spaces for Black girls district-wide, through the creation of AAFE classes for Elementary, Middle & High School students. African American Female Excellence serves as a model for positive systemic change in Oakland and in the world.
The initiative will work with a core Advisory Group and a team of thought partners to develop strategies, structures, and guidance regarding how to improve the culture, climate, and conditions of female students of African descent from preschool through 12th grade.The advisory group—OUSD Collaborative for the Achievement of African American Girls and Young Women (OUSD Collaborative for African American Girls)—will develop interagency linkages, inter-departmental recommendations, models, best practices, and feedback loops to ensure that all parts of the organization are moving together to interrupt intersectional bias against African American girls. Lead, supervise and support an alignment of the OUSD Collaborative for African American Girls Achievement with the District strategic plan and equity policy.
February is Black History Month, which honors the wealth & impact of African American history, heritage and culture on modern civilization. Black History Month is celebrated annually in the Oakland Unified School District, around the nation and world.
Black History Month evolved from “Negro History Week”, which was established by Carter G. Woodson in 1926, at a time when racism permeated all aspects of mainstream American society. During the 1920’s & for the majority of U.S history, all major educational & historical institutions promoted the belief that Black/African American people had any history or culture. This notion is still represented in the absence of African history,culture & contributions in major educational paradigms. The celebration of Black History Month helps to ensure that African Americans & all cultures learn the ancient, inspirational, impactful and deep history of Africa and the African diaspora in America. February is a time of revitalization, revival & empowerment to continue learning, teaching & sharing Black history, culture & cultural contributions every month of the year.
OUSD is celebrating Black History Month 2022 with the theme, “Black Futures Rising.” In the face of the extreme challenges the Covid-19 Global Pandemic has brought, in addition to many long-standing issues our communities are facing, it is imperative to use ancestral inspiration to uplift our mental, physical, spiritual, cultural, financial, emotional, social and academic health.
Sankofa! Learning from the power of our past, to move forward rising in our future.