BLACK HISTORY MONTH AND THE NOTRE DAME MISSION

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February 19, 2021

For information on enrollment and registration at Notre Dame, please visit the admissions section of our website here.

AMANDA GORMAN

Born in 1998 in Los Angeles, Calif., Gorman grew up in a household with limited television access, so reading and writing were encouraged. She later graduated cum laude from Harvard University and became the first Black National Youth Poet Laureate as well as the youngest inaugural poet in history. Her work focuses on oppression, feminism, marginalization, and the African diaspora (the collective descendants of Africa in countries all over the world due to the Atlantic slave trade).

As an Academic Scholar and one who is passionate about the arts, Gorman considers herself not only a "wordsmith," but also a "change maker." An excerpt of her inaugural poem follows. . . 

"We are striving to forge a union with purpose
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and
conditions of man
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us
but what stands before us
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside."


CARDINAL WILTON GREGORY


Originally from Chicago, Ill., Cardinal Wilton Gregory grew up Protestant. But while attending Catholic elementary school, he was so inspired by the work of the nuns that he decided to become a priest (even before he was Catholic). After later serving as the Archbishop of both Atlanta and Washington, D.C., Gregory became the first African-American to be elevated to the position of Cardinal on November 28, 2020, and the highest ranking African-American ever in Church history.

As a Christian Person, Cardinal Gregory advocates for inclusion—a sense of belonging—within the Church. “We have to find a way to talk to one another. And to talk to one another, not just from one perspective, but to talk and to listen to one another. I think that’s the way that Jesus ministered. He engaged people, he took them where they were at, and He invited them to go deeper and be closer to God.” 


SHIRLEY CHISHOLM


Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm was the first African-American woman in Congress (1968), which is where “Fighting Shirley” introduced more than 50 pieces of legislation and championed racial and gender equality, the plight of the poor, and ending the Vietnam War. She was a co-founder of the National Women’s Political Caucus in 1971, and in 1977, became the first Black woman and second woman ever to serve on the powerful House Rules Committee. She became the first woman and African American to seek the nomination for president of the United States from one of the two major political parties (1972).

As an Upright Citizen, Chisholm advocated for those on the fringes, tirelessly pushing to ensure equal rights for women, the poor, and African Americans. Of her legacy, Chisholm said, “I want to be remembered as a woman. . .who dared to be a catalyst of change.”

For information on enrollment and registration at Notre Dame, please visit the admissions section of our website here.

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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. Notre Dame Preparatory School enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower schools enroll students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight. All three schools are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the National Association of Independent Schools. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school’s home page at www.ndpma.org.