Black History Month

National Black History Month is a time to recognize the impact that Black Americans and their history have had on America. In alignment with our Pillars of Justice, we encourage you to research and learn more about these (and more!) prominent Black social justice activists:

  • Economic Justice: Sadie T. M. Alexander – Sadie was the first African-American in 1921 to receive a Ph.D. in economics in the United States. Her focus was frequently on racial and economic justice for the working class, especially for working men and women. 
  • Environmental Justice: George Washington Carver – Although best known for his numerous uses for peanuts, Mr. Carver was a leader in educating farmers about crop rotation, encouraging alternatives to cotton to help reverse soil depletion. He supported concepts of modern environmentalism, including the basic interconnection between the health of the land and the people. 
  • Human & Civil Rights: Roy Wilkins – As the Executive Director of the National Association for the Advancment of Colored People (NAACP), Mr. Wilkins aimed for equal rights for all Americans through peaceful and lawful means. Notably, the NAAACP focused its resources on challenging “Jim Crow” statutes in the courts.
  • Resist Militarism: Martin Luther King, Jr. – The WNY Peace Center itself was founded in 1967 as a chapter of Rev. Dr. King’s Clergy and Laity Concerned, inspired by him to strive toward ending the Vietnam war. “As a minister of the gospel,” he said during his Opposes Vietnam War speech, “I consider war an evil. I must cry out when I see war escalated at any point.”