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Black History Month

malik ducard

Mr. Ducard is originally from the Bronx, New York but moved to Los Angeles, California in order to attend the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). He is an entertainment executive who has made an impressive mark on the increased viewership on YouTube’s billion user platform. His educational background along with his professional experiences at Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM have contributed to his ability to assist users with improving their brands and content through utilization of the YouTube platform. He and his team have mastered the art of “story telling” which involves presenting a product that peaks the interests of consumers. Mr. Ducard has set a goal to add to the 6 billion hours of video that are viewed on YouTube every month. Mr. Ducard is a true pioneer in the world of technology!

dr. james edward maceo west

                                                                                        Dr. James Edward Maceo West

Dr. James Edward Maceo West was born February 10, 1931 in Farmville, Prince Edward County, Virginia. Dr. West is an inventor and acoustician who along with Gerhard Sessler, invented the foil electret microphone in 1962. Over 2 billion microphones are produced each year that are based on the foil electret method. Everyday products that we use such as telephone, hearing aids, baby monitors, and video recorders are devices that utilize his invention. Dr. West has over 250 patents in his name! In 2018, he began working on a device that would assist healthcare professionals with detecting pneumonia in the lungs of infants. Dr. West has been recognized with several awards including the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, induction to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, The Franklin Institute’s Benjamin Franklin Medal in Electrical Engineering, and election to the National Academy of Engineering. Dr. West has often shared that the greatest accomplishments of his life are his four children Melanie, James, Laurie, and Ellington.

barbara lee

                                                                                                    Barbara Lee

Barbara Jean Lee was born on July 16, 1946 in El Paso, Texas. Her family relocated to the state of California. As a single mother of two children, she began attending Mills College in Oakland, California where she earned her BA degree. In 1975, she received a MSW degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Ms. Lee currently serves at the United States Representative for California’s 13th congressional district since 1978. She made history as the first woman to represent this district which includes the city of Oakland and most of northern Alameda County. She has previously served as the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and is a founding member of the LGBT Equality Caucus. Ms. Lee has dedicated her political career to speaking up for causes that she believes in.

william bryon rumford

                                                                                          William Bryon Rumford

William Byron Rumford was born on February 2, 1908 in Courtland, Arizona. Mr. Rumford was a pharmacist and politician. He was the first African American elected to a state public office in Northern California. He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and continued to make history by becoming the first African American to receive a doctorate on the West Coast. He was also a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. In 1931, he passed the examination for employment with the State of California. His career in politics included his run for a seat in the state Assembly in 1948. In 1949, he began his term as a representative of the 17th assembly district. His most notable public service achievement was the passage of the California Fair Employment Practices Act which sought to protect employees from employment discrimination. The bill was first introduced in 1945 but was not officially passed in the state Assembly until 1955. It was signed by Governor Pat Brown in 1959, the same year that the Fair Employment Practices Commission was established. Mr. Rumford’s work was highly respected and earned him several awards and honors including the following:
1. Recognition at the 1972 World Symposium on Air Pollution Control
2. In 1980, a segment of state highway 24 was renamed William Byron Rumford Freeway in his honor
3.  In 2016 a bronze statue was dedicated near the location of his pharmacy on Sacramento Street in Berkeley, California
4. The University of California, Berkeley Bancroft Library houses his archives

jane bolin

                                                                                                      Jane Bolin

Jane Matilda Volin was born on April 11, 1908. She was the first African American woman to graduate from Yale Law School, the first African American woman to join the New York City Bar Association, and the first African American woman to join the New York City Law Department. She followed in her father’s footsteps. On July 22, 1939 Mayor or New York City, Fiorello La Guardia, appointed her as judge of the Domestic Relations Court. She worked very hard to encourage racially integrated child services, ensure that probation officers were assigned without regard to race or religion, and also advocated for publicly funded childcare agencies to accept children without regard to their ethnic backgrounds. She served the court faithfully for 40 years! In 2017, Jeffrion L. Aubry introduced a bill in the New York State assembly to rename the Queens-Midtown Tunnel in her honor. 

bill russell

                                                                                          Bill Russell

William Felton Russell was born on February 12, 1934 in Monroe, Louisiana. His family moved to Oakland, California when he was eight years old and he is is a proud graduate of West Oakland's McClymonds High School. Mr. Russell was an exceptional basketball player but was ignored by college recruiters due to his race. Hal De Julio form the University of San Francisco (USF) recognized his potential and offered him a scholarship to the university. Mr. Russell and his fellow African American teammates would face racist jeers when playing games outside of the Bay Area. He was drafted into the NBA in 1956 by the Boston Celtics. He has the distinction of becoming the first African American coach in North American professional sports to win a championship. The NBA honored Mr. Russell by renaming the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player trophy in his honor. The trophy is now named the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award. In 2011, President Barack Obama awarded Mr. Russell the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his accomplishments on the courts and in the Civil Rights Movement. 

madam c.j. walker

                                                                                                     Madam CJ Walker

Madam C.J. Walker was born on on December 23, 1867 In Delta, Louisiana and was an entrepreneur, philanthropist and political social activist. She made history as the first female millionaire in the United States of America. Her company, Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing, was extremely successful. In 1905, she began creating a line of hair-care products for African American women. These products included shampoos and other products designed to stimulate healthy hair. In 1910, she built a factory, hair salon and beauty school in order to train her employees. The majority of her company’s employees were women. Madam C. J. Walker helped raise funds for organizations and schools including the YMCA, Tuskegee Institute and Bethune-Cookman University. She further utilized her influence to lecture on political, economic, and social issues at many conventions sponsored by powerful African American institutions. Madam C. J. Walker proved that hard work and determination can make a positive impact in the lives of others.

ruby bridges

                                                                                                      Ruby Bridges

Ruby Nell Bridges Hall was born on September 8, 1954 in Tylertown, Mississippi. Her family moved to New Orleans, Louisiana where she would soon become an important part of our nation’s history. In 1960, she attended a segregated elementary school and was advised that her test scores qualified her  for a seat at the all-white William Frantz Elementary School. Ms. Bridges and her mother had to be escorted to the school by federal marshals due to the large crowds of angry protesters who were in opposition to an African American student enrolling at the school.  During the 2017-2018 school year, Mrs. Carlino’s 5th grade students at Martin Elementary School learned about Ruby Bridges, and advocated for our district to adopt a “Ruby Bridges Day” to honor Ms. Bridges and her work as a Civil Rights Leader. The students gathered over 1,000 signatures from students, parents and community members, and presented their proposal to our SSFUSD Board of Trustees, who in turn passed a resolution approving November 14th as Ruby Bridges Day across our district. The San Mateo County Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools approved the adoption of Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day in San Mateo County, to be honored annually on November 14 at the request of our students. We are proud to honor Ms. Bridges!

aisha bowe

                                                                                         Aisha Bowe

Aisha Bowe is an aerospace engineer who also serves as the CEO of STEMBoard. Ms. Bowie attended the University of Michigan where she completed both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. Her interest in aerospace engineering stems from her interest in science fiction. Her professional preparation includes her early work as an intern in the Ames Research Center in 2008 where she later joined as a Mission Engineer. Ms. Bowe worked in the Flight Trajectory Dynamics & Controls Branch of the Aviation Systems Division. Her passion for her work at NASA encouraged her to serve as a liaison to the Mathematics, Engineering , Science Achievement (MESA) Program. Ms. Bowe has been recognized with several awards such as the National Society of Black Engineers 21st Century Trailblazers Award (2012), NASA’s Engineering Honor Award (2012), Silicon Valley’s National Coalition of 100 Black Women’s Women in Technology of the Year Award (2014), and  the US Women’s Chamber of Commerce “Emerging Star” Award (2015). 

Frank robinson

                                                                                          Frank Robinson

Mr. Frank Robinson was born on August 31, 1935 in Beaumont, Texas. Mr. Robinson and his family left Texas and arrived in Alameda, California and later West Oakland. He attended McClymonds High School where he played basketball with Bill Russell. Mr. Robinson was an outfielder and manager with the Major League Baseball (MLB). He played for five different teams from 1956 to 1976. His phenomenal athletic skills contributed to him becoming the only player to be named the Most Valuable Player of both the National and American League. In 1975, Mr. Robinson continued to make history by becoming the first African American manager in major league history. He managed the Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles, Montreal Expos/Washington and Bay Area’s own San Francisco Giants! In 1982, Mr. Robinson was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a Baltimore Oriole. We lost Mr. Robinson on February 7, 2019 but his legacy of excellence will continue to be respected and admired.

ryan coogler

                                                                                         Ryan Coogler 

Ryan Kyle Coogler was born May 23, 1986 in Oakland, California and is a successful film director, producer and screenwriter. In 2013, his first feature film Fruitvale Station was recognized with an award at the Sundance Film Festival. His film Creed was the seventh film in the Rocky series. In 2018, his Marvel film Black Panther impressed audiences and broke numerous box office records becoming the highest grossing film produced by an African American director. Mr. Coogler graduated from California State University, Sacramento and attended the University of California (USC) School of Cinematic Arts, where he made a series of short films. He is also a social activist who founded the Blackout For Human Rights Campaign, which was established in order to address racial and human rights violations happening throughout the United States. Mr. Coogler is a true artist who has used his talents to promote films that captivate, enlighten, and inspire audiences!

haben girma

                                                                                          Haben Girma

Haben Girma was born on July 29, 1988 in Oakland, California. She was born deafblind and made history as the first deafblind graduate of Harvard Law School. Ms. Girma is the daughter of an Ethiopian father and Eritrean mother. She has an older brother who was also born deafblind. Ms. Girma graduated magna cum laude from Lewis & Clark College, and later earned her J.D. degree from Harvard University. She became a lawyer in order to increase access to books and other digital information resources for persons with disabilities. Her advocacy efforts have been recognized through awards, public speaking engagements, and other honors. In 2013, she was recognized by the Obama administration as a  Champion of Change. Forbes recognized her in 2016 as one of their Forbes 30 Under 30, Law and Policy honorees. Ms. Girma has dedicated her life and career to bringing awareness to the power and strength of those with disabilities. Ms. Girma is a Bay Area Native who is making a positive impact on the lives of others around the world!

mayor michael tubbs

                                                                                         Mayor Michael Tubbs

Michael Derrick Tubbs was born on August 2, 1990 in South Stockton, California. Despite growing up in poverty and facing many challenges in his youth, he was still able to achieve great success. In 2007, he won an essay contest sponsored by Alice Walker. His essay, which focused on overcoming the mistakes made by his parents, was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle. Mayor Tubbs earned both a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Studies in Races and Ethnicity and a Master of Arts in Policy, Leadership and Organization Studies from Stanford University. While attending Stanford University, he served as President of the school’s NAACP chapter and participated as an intern at the White House. In 2016, at the age of 26, he made history becoming the youngest person to serve as mayor of the city of Stockton and its first African American mayor. Mayor Tubbs is an exceptional leader and a true example of how determination and commitment can overcome challenges and produce success. Today we celebrate the honorable Mayor Michael Tubbs of Stockton, California! 

James baldwin

                                                                                        James Baldwin

James Arthur Baldwin was born on August 2, 1924 in New York City, New York and was a famous novelist, playwright, and social critic. He is best known for captivating works of written art such as Notes of a Native Son (1955), The Fire Next Time (1963), No Name in the Street (1972), The Devil Finds Work (1975), and Remember This House (Unfinished). Mr. Baldwin wrote about the challenges faced by African Americans as well as gay and bisexual men. He was a civil rights activist who was involved with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). At the time of his death, he started a manuscript titled Remember This House which reflects upon his personal recollections of civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Audiences today continue to enjoy his work. The film If Beale Street Could Talk is inspired by his novel written in 1974. Mr. Baldwin’s legacy continues today.

Mayor London breed

                                                                                          Mayor London                                                                                   

London Nicole Breed was born on August 11, 1974 in San Francisco, California and currently serves as the 45th mayor of the City and County of San Francisco. She was raised by her grandmother who resided in the Plaza East public housing in the Western Addition neighborhood of San Francisco. Mayor Breed graduated from Galileo High School and later earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of San Francisco and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of San Francisco. Mayor Breed made history in 2017 when she became the first African American woman to serve as the mayor of San Francisco following the untimely death of beloved mayor Ed Lee. Mayor Breed is a passionate leader who is proud to serve as leader of the community that she calls home!