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BIPOC Women’s History Month exhibit on display at Willow Creek Center
Posted 3/20/23

Women's History Display

As a way to help educate the MDUSD community about women of color who have made important contributions to society, Mt. Diablo High School counselors Leidi Arias and Yaretzie Amaya teamed up senior Valeria Diaz and the school’s Ethnic Studies class to create a BIPOC Women’s History display that families can see at the Willow Creek Center through the end of the month in recognition of Women’s History Month. Titled "Learn about HerStory," it includes a tri-fold display board decorated with colorful paper flowers that highlight the accomplishments of 14 women written on the tops of the flowers, with their names and photos revealed underneath. "HERStory" is a play on words that moves away from the male-focused word, "HIStory." 

A large pink paper flower in front of the display says: “1st to be proud of their accomplishments.” Underneath this is a mirror, which is meant to prompt those who gaze into it to reflect on their own accomplishments. Above the display board is a mural created by Ms. Valdez' Ethnic Studies students featuring photos and short descriptions of 21 women who inspire them. It includes well-known women such as Maya Angelou, Amanda Gorman and Rosa Parks, as well as some of the students' mothers or grandmothers. "That's huge that they have somebody in their lives that they look up to," Arias said. "I hope their parents read the newsletter and are touched to read that their students think highly of them."

Valeria, a 17-year-old Concord resident who is Latina, said she enjoyed working on the display and learned about some women she had never heard of before. "I think it is pretty cool," she said, adding that besides admiring the women in the display, she also views counselors Arias and Amaya as role models. "I feel like they always try to be there for us," she said. "I feel very comfortable talking to them about all sorts of problems, so they're definitely people I look up to. They take time to really build a relationship with the students."


Arias and Amaya said they view the display as a way to amplify students' voices and help them to learn more about role models who they may aspire to be like. "Basically, we're like the vessels to have these students present their work," Arias said. Previously, the counselors created displays highlighting Dia de los Muertos and Afro Latinos during Black History Month. They also hosted a "Coffee with the Counselors" event for parents and are planning another one on April 22 at Shore Acres Elementary in Bay Point explaining how parents can support their students academically, as well as socially and emotionally.