Interagency Academy’s graduation ceremony, held the evening of Juneteenth—a holiday celebrating the ending of slavery in the United States—was a tribute to heritage, tradition, and hope over struggle, and it included an air of royalty.
DeMarcus Belle was one of the proud “Kings” who graduated Friday, June 19, as part of the 2020 Interagency graduating class. These young men were part of the Kingmakers of Seattle program, first launched in 2017 at four pilot schools within Seattle Public Schools—one high school (Interagency) and three middle schools (Aki Kurose, Asa Mercer, and Denny International). The program is implemented in partnership with the SPS Department of African American Male Achievement (founded 2019) to intentionally focus on improved outcomes for Black male students. It is currently funded under the Families, Education, Preschool, and Promise (FEPP) levy.
Modeled after the Oakland Unified School District’s Office of African American Male Achievement (AAMA) program, Kingmakers is an elective class specifically designed for Black male students (called Kings) taught by Black male educators (called facilitators). Classes follow the Khepera curriculum—a culturally relevant African-centered curriculum that is both engaging and academically rigorous. The curriculum emphasizes Black history, cultural knowledge, positive self-identity, literacy, and academic mentoring.
Continue reading below > > >[Read more…]