Each February, National Black History Month serves as both a celebration and a powerful reminder that Black history is American history, Black culture is American culture, and Black stories are essential to the ongoing story of America.
Black volunteers are at the heart of driving progress in U.S. history. From social equity to the fight for LGBTQ+ rights or climate justice, they have consistently taken down barriers and sparked forward action. At AmeriCorps, we’re proud to have a long history of Black members and alumni who fight for our most vulnerable communities.
AmeriCorps members, volunteers, and programs address urgent and immediate needs exacerbated by systemic inequality like hunger, homelessness, violence and opportunity gaps in education and employment. They also work to build capacity in community-based organizations and help leaders better understand and address root causes, build bridges across differences and create clear pathways to opportunity.
Ashlie, an AmeriCorps member serving with the VISTA program, works to reconnect the community at the Black American West Museum and Heritage Center in Denver. This position gave her the opportunity to help the museum with their exhibit design and installation as they prepare to reopen this year.
“AmeriCorps puts you at the heart of where you’re serving – not only to develop your skills but to make a meaningful impact in that community,” said Ashlie. “I can see that my AmeriCorps service with the Black American West Museum is making a difference. This experience has allowed me to lift up and create connections around Black stories and history, while learning new things about myself and where I grew up.”
Check out more from Ashlie on AmeriCorps’ Instagram Live Series: Amplifying Black Voices.
Tiera, an AmeriCorps member serving in the NCCC Pacific Region also shared what Black History Month means to her, and how others can be inspired to learn more and amplify Black voices, history, and stories every day.
“Black History Month means you take these days to kick-start your plan of action for the rest of the year,” said Tiera. “Black History Month teaches people about the Black community and how the education of equity goes past this one month and transcends into an everyday fight against injustice and oppression.”
David serves with Helping Mamas in the VISTA program that mobilizes and engages community volunteers to support mothers, families, and communities in need across Atlanta. He also is working to create a teen program to increase volunteer participation including creating supply drives and other activities.
“Service is crucial to who I am as an individual,” said David. “Being able to make the choices where I know I could have a profound or even a small impact on someone’s life has always been very important to me. Being an AmeriCorps member has really put into perspective how I can serve in more ways than I previously thought.”
These AmeriCorps members use their unique talents and skills for the betterment of America. The American story is full of Black history. AmeriCorps service exposes members to new experiences, people of diverse backgrounds and knowledge about their communities.
Join AmeriCorps to celebrate the values and opportunities that lift up and amplify Black voices. Whether you have one day or every day to give, you can help can build more equitable, just communities that foster racial equity, expand opportunity, build bridges across differences and create lasting impact for our neighbors. Together, let’s get to work.