Our final Black History Month Spotlight shines on Kim “Kem” Benedith. Kim encourages the world to “never judge anyone by their cover. Love comes in many different forms.” We couldn’t agree more!
Beyond the month of February, let us continue to recognize the Black men and women who strive to advance equity and build communities where all children and families thrive.
Read on to learn more about our amazing Educational Coach, Kim Benedith.
What do you love most about what you do day in and day out?
I love communicating with educators from day to day via phone or Zoom. We discuss their day or their needs and wants for their program.
I also appreciate that I connect with educators of different cultures and backgrounds. I learn more about them when they share their stories with me.
How long have you worked with All Our Kin?
I’ve been with All Our Kin for over four years, but I’ve worked in early childhood education since 2008, when I started working as an assistant in a family child care setting. After a few years, I became a teacher’s assistant for an Early Head Start program and then became an educational assistant.
What inspired you to join this field and do this important work?
Children are who inspired me to work in this field. My brother Josh, who is autistic, inspired me to believe early childhood education is essential for children.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
Black History Month is a time I can reflect on how much my ancestors who came from Africa sacrificed for us to be here. My parents are from Honduras, and I consider myself Afro-Latina. My family speaks a dialect called Garifuna which is spoken by Black people in Honduras. We have a rich African culture, and I love highlighting that part of me.
Do you have any special ways that you celebrate Black History Month in your program and/or with your family?
I love to visit the African Burial Ground National Monument in New York City. It was a burial ground for free and enslaved Africans. It’s free entry and a very beautiful monument. I try to go as often as possible, and learn so much about our Black history. I recommend that everyone visit there one day.
What historical black figure has inspired you the most? Can you share a quote or lesson that you’ve learned from them?
My mother has inspired me throughout my life. She immigrated from Honduras to the United States without money or possessions except the clothes on her back. She amazes me with all she’s been through, raising five kids and ensuring we had everything we needed. We were not rich, but she made sure we felt loved and introduced us to our rich culture.
Besides my mom, the historical black figure who inspires me the most is Coretta Scott King. I love that Mrs. King stood by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s side, whether he was marching for civil rights or in prison for standing up for what is right. One quote from Mrs. King that I love is, “There comes a time when time itself is ready for a change.”
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