Santa Barbara, CA. (February 2023) – In honor of Black History Month, The Riviera Ridge School has partnered with local community organization Healing Justice Santa Barbara (HJSB)  to host a Black History in Santa Barbara Exhibition at the school’s historic Tea House. Students and community members will have a chance to walk through and see a timeline of Black History in Santa Barbara and historical artifacts from as far back as the 1800s. 

The exhibition will be open to the public on Saturday, February 25, and Sunday, February 26, from 2 pm to 4 pm. All Santa Barbara and Central Coast community members are welcome to come by the Tea House to learn and enjoy. A closing reception will be held on Monday, February 27 from 4 pm to 6 pm to honor HJSB and their efforts to uplift the Black community along with the Riviera Ridge community’s work in co-creating a more equitable future. 

Miriam Dance, Director of Visual and Performing Arts, and Tayllor Johnson, Artist-in-Residence and Administrative Team Member, organized the event with HJSB to help support HJSB’s overarching goals, which include providing support and access to Black/African-American cultural resources, and to celebrate and fund the arts, public safety, youth in education, environmental justice and sustainability, outreach, and meaningful collaborations. 

“We prepared a visual Black history timeline on the traditional, ancestral, and unseeded territory of the Chumash on which we are organizing today,” a representative from HJSB, said.

HJSB opened the first Black History Exhibition on State Street in 2022, which chronicled a rich and complex history of Black life in Santa Barbara.

“When we tell the truth, stories of Black and Indigenous solidarity, Black and Latinx partnerships and Black joy making emerge,” Healing Justice SB said. “We commit ourselves to continuing the tradition of Black kin-keepers — notably Sojourner Kincaid Rolle and Cedric Robinson — because we know that we must collect and retell our own histories to counter false narratives of white-centered history which obscure Black efforts to create family, joy, and community.”

The Riviera Ridge School invites the Santa Barbara community at large, and their own school community to engage, learn, and celebrate Black History from and in their own neighborhoods. 

“We seek to understand the many perspectives of Social and Emotional Learning, along with looking through the lens of cultural, ethical, and religious Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice. These values are integral to a healthy and thriving community,” Director of Student Wellness and DEI Programming, Dr. Mario Bucio, said. “We are honored to collaborate with HJSB and excited for this opportunity to encourage our students to become forward-thinking and civically responsible.”

To RSVP for this event, click here HJSB|RRS Black History Event, or please contact Tayllor Johnson at for more information.

At Riviera Ridge, we provide student-centered, individualized learning in a joyful and nurturing community, inspiring academic excellence and valuing difference. The educational vision for each Riviera Ridge graduate is to empower individual potential, inspire purpose beyond self, and cultivate social responsibility as they prepare for high school and beyond. 

For more information, email or call 805-569-1811 ext. 131.


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