Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy offers its students a variety of programs to develop the whole person. From the opening day ceremony to travel abroad and cultural programs, the Academy provides opportunities for students to excel in many areas.


The Academy sponsors trips to countries throughout the African Diaspora to further connect students to their cultural heritage. Our students and staff have travelled to Senegal, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Cuba and Guatemala.


Each February the Academy’s students participate in the Black History Showdown, a jeopardy style competition, providing students with an opportunity to foster knowledge of prominent people of color in areas like art and culture, science, politics, and sports.


In the spirit and tradition of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s), the Academy annually hosts a weeklong homecoming event for its students and alumni.  Students receive early exposure to some of the top HBCU’s in the country through a college and career panel, and learn the history of prominent HBCU’s that represent each students homeroom.  The event culminates in a block party, which annually draws over 75 alumni.


The Academy offers its students an all encompassing extended day program on Friday’s, our early release day.  Students get to explore a number of options including dance, African drumming, cooking, pageantry, physical fitness, choir, step, DJ’ing, and hip-hop.  Additionally, the Academy offers a number of clubs including chess club, a debate team, and Project Lit, a book club that explores the power of literature using culturally relevant content.


The Academy offers a variety of field trips to area museums, historic buildings and landmarks, that tie into the curriculum.


The Academy provides an opportunity for its students to participate in an annual black college tour, providing our students early exposure to some of the most prestigious HBCU’s in the country.


Each December, DLA is the first stop on the City of Boston’s Annual Kwanzaa Celebration. The Academy’s students take part in this non-religious festival that commemorates the seven African values of unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. An outgrowth of the 1960’s Black Nationalist movement, the festival’s founders envisioned this annual celebration as a way for Black Americans to reconnect with their African heritage by uniting in meditation and studying African traditions.


Each year, at every grade level, students undergo a leadership development program through gender specific efficacy groups named after Spelman College and Morehouse College (SpelHouse) emphasizing the importance of “stretching” oneself to do his/her own personal best while helping peers work toward academic and social success. This program helps students integrate pride about their cultural heritage into building a caring, supportive school community.  Additionally, students get to develop leadership skills, while giving back to the community and a broader nation through community services and advocacy projects.


The Academy’s Science Department holds two exhibits of students’ work in conjunction with the conclusion of the first two trimester units.


Every February, the students participate in the Academy’s annual Blacks-In-Wax Museum which incorporates a variety of artistic forms. This is a day when students reach back into previous centuries and take on the persona of an African-American historical figure. Held during Black History month, this exhibit showcases the visual arts and acting talents of our students and helps those who are predominately of African-American or Caribbean-American heritage to better understand their cultural contributions to U.S. and world history.

DLA Blacks In Wax Exhibit