HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – One of the first integrated schools in the state of Alabama will be celebrating the groundbreaking of their new building with the help of a record-breaking film producer.

During the Civil Rights movement, St. Joesph Mission School in Huntsville made history by being one of the first fully integrated schools in the state of Alabama.

The school was created as a Catholic school for Black students to attend, and in 1963, they admitted 12 white students making them the first “reverse” integrated school in Alabama.

Now named Holy Family School, the culture continues to grow as a “vibrant, culturally and racially diverse institution that aims to provide quality Catholic education in Northern Alabama.”

Having won several awards, like the “Catalyst of Change” award in 2019 and the “Pathfinder Award” in 2021, Holy Family has garnered the attention of many. This includes the event’s guest speaker, David Valdés, the award-winning executive producer of films such as “Avatar: The Way of Water” and “The Green Mile.”

According to the release by the school, as a victim of discrimination, Valdés says it has become his mission to “facilitate change in the challenges for representation by investing in diversity and equity.” The experiences he had have led him to support Holy Family’s advancement and its vision of inclusiveness.

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The groundbreaking for the new school building will be on Friday, April 21, at 9 a.m. at Holy Family School, located at 2300 Beasley Avenue.