Every February we celebrate the contributions, achievements, history, and culture of Black people as part of Black History Month. Per the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, this year's Black History Month theme is Black Health and Wellness, which "considers activities, rituals, and initiatives that Black communities have done to be well." This theme is especially timely as we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected minority communities and placed unique burdens on Black professionals.
While Black history can (and should) be celebrated year-round, finding a way to honor Black history any day this month is a great start! To give you some ideas, we asked some of our partner companies what they have planned this year to celebrate Black History Month. Keep reading to see how they’re celebrating in their own words!
Host events by Black creatives — Cockroach Labs
“Cockroach Labs is celebrating Black History Month with Black@CRL, our community of Black Roachers, guiding programming. Throughout the month, we'll be highlighting central figures in Black History across company channels for broad visibility, inviting Black creatives to host events including cooking classes, tastings, and more. We plan on capping the month with a panel in which leaders creating opportunities for Black talent in the tech industry will share their stories and strategies for accomplishing their work. We believe that the time to celebrate Black History is all the time, which is why we run Black@CRL programming year-round.”
Learn more about Cockroach Labs here
Highlight Black health and wellness experts — ServiceNow
“The national theme for Black History Month is “Black Health and Wellness.” ServiceNow will build off of this theme by highlighting Black experts in the field of health and wellness and approaches to strengthening mental health, fitness and nutrition. We will host a series of events featuring special guest speakers, ServiceNow leaders, employee panels and interactive dialogues. Additionally, we will offer volunteer opportunities for employees to give back to nonprofit organizations that advocate for health and wellness in the Black community and those that support the education of Black history and culture.”
Learn more about ServiceNow here.
Celebrate Black contributions, culture, and presence — Freddie Mac
“In recognition of Black History Month, our ARISE (African Diaspora, Resources and Information Sharing for Everyone) business resource group (BRG) will engage employees through a series of events that celebrate Black contributions, culture and presence. Inclusive engagement events include an equitable housing panel discussion, a Black Women’s Symposium, a Black executives panel and other total-wellbeing sessions. ”
Learn more about Freddie Mac here.
Donate to Black-led organizations — Autodesk
“Autodesk's focus for this year's Black History Month celebration will emphasize "The Importance of Black Health and Wellness". We're honoring this month by donating to the Black Joy Parade and committing to an unrestricted donation to the Hidden Genius Project for the next three years. We're also hosting various local and global virtual events, including a Southern BBQ experience, virtual yoga, a virtual tour through the Museum of African Diaspora Exhibits, and a Panel Discussion with our CEO.”
Learn more about Autodesk here.
Host a self care webinar — Cummins
“Cummins is excited for the upcoming Black History Month celebration! The Cummins Black Network, one of the many employee resource groups at Cummins, will be hosting several events with the theme ‘Black Health & Wellness’. Employees will have the opportunity to attend and actively participate in several events throughout the month, such as a live cooking session with Chef Sandy, an interactive ‘Self-Care is Wellness’ webinar, and even a ‘Basics of Yoga’ session! Check out @CumminsCareers on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to follow along as Cummins celebrates Black History Month! ”
Learn more about Cummins here.
Showcase the imagination and artistry in the community — Riot Games
“Our BIPOC employee resource group, Riot Noir, continues their ongoing mission for Black Heritage Month to celebrate Black culture and amplify Black voices. This year they embrace the theme of creativity by showcasing the imagination, innovation and artistry within the Black community. They will explore unique stories across gaming and entertainment and will host various events throughout the month including a keynote panel, a digital showcase, and a local industry event in partnership with Valence.community."
Learn more about Riot Games here.
Play Black history month trivia — SoundCloud
"SoundCloud wants to service the role of education and celebration by continuing conversations about how Black music and artists have documented moments in history and kept the spirit of celebration and self-expression alive. Our platform and social channels will speak to the roles that Black artists have played in archiving history and how music inspires the future of Black history, culture, and art. SoundClouders can also
- Sign up for Conscious and Confident communication workshops
- Win Self-Care packages from Black-owned businesses during Black History Month Trivia
- Find and contribute to our lists of local Black-owned businesses
- Read and listen to practical tips for practicing allyship, speaking to children about race, and understanding more about the Black experience today
- Celebrate our Faces of SoundCloud campaign on SoundCloud’s LinkedIn account"
Learn more about SoundCloud here.
Focus on physical, mental, and financial health — Lockheed Martin
“This February, Lockheed Martin is planning a series of events centered around the theme “Health and Wellness and its Impact on the Black Community”. Led by the Business Resource Group, Black Excellence Council (B.E.C), these events will engage our employee population across the country by promoting the importance of community wellness, as well as physical, mental, and financial health. Each week Lockheed Martin employees will participate in workshops and events including, Couch Conversations – You Are What You Eat, Breaking the Stigma: A Discussion on Mental Health in the Black Community, and Strategies for Developing a Legacy of Values and Finances.”
Learn more about Lockheed Martin here.
Celebrate Black History Through Parenthood and Wellness — Yelp
"To kick off this Black History Month, we want to shine a light on our Black parents. From family planning disparities in healthcare to tough, necessary conversations with their children on safety, Black parents have unique concerns. Our employees are invited to a virtual panel where we’ll dive into meaningful conversations. To keep the dialogue going, we’ll host several other events, including a fireside chat about the history of the Black Panther Party. We’ll also hear from a Black- and queer-run wellness consultancy on decreasing stress and anxiety, and establishing healthy boundaries while working remotely.
Learn more about Yelp here.
Cultivate a safe and inclusive culture — Datadog
“Throughout the month of February, Datadog’s Black in Technology Community Guild will host programming and events to support our colleagues, focused around the theme of Black health and wellness. We are dedicated to having conversations that will help us cultivate a safe and inclusive culture, while promoting healing and wellness in communities of color. We will host a panel discussion available to all employees to spotlight our Black leaders and allies and workshops to explore diverse healing modalities and expression through different mediums.”
Learn more about Datadog here.
Participate in interactive learning experiences — Clarus Commerce
“The DEI Employee Resource Group at Clarus Commerce is looking forward to celebrating Black History Month. First, our company will participate in an interactive learning and celebratory experience through an online platform that will consist of Black history trivia as well as recognition of key contributors, inventors and trailblazers that have helped shape our society today. Second, we will host an employee-led panel discussion on the perspectives, importance and influence of Black history.”
Learn more about Clarus Commerce here.
Unlock your potential — PayPal
“Black History Month is just around the corner. We’re proud to announce the theme for this year’s Black History Month: Unlocking and Amplifying our Fullest Potential—Bringing Focus to Holistic Black Wellness. While we acknowledge that everyone celebrates it in their own way, we wanted to share what PayPal's Black Employee Resource Group, Amplify, has planned for this month of celebration.
Upcoming BHM Events:
- Week 1: Unlocking and Amplifying our Fullest Potential; Bringing Focus to Career and Professional Development
- Week 2: From Scraps to Seen; Unlocking and Amplifying our Fullest Potential; Exploring the Dynamic Relationship between History, Sound and Flavor
- Week 3: Spoken Word Event
- Week 4: Unlocking and Amplifying our Fullest Potential: Bringing Focus to Holistic Black Wellness"
Learn more about PayPal here.
Honor Black history month by celebrating Black Excellence — CU Direct
"The Black Employees Striving in Tech (BEST) ERG honors Black History Month by holding various events. Our guest speaker, Renee Sattiewhite, CEO and President of the African American Credit Union Coalition, will discuss the challenges that diverse groups have in the finance industry while encouraging leaders of all types to promote diversity in the workplace.
We will publish a list of books for self-help by and for black individuals and allies. To top off our month, we are hosting a Virtual "Celebrate & Paint" event to honor our people's achievements as a whole and our group for our accomplishments.”
Learn more about CU Direct here.
Engage in conversations about race and power — Relativity
“In celebration of Black History month our community resource group, BREL: Black @ Relativity will be putting together a series of events to celebrate and educate our community on the importance of Black History. We believe that Black History is American History, and in order to grow it’s important to understand where we’ve been while striving for a better future.
Relativity will be hosting an internal session with media executive and NYU professor Stephen Barr, leading us in a conversation about race and power in America. In addition to this there will be a public event titled “Growing Your Career as a Black Professional: Tips and tricks with BRel” taking place February 24th. In this session Black professionals from various fields will speak on how individuals can empower themselves to successfully navigate their professional careers.”
Learn more about Relativity here.
Host a movie discussion — Workiva
“Throughout the month of February, we are providing our employees opportunities to learn about Black history, share their experiences, and engage in meaningful dialogue. With support from our our Ethnic Diversity in Tech Employee Resource Group, we'll host a movie discussion around the current issues faced by the Black community, share artist spotlights along with resources on how to support black artists, promote internal speaker sessions that focus on elevating black voices within Workiva, and highlight charitable giving opportunities to support the black community. We're encouraging employees company-wide to reflect on the past and act for the future.”
Learn more about Workiva here.
Help Black college students prepare for their careers — PwC
“PwC is building on their culture of belonging during Black History Month through events and opportunities to connect, learn, and celebrate Black history, culture, and contributions. Throughout the month, PwCers will have the opportunity to explore the depth and breadth of Black identity across several topics, including the intersection of race and environmental equity, generational wealth-building, and food for the soul. The firm will also highlight opportunities, causes, and organizations that support the Black community, including getting involved with PwC's Access Your Potential commitment helping 25,000 Black and Latinx college students prepare for and begin in-demand careers.”
Learn more about PwC here.
Feature professional development organizations — CDW
"During Black History Month, our Black Excellence Unlimited (BeU) Business Resource Group (BRG) will host a variety of events and initiatives with the theme “Celebrate. Honor. Lead.”
Celebrate: BeU will be shining a spotlight on a few Black-owned businesses making an impact in their communities
Honor: In 2021, the Black community collectively grieved the loss of many prominent members of the community who inspired us, entertained us and paved the way for us. BeU will pay tribute to some of those fallen in acknowledgment of their contributions to Black life, success and culture.
Lead: Throughout the month, BeU will feature various organizations that are rooted in professional development, academic advancement, art and culture, and community service across the U.S."
Learn more about CDW here.
Host an internal company panel — PagerDuty
“This year our ERG, Array, will be honoring Black History Month with the theme, “Rooted in the World: Our Heritage, Our Story”.
We will host company-wide events throughout the month, in addition to programming exclusive to the Array community. All employees are invited to learn from professor and curator of Black history, Dr. Jamille Harrell-Sims and participate in a fun trivia activity. Additionally, Array members are invited to an internal employee panel to hear their personal stories.
In alignment with Array’s mission, to cultivate and celebrate a diverse and inclusive global environment at PagerDuty, this programming aims to show the importance and influence of Black history.”
Learn more about PagerDuty here.
Honor the contributions of Black medical practitioners — CHG Healthcare
“This year, CHG Healthcare celebrates Black History Month with an emphasis on health and wellness. The activities and events we have planned honor the many contributions of Black medical practitioners throughout history and highlight the importance of achieving health equity in America. We’ll begin the month by sharing a catalog of educational resources and conversation prompts to encourage meaningful employee discussions. Later, we’re hosting guest speaker, Dr. Evelyn Lewis & Clark, the first African American president of the AAFP, as she shares her background in the United States Navy, her journey of becoming a physician, and her commitment to making a difference in the lives of veterans.”
Learn more about CHG Healthcare here.
Elevate personal stories and experiences — 2U
“This year, 2U's Black Engagement Network (BNet) centered its Black History Month experiences around the theme, "Together, We Move." Through the focus areas of cultural education, cultural celebration, retention, and personal/professional advancement, our programming will elevate stories and experiences of how far we’ve come and how we’re still moving forward together to higher heights. Some of our events include a screening and discussion of the documentary "Segregated by Design," a panel of 2U HBCU grads who are supporting our HBCU partner programs, a panel on intersectionality in the workplace, and our flagship celebratory arts event, Freedom Fest.”
Learn more about 2U here.
Focus on breaking through bias — Waters Corporation
“Waters is proud to honor Black History Month by inviting our employees to participate in educational and interactive virtual events hosted by our Multicultural hub. Our events will focus on breaking through bias through discussion and deeper dives around Black historical events. We’re excited to feature amazing Black individuals who helped to break barriers and pave the way for others.”
Learn more about Waters Corporation here.
Engage in a 7-day step challenge — CoStar Group
“In celebration of Black History Month, CoStar Group’s Black Excellence Network has organized a series of company-wide events aligned with the 2022 theme of Black Health and Wellness.
We will host a webinar on healthy living, led by a naturopathic doctor, and a discussion on financial wellness. In addition to these events, employees will have the opportunity to engage in a 7-day step challenge and other informal events during our “fun Friday” series.”
Learn more about CoStar Group here.
Start a blog series — Webflow
“At Webflow, we celebrate the designers, creators, and entrepreneurs who have shaped our industry year round, not just during Black History Month. So we're celebrating Black History Month by starting a few blog series that will continue throughout the year. These blogs will feature our Black community at Webflow, honor the legacy of Black creatives who have shaped our industry, and celebrate the intersectional identities within the Black community that are often erased and invisible. Our Black Affinity Group (Blackflow) is planning several events to celebrate the Black community at Webflow as well.”
Learn more about Webflow here.
Promote Black financial health — T. Rowe Price
“As an asset manager, T. Rowe Price is focusing on Black financial health and wellness in celebration of Black History Month. Through its diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, as well as the work of the T. Rowe Price Foundation, the firm is promoting black financial health and wellness by fostering greater economic access and opportunity.
The firm offers a free financial education program, Money Confident Kids®, to students, parents, and educators that provides tools and strategies for generating financial stability and identifying obstacles that drive financial inequity—including the racial wealth gap.”
Learn more about T. Rowe Price here.
Dance it out with an AfroSoca werkout party — Elastic
“To celebrate Black History Month, Elastic is focusing on the importance of Black Health and Wellness. From a mental health awareness session with Black Men Heal to afro-textured hair care tips, we’re acknowledging a breadth of topics and providing resources the Black community can leverage for wellness and self-care. Elasticians will be able to get their blood pumping with an AfroSoca Werkout Party, highlight their favorite black-owned restaurants and other businesses, participate in Q&A sessions, and broaden their knowledge about historical Black figures and their contributions.”
Learn more about Elastic here.
Award grants to Black-owned businesses — Siemens
“At Siemens, we’ve launched a 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge in celebration of Black History Month. Studies show it takes 21 days to form a habit, so during this time we’ll encourage employees to deepen their understanding of racism and examine ways to promote racial equity. Also, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency Business Centers, Siemens and Siemens Mobility will be awarding grants to nine small Black-owned businesses to advance DEI in entrepreneurship. By listening and learning from each other, we can continue to build a more inclusive organization that reflects the communities we serve.”
Learn more about Siemens here.
Share newsletters about unsung Black heroes — Moody’s
“In observance of Black History Month, Moody’s is hosting several events including a panel discussion titled “Black Representation in Product Innovation” in partnership with our product teams, the Black Product Managers (BPM) Network, and their president and co-founder Brittany Bankston. We will also be sharing newsletters that reflect on the untold stories of unsung Black heroes and achievers, providing zoom backgrounds and screensavers to our employees to celebrate Black History Month, and hosting a Black History Month trivia afternoon.”
Learn more about Moody’s here.
Host a 21-day habit building challenge — SoftwareONE
“In an effort to drive more awareness and education surrounding Black History Month, SoftwareONE North America, along with its cross-functional employee diversity equity and inclusion committee called ‘Mosaic,’ will host a 21-day racial equity and habit building challenge. This program is intended to assist each employee with becoming more engaged, compassionate, and constructive in our continued quest for racial equality by providing educational resources, highlighting influential figures, and promoting employee stories. We’ll wrap this program with a round table discussion on the Black Experience and how best to celebrate critical contributions to equality year-round.”
Learn more about SoftwareONE here.
Explore Health & Wellness in the Black Community — Nike, Inc.
"NIKE, Inc.’s Black Employee Network (BEN) is leading Black History Month celebrations with programming that explores health and wellness in the Black Community. Throughout the month, teammates will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of experiences: from panel discussions with Nike athletes on mental health, specially curated audio-guided runs on the Nike Run Club app, and discussions on climate change with prominent thought leaders. Finally, we’ll conclude with the much celebrated, annual SNKRBALL event – bringing the Nike community together for an evening of Black culture, music and entertainment – featuring appearances from Nike athletes and special musical performances.
Learn more about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Nike: https://jobs.nike.com/diversity-and-inclusion.”
Learn more about Nike here.
Address issues the community faces through discussions — Splunk
“For Black History Month, Splunk’s Black Employees and Mentors Group (BEAMS) – will explore the theme, The Hills We Climb. Our programming includes discussions about “The Black Ceiling”, barriers to Black professional progression, and the attack on voting rights; we’ll feature a “Sistah Circle” addressing issues Black women face and a giving campaign.
Black Americans and our communities have been on a rollercoaster of progress, setback, and everything in between. Our goal this month is to show how the climb up the hills of injustice presents known and unforeseen obstacles and how reaching the peaks represents the actualization of hard-fought progress.”
Learn more about Splunk here.
Host community building events — Okta
“Black history is American history. A rich and deep history interwoven into the fabric of our country, creating a beautiful tapestry that truly encompasses our nation. Okta’s Black Employee Network through its People of Collective Cultures (POCC) ERG celebrates the history of Black achievement with a living collection of information highlighting the historic and ongoing accomplishments of the Black Community. In addition, we host events to build community and provide continuous awareness of the need to support our Black employees with information regarding physical and mental health, mentoring and career development assistance. Black History cannot be contained in one month.”
POCC ERG Leadership:
Pamala Simpson, Engineering Principal Technical Program Manager
Nola Turnage - Manager, Legal Operations - Contracts
Learn more about Okta here.
Amplify Black excellence in technology — Pluralsight
“Following PowerToFly’s 2022 Black History Month theme, our BIPOC ERG, seeColor, is honoring Black History Month by “Amplifying Black Excellence in Technology,” focusing on how we can expand the Voice, Community, Connection, and Growth of the Black community. This will be done by sharing educational resources with our larger Pluralsight team around Black excellence in technology at Pluralsight and beyond. We’ll be holding a panel that highlights how Black team members can grow their careers in technology and how allies can amplify Black excellence in the technology industry. Finally, we’ll be sharing written stories of excellence in the Black community, of both historical and current day figures.”
Learn more about Pluralsight here.
Post a Black history quote of the week — Aurora Solar
“At Aurora, we are celebrating Black History Month with a variety of events & activities created by our Black at Aurora ERG. In addition to our events, we are posting weekly history highlights and a Black History quote of the week in our company-wide announcements channel in Slack. We have also created a Soul Food Cookbook full of family recipes that our team can download.
February 1 - Lunch & Learn: Celebrating Black History
February 8 - Hidden Figures Viewing Party
February 14-18 Soul Food Week
February 24 - Virtual Soul Food Cookout”
Learn more about Aurora Solar here.
Invest in the community, invest in yourself — BlackRock
“Each year, Black History Month serves as a time for us to come together and celebrate the achievements, culture, and community we share as Black Americans. This year, the theme of our Black History Month celebration is “Investing in Community, Investing in Ourselves.” Throughout February, we'll host local and national events across four pillars: social connection, community empowerment, mental health, and financial health.”
Learn more about BlackRock here.
Realize Black history Is Black excellence — Intuitive
“In February, Intuitive will recognize Black History Month with events and activations around the theme: Black History Is Black Excellence. Throughout the month, we’ll celebrate Black leaders and perspectives at Intuitive with a series of employee spotlight articles and communications. BLACK at Intuitive, an Employee Resource Group, will also host a company-wide program highlighting how diverse teams drive business results and enable Intuitive’s mission of improving healthcare outcomes. The program will also feature personal reflections on the importance of Black History Month, showcase the contributions of Black employees, and activate employees to build more inclusion and diversity.”
Learn more about Intuitive here.
Spotlighting Black colleagues— Raytheon Technologies
“At Raytheon Intelligence & Space, we are celebrating Black History Month by spotlighting our 8 BEYA winners both internally and externally, as well as encouraging our employees to share stories of their colleagues who are making a difference in DE&I. In addition, our Black Employee Resource Group is also focused on how Raytheon Black Employees are contributing to and shaping the future of the business. They have a packed calendar of events including recognizing our 6 “Keeper of the Dream” internal award winners selected for how they embody the attributes of his MLK Jr. and keep his dream alive.”
Learn more about Raytheon Technologies here.
If last year proved anything, it was that America's long history of inequality is not a relic of the past. Many of us spent more time thinking about, speaking up against, and working to change the everyday racism faced by Black people in the United States in 2020 than we did in years past, thanks to the leadership behind the Black Lives Matter movement and media attention over the police brutality faced by Black Americans.
So when honoring Black History Month in 2021, doesn't it seem right to focus not just on the past, but on the present? Not just to learn about the notable accomplishments of impressive Black politicians, artists, and entrepreneurs, but also acknowledge the reality of the Black experience today—and work to improve it?
We asked several of our partner companies what they're doing to honor Black History Month at work, and we were inspired by the range of responses. From digging into economic injustices to investing in projects to support the Black community to sharing the real-life experiences of their Black employees, these companies are finding ways to not only honor Black History Month, but encourage positive change all year round. Here's what they're doing, in their own words:
1.Honoring and Celebrating the Black Family — Freddie Mac
"Our ARISE Business Resource Group is hosting several programs and activities throughout Black History Month that celebrate the diversity of the Black family. The month kicks off with a fireside chat about Black wealth and economics featuring Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League. Later in the month, Shanti Das, Executive Director of Silence the Shame, Inc., will share the importance of mental health and well-being. We will close the month with a panel discussion on the Black employee experience at Freddie Mac. The discussion will feature stories of empowerment and resilience that celebrate and support employees."
Learn more about Freddie Mac and their open roles here
2.Investing in Skills and Scholarships — Facebook
"During Black History Month, Facebook Elevate will host programming with the theme GenerationBlack. Among the activities will be a discussion called #GenBlack is Skilled covering how a new generation of Black professionals can be key contributors to a more inclusive society.
Elevate is a community and learning platform to accelerate the economic impact of entities of color. Elevate is committed over the next 3 years to reaching 1 million Black and 1 million Latinx and Hispanic members of the community with training in digital skills as well as distributing 100,000 scholarships to Black learners working toward digital careers."
Learn more about Facebook and their open roles here
3.Planning Virtual Events for the Whole Family — LogMeIn
"At LogMeIn, we will be celebrating Black History Month all month long! Since this year's theme is 'The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity,' our Employee Resource Group, BE@LogMeIn (Black Employees at LogMeIn) will be partnering with our Families ERG (Families@LogMeIn), our Corporate Social Responsibility Program (Mission Possible), and our wellness program (Thrive) to offer engaging, impactful, educational, and fun events all throughout February. We'll be hosting a virtual paint night, virtual volunteering event, discussions with Black authors and publishers, and a fun children's book giveaway as part of our celebrations."
Learn more about LogMeIn and their open roles here
4.Celebrating Black Joy — Moody's
"To kick off our Black History Month celebrations, Moody's will activate our annual Speaker Series and host multiple events that highlight the contributions of the Black community and celebrate Black Joy. Our Black Inclusion Group will be profiling Moody's employees and Black leaders for a weekly, educational newsletter throughout February. In addition, we are producing an employee-led video that shares the importance of Black Joy and cultural/family traditions. Our employees will also be able to choose from an array of Zoom and desktop backgrounds that will display quotes from prominent Black figures."Learn more about Moody's and their open roles here
5.Inspiring, Educating, Engaging—And Investing — ServiceNow
"ServiceNow is honoring Black History Month in the U.S. in February and in Europe in October. We've worked closely with our Black at Now Belonging Group to develop programming that will inspire, educate, and engage employees globally. We have a series of events focused on themes of allyship and intersectionality, which will feature special guest speakers, ServiceNow leaders, and employees in discussion and interactive dialogue. Additionally, we just announced an important piece of our efforts to live our company value, 'embrace diversity, create belonging': a $100M investment in Racial Equity fund, which is focused on building equitable opportunities in underserved Black communities in the U.S."
6.Communicating Inclusively — Clarus
"Here at Clarus we're honoring Black History Month in a couple of ways. Our DEI ERG is encouraging employee conversation by disseminating a companywide email acknowledging BHM and its significance. Additionally, we're promoting employees to be mindful of written communications, specifically in making sure we're using non-biased language.
We continue to partner with WayFinding Partners as they work with us on developing a long-lasting DEI strategy at Clarus. This includes the company partaking in a workshop called 'Let's Talk About Race' — opening our eyes to racism in our society and how we can defeat it."
Learn more about Clarus and their open roles here
7.Centering Black Culture and History — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
"For more than 10 years, Blue Cross NC's African-American and Black Employee Network (AABEN) has created meaningful programming for employees each February in honor of Black History Month. The network has hosted various events to celebrate African-American culture through song, dance, poetry and more. Their programming also provides education and awareness. Topics have ranged from historic Black Wall Street in Durham, to a panel of employees sharing how their hair is part of their identity and how corporate America can be more inclusive of cultural differences, to hearing directly from Black leaders who share their career journey and lessons learned."
Learn more about Blue Cross NC and their open roles here
8.Highlighting Black Luminaries — MongoDB
"To celebrate Black History Month, members of TUPOC — MongoDB's affinity group for people of color — highlight Black luminaries via daily posts in the #black-history Slack channel, a channel that's open year-round but is especially active in February. TUPOC will also honor Black History Month by hosting a company-wide event, and all employees will have access to a cross-company event celebrating Black History."
Learn more about MongoDB and their open roles here.
9.Celebrating and Supporting Black Futures — PagerDuty
"This year, our Black employee resource group at PagerDuty, Array, is approaching Black History Month with the theme 'Black Futures Month: Excellence, Resilience, and Equity.'
Our programming is designed to celebrate Black excellence and highlight our resilience, in order to build an equitable future. We'll be partnering with other employee resource groups representing Black talent across the Tech sector, hosting our first meeting with our first Black board member, Dr. Alec D. Gallimore, fundraising and volunteering with a local middle school of predominantly Black students, and introducing a mentorship program for our Black employees."
Learn more about PagerDuty and their open roles here
10.Empowering Growth and Development — CSL Behring
"CSL Behring will be formally launching the Promising Futures Scholarship mid-February. This scholarship program will award 37 scholarships ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 annually.
The program has been specifically set up for our Black colleagues and their dependents to provide financial empowerment and support professional career growth & development."
Learn more about CSL Behring and their open roles here
11.Learning Through Film, Art, and History — Autodesk
"This year in honor of Black History Month, Autodesk is kicking off our festivities with our speaker series. This development opportunity will promote our growth as we learn about the power of storytelling and why we need to call on courage to increase mutual understanding and foster a sense of belonging. In addition to team events, we've partnered with MoAD, the Museum of the African Diaspora, to facilitate film viewings and discussions across culture, art, and Black history."
Learn more about Autodesk and their open roles here
12.Hosting Ta-Nehesi Coates and Town Halls — T. Rowe Price
"T. Rowe Price remains committed to equity and is mindful of the socioeconomic impact of systemic racism. To foster learning on the history of racism and the myriad of ways it shows up in our communities, the firm hosted local and national experts in the last several months. The firm is also providing opportunities to connect with Black leaders within the firm, virtually.
Next month, MOSAIC @ T. Rowe Price, the firm's business resource group (BRG) focused on promoting inclusivity and attracting, developing, and retaining diverse talent, will host New York Times bestselling author Ta-Nehesi Coates. He is the keynote speaker for our annual Black History Month event.
The BRG will also host a town hall to discuss the firm's vision to become a more equitable and inclusive workplace for Black professionals. The discussion will be led by Black leaders with representation from the Management Committee and several advocacy groups."
Learn more about T. Rowe Price and their open roles here
13.Sparking Curiosity and Dialogues — Bounteous
"Bounteous honors Black History Month to pay tribute to the accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout history. This year, Bounteous' affinity group, b: shades, curated a collection of events that span the entire month. The events include movie screenings, trivia nights, a brave space conversation, and a guest speaker appearance by Dr. Annice E. Fisher. Additionally, our team will host a special edition of our Get to Know Bounteous info-session on February 11 at 12:00PM CT for people who attend or have attended Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCU) and any person who identifies as Black/African American and/or a Person of Color. Bounteous celebrates all month long through these educational and social events geared towards sparking curiosity and hopefully, a dialogue."
Learn more about Bounteous and their open roles here
14.Celebrating Trailblazers — New Relic
"In honor of Black History Month, our Relics of Color ERG has put together a spectacular lineup of
events and activities to celebrate Black excellence in tech and beyond. This month, we will celebrate our inaugural Mikey Butler Day. Mikey was a VP of Engineering at New Relic until his passing in late 2019. He was a trailblazer in technology, and an amazing and inspiring leader, coach, and mentor. Other activities include a fishbowl discussion on 'What Does Black History Mean to You?' and a Black Trail Blazers employee spotlight series celebrating our Relics of Color."
Learn more about New Relic and their open roles here
15.Reading and Learning Together — CarGurus
"Our People of Color (POC@CarGurus) Employee Resource Group (ERG) will be sponsoring multiple events in celebration of Black History Month (some events will be co-sponsored with several of our internal ERGs). These events will consist of speaker series, workshops, and group (virtual) activities!
Events planned include a discussion with Gretchen Sorin, author of Driving While Black, a Black History Month Stump Trivia night, a reading of Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler, and a Family Reading Night where we will by providing children's books written by Black authors."
Learn more about CarGurus and their open roles here
16.Launching an Employee Resource Group — Mindbody
"Mindbody will be celebrating Black History Month with the inaugural launch of our Mindbody Black Alliance ERG. MB Black Alliance members have developed a full program of content to celebrate, educate and foster awareness of black culture everywhere, from past to present. We will be highlighting our own team member stories and aligning them with the businesses that we serve."
Learn more about Mindbody and their open roles here
17.Addressing Workplace Equity — StackOverflow
"BnB creates a safe space for Black and Brown employees within Stack Overflow. Instead of working with only one team on initiatives or confining programming to one month, BnB partners with Stack's leadership to address workplace equity across multiple dimensions, long-term. This includes:
- Helping all employees educate themselves on racial injustice
- Partnering with HR on D&I efforts
- Providing leadership opportunities for employees of color
- Ensuring content channels - from our popular blog to our podcast - are inclusive in their approach to storytelling
- Donating resources like money, products, and services to organizations that promote the social advancement of people of color"
Learn more about StackOverflow and their open roles here
18.Stories Untold — CallRail
"Our goal is to make Black history more relatable to people who aren't as familiar with the Black experience. Historically, Black History Month is associated with overcoming struggles and highlighting injustices. We want to demystify the Black experience through focusing on Black lives throughout the African diaspora. There are many untold stories of diverse culture, unity, and joy that we feel should be shared as a part of our history."
Learn more about CallRail and their open roles here
19.Supporting the Fight Against Racial Injustice — Folsom Labs
"Folsom Labs is celebrating Black History Month by focusing on community support. It is important to us to show our continued support for the Black Community not only in February but as an ongoing company initiative. Last year we held an employee charity matching event to support those that are doing critical work in the fight against racial injustices. On our team, we believe long-lasting change starts from within. So this year, not only are we kicking-off Black History Month with another charity event, but we're also focusing on ongoing DEI education and training for employees."
Learn more about Folsom Labs and their open roles here
20.Volunteering and Learning Through Film — Commvault
"At Commvault we are excited to host our 2nd Black History Month celebration. Even though this year we are virtual, we have kicked things off with a Martin Luther King Memorial Virtual Tour, on MLK Day, for our Vaulters and their families. Vaulters in the US were excited to have a day to reflect and volunteer in their communities. Our Multi-Culture ERG is blogging internally daily about prominent Black figures, weekly Black History Trivia, and will end the month with filmmaker Keith Beauchamp who will talk about Black history and share his film The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till."
Learn more about Commvault and their open roles here
21.Spotlighting Black Excellence — NBA
"The NBA is honoring Black History Month with the following initiatives:
- "#BlackExcellence Spotlight – Internal NBA website (Home Court) will spotlight Black employees across the company as they reflect on 2020, look ahead to the future and share details about what work they are proud of, in or outside of the office.
- Player Conversation – Current NBA player will join a virtual conversation about the fight for racial justice, how he supports Black businesses, celebrates Black culture and more.
- Virtual volunteer opportunities with the YesSheCanCampaign and Jersey Cares
- NBA Town Hall on Leaguewide Social Justice Efforts"
Learn more about the NBA and their open roles here
22.Hosting Fireside Chats - Procore
"Black History Month in the U.S. takes place each year in February. This year, we turned to members of Procore's African [Descent[ Council (PAC) employee resource group to learn what the month means to them—and why it matters to the communities in which we live and work.
One of the many ways we're celebrating Black History Month at Procore is by hosting an internal virtual fireside chat about the life and legacy of Black leaders and the significance of the month. All employees have been invited to join select speakers for a discussion about the annual commemoration and ways to get involved. The fireside chat is part of an ongoing speaker series that explores stories and conversations around life, race, gender, social justice, and equality. Learn more about Procore's Employee Resource Groups and ongoing efforts to build a more inclusive and diverse future."
Learn more about Procore and their open roles here.
23.Educating & Celebrating with Events, Guest Speakers, and More — Raytheon Technologies
"In honor of Black History Month, our Raytheon Black Employee Network (RAYBEN) employee resource group has planned a series of events that educate, celebrate, and honor the importance of Black history. This month-long program of events focuses on the cultural diversity of the Black community, moments in Black history, guest speakers, including former football running back Brian Mitchell and poet Nikki Giovanni, and games that bridge the gap between the past and the future. We also use this opportunity to highlight our Black employees throughout the month."
Learn more about Raytheon Technologies and their open roles here.
24.Facilitating Courageous Conversations — Lockheed Martin
"Our theme for Black History Month 2021 is, 'The Black Family: Representation, Diversity and Identity.' Lockheed Martin's African American Council for Excellence (AACE) Business Resource Group will use Black History Month to explore the wide-ranging diversity of the black family life through educational content, presentations and courageous conversations. We will also use this month to bring families together and reconnect as we view black stories and learn to make a simple meal where everyone can contribute. What's more? Our focus won't end there. Beyond Black History Month, AACE will support multiple programs to recruit, retain and develop black employees and give back to our community."
Learn more about Lockheed Martin and their open roles here.
The Black community has contributed to the world in tremendous ways in science, art, technology, and beyond — from Angelique Kidjo entrancing listeners with her groundbreaking African music to Katherine Johnson breaking barriers in mathematics at NASA. What fueled them to new heights? Innovation and creativity.
In honor of Black History Month, we're highlighting Black employees who live and breathe innovation in everything they do. Because at Adobe, maintaining the status quo isn't enough as we strive to unleash creativity for all, power digital businesses, and accelerate document productivity. Innovation and creativity is what will get us there, and these employee stories reflect just that.
Youmanli Faboumy, Publisher Operations Manager
Proudest Innovative Achievement
Youmanli Faboumy put her innovation stake in the ground by starting the first Black Employee Network (BEN) UK Creative & Tech event, an Adobe-hosted external event where Black creatives in fashion, dance, music, and media were invited to come together and share their expertise and stories with one another in the name of unleashing creativity for all.
What Black innovator inspires you most?
"Angelique Kidjo, Beninese singer and Grammy Award winner. She has opened the doors to so many African artists and the diversity of her musical influences continue to be recognized across the world. To me, she is the queen of African music and she spreads strong messages in her songs."
How do you get your creativity flowing?
"I always make a new playlist of my favorite songs every week. I have so many different playlists based on my mood and the energy I'm looking for. Music feeds my soul and my creativity. That's where I get my positive energy from. Whenever I get overwhelmed or stressed at work, I put my headphones on and get a boost from my music. You can get super creative when your head is in the right space!"
Maurice Fisher, Senior Computer Scientist
Proudest Innovative Achievement
Maurice Fisher was once the lead engineer of Adobe Acrobat Capture, a product which was modified to become Adobe Acrobat's current PaperCapture feature. While impressive in its own right, the Adobe Acrobat Capture tool helped the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fight big tobacco in court during the flurry of cases against tobacco companies in the 1990s. When cancer studies were subpoenaed from tobacco and drug companies, the companies dumped truckloads of paper documents onto the FDA, knowing there was no way for them to read all the documents in a timely manner. But the FDA was able to use Adobe Acrobat Capture to parse the documents and create strong cases against big tobacco.
How do you get your creativity flowing?
"I make it a point to have weekly meetings with other engineers with the sole purpose of discussing what could be done. We ask ourselves questions like, 'If we were allowed to build it, what would we do?' It is a great way to expand your mind and open your eyes to unseen solutions."
What does Black History Month mean to you?
"It is always good to reflect on where we have been. It gives us a chance to appreciate history we may not have known. I like to use it as a yardstick to see what is left to be done."
Terry White, Principal Creative Cloud Evangelist
Proudest Innovative Achievement
Terry White helped get Adobe started with live streaming on social media. He was an enthusiastic adopter of Periscope, a live video streaming app now owned by Twitter, on just day two of its release. It's still used to help produce Creative Cloud tutorial live streaming and Adobe Live sessions on platforms like Behance, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. Terry also hosts Daily Creative Challenges, 30 minutes of guided practice with pro mentors and peer-to-peer support to help unleash creativity for our communities everywhere. He's a recognized and beloved evangelist for many of our customers.
What Black innovator inspires you most?
"One of the things that we take totally for granted today, and couldn't imagine not having, is a color computer display. I remember a time when monochrome monitors were the norm. Mark Dean worked to develop a color monitor in 1980."
How do you get your creativity flowing?
"Inspiration is flowing everywhere at Adobe. What gets me going is seeing what the teams are working on to improve the way our products work and to make our customers' lives easier. One of my rituals is to see what young photographers and designers are creating and see what trends are becoming popular."
Toccara Baker, Senior Product Marketing
Proudest Innovative Achievement
Toccara Baker has her most innovative moments in her day-to-day work crafting presentations for Adobe Advertising Cloud, both externally and internally for customer events like Adobe Summit.
How do you get your creativity flowing?
"I love to take a quick walk around our office in Shoreditch. I'll listen to music during the walk. Shoreditch is such a vibrant and creative neighborhood. I'm constantly inspired by the interesting people, art, and stores I come across."
What does Black History Month mean to you?
"It's an important time to reflect and truly appreciate the sacrifices, hard work, dedication, and opportunities that were hard-fought and to take that legacy forward to the generations that follow us."
Eddie Bernard, Director, Site Reliability Engineering
Proudest Innovative Achievement
Eddie Bernard worked on a government request for a proposal that landed us a multi-year, valuable contract that provides enterprise-scale collaboration services to the U.S. Department of Defense. How did they do it? By creating a proof of concept that didn't just meet the customer's expectations but blew them out of the water.
What Black innovator inspires you most?
"Katherine Johnson. Her tenacity and drive to accomplish her dreams was second to none. Being not only a person of color, but also a woman in the 1950s, she provides a shining example of what it means to work hard, never give up, and follow your passions with relentless vigor."
How do you get your creativity flowing?
"I tend to be more analytical, so I lean on the support of my family — specifically my wife and daughters — to bounce ideas off of. They always manage to reflect back different perspectives and approaches that never cease to amaze me."
Want to hear more from the employees we've featured during Black History Month? Hear about their #AdobeLife on our YouTube page.
February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate the achievements made by black men and women, the central role they play in American history, and a time to reflect on the struggles and adversity they faced and continue to combat today.
At Elastic, Black History Month is the perfect time to highlight our amazing black Elasticians, and to take a look at why diversity matters for a company like ours (and tech in general). Most importantly, it's a time to reflect on where we can do better.
Last year, we talked to Alyssa Hester and A.J. Angus about what Black History Month means to them. This year, we've expanded the conversation with four Elasticians — Karen Penn, Shantel Drew, Tanisha L. Turner, and Wadson Fleurigene — who shared their thoughts on the challenges they've faced in their career because of race, diversity (and the lack of it) in tech, and the importance of making Elastic a more accommodating place to work.
Karen Penn, People and Culture Guru
I got my start as a lawyer, and at first, didn't really know where I fit in. I didn't love the trial or litigation side of the law. I definitely wasn't interested in being a criminal defense lawyer. But what I really enjoyed about law school was employment law and that led me to the Justice Department where I spent 4 years as a civil rights lawyer. In that role I developed a keen understanding of what discrimination looked like.
In my career I've either been the only woman, or the only person of color, or the only woman and person of color in leadership. It was while I was working as employment counsel within the HR department that I truly gained an appreciation for what HR does: the corresponding influence on company policies and practices, the impact they can have on diversity and inclusion, and HR's role in the productivity, retention, and happiness of employees. Many companies treat diversity as something nice to have, and not as an integral part of the business. In my experience, diversity and inclusion efforts are most successful when the company is committed from the top down, bottom up, and middle out — and builds a concrete structure around the initiatives.
Throughout my career, I've been able to leverage my legal background to take on several roles within HR and dabble in various niche areas like corporate responsibility, equal employment opportunity and affirmative action, ethics and compliance, as well as the do-everything generalist responsibilities that come along with heading up HR in the tech startup environment.
What attracted me to Elastic was the opportunity to revisit some of my roots in diversity and inclusion. It's a passion of mine, and I think there's a great opportunity at Elastic to do something special. I believe I can really add value and help to take Elastic to the next level, reconstituting what diversity inclusion looks like at the global level.
As a company, we have to report on our numbers. That's something that we have to do because of US federal requirements. Compliance is always the easier way to start. But I think of diversity as a spectrum, beyond the numbers (like how many black employees you have). You need to understand all the different types of diversity that you have in order to leverage that diversity for creative and innovative advantage over competitors. We can do that by being the kind of unique company that's looking outside of the traditional norm, like, "oh, you have to have gone to school" or "you have to have X years of experience". We can look at things like coding boot camps, internships and incubator programs, and truly mentor rising talent and give them meaningful work while simultaneously increasing the diversity of our Elastic teams.
My enduring advice to youth of color I have the privilege of mentoring: Be confident and competent in whatever you do!
Karen was head of HR for Endgame before transitioning to Elastic. For more than 10 years she served on the Board of Directors of the Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital (GSCNC) as a member and an officer and currently serves as the co-chair of the Women's Advisory Board of GSCNC.
Shantel Drew, Recruiting Coordinator
I feel like my biggest mentor has been my brother. He's the one who made me want to move to California and pursue business and finance. He also introduced me to Silicon Valley and nurtured my love for tech and recruiting. More than that, he provided me with a mindset: that I have to set myself apart to rise above the rest. Especially as a black woman. He told me to never forget where I came from, and to extend my hand to help others as others have done for me.
When I was looking for new work, I was looking for a place where I could have a sense of belonging. I was a recruiting coordinator at my last company, and I just didn't fit in — both in terms of my work, and with my team. I didn't feel like I had a purpose or that I was contributing in a way that had significant value. When you don't really know anyone, and you're the only black person on your team, it's kind of hard to feel comfortable.
I've been with Elastic since May of 2019. When I first joined, I wanted to do something revolving around diversity because that's important to me as a black woman. And Elastic has provided those opportunities. I'm happy that I'm able to work on diversity projects and find diverse talent to bring into the company. I feel empowered to do that, because Elastic lets me be who I am.
To that end, we've started posting Elastic openings on diversity job boards and diversity sites so that people outside Silicon Valley and our normal channels know how to directly email us in recruiting. The people I grew up with didn't have the same resources. A lot of people I know from back home aren't on LinkedIn, or anything like that. As we continue to grow, I hope to do more recruiting in the field, like visiting Universities. I'd love to see more people of color, wherever I go.
Shantel graduated from San Jose State University in May 2018 where she received her degree in Business Finance. Shortly after, Shantel worked at Google as a recruiting coordinator for nine months until she joined Elastic.
Tanisha L. Turner, Elastic Stack Support Engineer II
In my past professional roles if I was too assertive, or appeared too knowledgeable, it was considered to be a threat and aggressive. I was labelled the "angry black woman". That was my challenge at other companies, especially in the cyber security field, which is comprised of predominantly white males — if I was knowledgeable, I was seen as arrogant, whereas a white male with the same knowledge base would be seen as intelligent. This was a huge hindrance when I was asked to train those same white males. Some even said that my kind of people shouldn't be there. However, I did not let the ignorance and the derogatory racial comments deter my passion and work in cyber security.
When I first came to Elastic, everyone was so open to who I was. I kept asking myself if everyone was being real, if their attitude towards me wasn't a facade. But over time I saw the consistency of the culture and a dedication towards maintaining our core values. You don't need masks to fit in, and that's true diversity. My teammates and my managers, they want me to be my authentic self. Be who you are. Don't try to fit in. I don't have to be tight, everyday, holding back who I am. That's important. I want to remind black people that you don't have to be quiet. We can embrace black culture in the workplace.
The message I want to get out there is that there are successful blacks here at Elastic. But beyond that, I want to emphasize that Elastic embraces all cultures. My experience here has been very warm, welcoming and nothing short of amazing. I'm not exactly the kind of person to be shy about who I am as a black woman. Here I don't have to worry about negative racial stereotypes getting in the way of my success.
My advice is if there's something that you want to achieve, have faith and determination and be strong. Work hard, stay focused, motivated, and dedicated. You will have obstacles along the way, but that's part of the road to success. Every successful person has had a story and a hardship. Your past and background does not dictate or define your present and future.
Remember, that not everyone is going to be happy for you and that's okay. Have the courage to walk your own path even if it's alone. Don't let anyone discourage you from accomplishing your goals and aspirations.
Tanisha L. Turner was the first Elastician recently added to the list of Epic Women in Cybersecurity. She is an experienced cyber security professional in security analysis, malware identification, and threat investigation. She participates in non-profit cyber security organizations and is active in information security communities.
Wadson Fleurigene, Elastic Security Consultant
Diversity in the tech industry has and continues to be overlooked and undervalued. There have been attempts to diversify the field by bringing diversity programs into our educational system, such as STEM, inter alia, in order to expose the need for diversity in the field of science. Despite those efforts, the industry continues to be predominantly driven by white males.
As astounding as that may sound, a vast majority of data has been collected proving continued racial disparity in technology. With the rapid evolution of technology and the need for innovation, diversity can benefit the industry by welcoming distinct ideas inspired by their respective cultures. So, as for what is often overlooked, I would say we need to refocus on the need and invaluable benefit that racial integration would bring to the world of technology.
Black History Month is not just about recalling historical oppression, it is rather a celebration of Black Excellence. We have created pioneering, ground-breaking and evolutionary inventions, from the creation of VoIP by Marian Croak to the world's first super computer by Philip Emeagwali, and so much more. The tech industry would benefit by recognizing our ability to contribute to a better society and welcoming diversity.
Wadson Fleurigene is a part of our Elastic Security Consulting team. He brings prior Law Enforcement and Senior Cyber Security expertise to our current Elastic Security offerings. Outside of Cyber Security, he has a passion for competitive gaming and teaches kids MEAN stack web development.