Celebrating Black History, Today and Every Day

Honoring Black History and Embracing the Future
Mar 11, 2024 11:30 AM ET

Gen Blog | People & Impact

By Syreeta McAuley Conversational Designer and Jeremeiah Whiteside Senior Internal Auditor

Though one month is dedicated to Black History, the incredible efforts and contributions of Black individuals have made impacts far, wide and through periods of time.

History has the power to reach everyone.

Honoring Black History isn’t just about the past, though. It’s also about celebrating Black excellence and paving a way for people to follow.

Celebrating our POWER  

Our Employee Resource Group, POWER, was created to connect Black team members and allies from around the company and the world. Like with many other communities, it’s a safe place to find fellowship with those who look like you, understand where you’re coming from and maybe even have similar experiences. We also use it as a space to educate those who are willing to learn and become an ally and a part of change. We focus on cultural topics, larger company initiatives and find ways to give back and ways to uplift.

And, of course, we couldn’t miss an opportunity to celebrate Black History Month. POWER hosted a global celebration for Black History Month, highlighting the contributions of Black individuals in visual and performing arts, literature, fashion, folklore, language, film, music, architecture, culinary arts and other cultural expressions. 

Some honorable mentions included:

  • Toni Morrison – first woman to win a Nobel Prize in literature
  • Abby Fisher – published the oldest known cookbook written by a former slave
  • Sona Jobarteh – first recognized female Kora player in the world
  • Jean-Michel Basquiat – neo-expressionism artist, set the record for a painting sold at $110.5 million

(If you haven’t heard of them before, we encourage you to learn more.)

Becoming HBCU Heroes  

Around Gen, team members have volunteered to participate in a year-long mentoring partnership with HBCU Heroes. The partnership includes quarterly mentorship “meetups'' where 30 students will be paired with a Genovator to help advance their career goals.

We’re excited to help empower HBCU (Historically Black College and University) students to give them a leg up in corporate America and tech. We also hope that we can meet future hires through this opportunity, too.

Connecting Cyber Safety to Black Communities  

As a leader in Cyber Safety and Identity Theft Protection, we use our skills and resources to also support our local communities. That’s why we’re a founding partner of the Identity Theft Resource Center’s (ITRC) multi-year initiative to provide identity education and protection programs and victim services to Black communities – communities that are disproportionately affected by identity theft.

Lots of quantitative and qualitative research has been done to give us a better understanding of identity theft in the Black community, Now, ITRC is working on the development of assistance programs. New training practices will help provide advice to identity theft victims and we’ll be seeking new ways to increase awareness and recovery, to better protect our community.

Celebration Through Action: How You Can Participate 

Black History Month can be celebrated by anyone and everyone. The best part is, in seemingly small ways you too can make an impact.

  1. Organize Speaker Sessions - Education is a tool for understanding awareness and empathy. Learn from culture, achievements and Black experts for a deeper understanding of black history and its significance.
  2. Promote Black Excellence – Share successes and milestones of Black professionals in your network. It takes one second to repost, like a tweet, etc.
  3. Advocate for Diversity – Amplify Black voices, representation and perspectives in panels, groups and organizations.
  4. Offer Support – Black businesses, authors and artists all need support. For instance, find a local Black business that you can purchase from or recommend to others.
  5. Donate to Nonprofits – Connect with nonprofits on how you can help. Some known ones are Black Girls Code and Blacks in Technology Foundation.
  6. Educational Support – Support programs and initiatives that provide educational opportunities, scholarships or resources to Black students and aspiring professionals. 
  7. Mentorship – Just as we found an opportunity for mentorship with HBCU Heroes, you can too!
  8. Give Someone an Opportunity – Giving someone a chance can change the trajectory of their life.

Today and every day, it’s important to acknowledge the rich diversity and achievements of the Black community. And it’s also crucial that we not only reminisce about the past but also actively support and empower the Black community for the future.