Insights and Perspectives

Insights and Perspectives


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Celebrating Contributions to the Workplace Throughout Black History Month

In 2024, it has never been more important to recognize and honor Black History Month – especially in the workforce development industry. The key is to not simply check a box with an awareness campaign, but to realize that the workplace wouldn't be the same without the contributions of African Americans. Some of the most successful and evolving organizations are those that take action by investing in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs, keeping these topics at the forefront of their core values.

Black History Month is a time to recognize workplace pioneers like Maggie Lena Walker, the first Black woman in the United States to charter a bank, and serve as its president, in 1903. It’s also a time to learn from Mary McLeod Bethune, who was born to former slaves in South Carolina in 1875 but rose to appointment by President Franklin Roosevelt to serve as Director of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration. At the time, this made her the highest-ranking Black woman in government, and the only woman of color at the United Nation’s founding conference.

The contributions of these individuals played an important role in 1925 when Harvard-educated historian Carter G. Woodson conceived and announced Negro History Week. A year later, the event had its first celebration with an overwhelming response. Scholars of many colors stepped forward to endorse this effort. This became the basis for Black History Month as we know it today.

Throughout the month of February, we will honor several Black individuals who have overcome, led, and left incredible impressions on American culture. As a company, we strive to advance equity and embrace diversity in the workplace, year-round. Whether that be celebrating the diversity and contributions of our individual team members or providing equal employment access and career resources to job seekers across the country, we hope to encourage, inspire, and support. Let this also be a reminder of the work that lies in the months and years ahead, and the possibilities of the greatness to come.

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” —Booker T. Washington

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