Black History Month – Celebrating Talent, Encouraging Allyship, and Creating a Safe Space
It is no secret that Black History Month is one of the most powerful and inspirational times for the Black community. Each February, the entire month is dedicated to focusing on American culture regarding the progression of African Americans being accepted into society as equals.
Cardinal Connects Black, Business Resource Group, has been in full effect a little under a year now but has made many positive influences and impacts on Cardinal’s culture and the way Black team members feel heard, fairly developed, and accepted for their authenticity. There are still great strides to be taken regarding accepting the differences between the African American culture and the culture of other races, particularly in the workplace. Cardinal Connects Black has planned the following initiatives to bridge this gap.
This year, Cardinal Connects Black is celebrating Black History Month by:
- Honoring, recognizing, and encouraging Black team members to continue to go above in beyond in their workplace
- Sharing inspiring reads that will help others learn more about the Black community, their historic struggles, progress, and aspirations
- Promoting how team members can be on the way to being true Allies of the Black community through service and initiatives in place to close the gap of oppression and equality
- Listening to our expert speaker of the month, Sharon Brogdon, to help enhance our understanding of the unwritten rules of navigating corporate culture
- Ending the month with a fun story time going through historic events and accomplishments then participating in some friendly competition with Kahoot trivia
Each year Black History Month has a theme to help the world focus on a certain component of our community and our distinct experiences – whether it be a struggle, how far we’ve come, or our accomplishments in the subject today. This year’s BHM theme is Black Health & Wellness, highlighting the trailblazing legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners but the activities, rituals, and initiatives Black communities have done to be well in the mind, body, and soul.
As a part of our commitment to celebrating Black History Month as a company, we provided our team with the opportunity to obtain a copy of the book Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting by Terrie M. Williams.
Terrie Williams knows that Black people are hurting. She knows because she’s one of them. Terrie had made it: she had launched her public relations company with such clients as Eddie Murphy and Johnnie Cochran. Yet, she was in constant pain, waking up in terror, overeating searching for relief. She kept on her game face of success for thirty years, exhausting herself daily to satisfy her clients’ needs while neglecting her own.
Terrie finally collapsed, staying in bed for days. She had no clue what was wrong or if there was a way out. She had hit rock bottom, and needed help. She learned her problem had a name — depression — and that many suffered from it, limping through their days, hiding their hurt. As she healed, her mission became clear: break the silence of this crippling taboo and help those who suffer.
To this day, the quality, and availability of healthcare are often limited due to geographical barriers and racial disparities.
Khiara Bridges suggests that, “the argument is that if people of color are sicker and are dying at younger ages than white people, this may be because physicians have racial biases. Their biases cause them to give their patients of color inferior health care and, in so doing, contribute to higher rates of morbidity and mortality”. To learn more, visit the American Bar Association blog post.
To see what’s needed to end these disparities for equal access to quality healthcare and treatment, take a look at how the initiatives the Association for the Study of African American Life History (ASAALH) is utilizing to support this year’s BHM theme of Black Health & Wellness.
We look forward to celebrating this significant month as a company with all of our team members!