Celebrating Black History Month “It Isn’t in Our DNA To Quit”

Celebrated every February, Black History Month is a time chosen to recognize the struggles and celebrate the successes of the Black and African American community. We are encouraged to take this opportunity to acknowledge their key role in shaping our society, and their impact on history.

As we keep pushing forward with our efforts to help our communities live a life well-lived, we must remember to keep diversity and inclusion at the forefront of our fight. We believe the best way to start to drive change around our organization is to listen to the people closest to us. In celebration of Black History Month, we asked our employee what this month means to them. Their voices matter to us and no one better than them can better express how this month impact their community.

Ted Muzinga – Talent Acquisition Specialist

“As a child of immigrant parents from the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) my parent were my storytellers who bright to light about how beautiful and amazing it is to be African-American and how much of our culture contribute to many other customer around the world.  Understanding the essence and meaning of Black History Month is view differently depending on the person, this month allows us to reflect on the past, to appreciate the present and continue to work towards a brighter future. This is a time to that share, inform, celebrate, and empower the various stories and histories that our Black brothers and sister have passed down from generation to generation regarding our customs and perspectives about community and its culture.”

Tahkaney Becknell, Customer Engagement Specialist

“Over the more recent years, Black History Month has become a time in which I bridge my future and past. I bask in the resiliency of my forefathers and rekindle my drive for accomplishing new year resolutions. I also spend the month highlighting heroes for my daughter to take interest in. As she grows older and COVID passes I hope we can engage with community more because Black History Month is for everyone.”

Tiffany Dunham-CSR Champion

“Black History Month is a month that was given.  Personally, I don’t even acknowledge the month.  Black History is carried in my heart every day that I’m blessed to see another day.  Black History in general means to me just acknowledging and appreciating those that have paved the way for me to have an opportunity to be equal.  Those that gave their lives for Blacks to have better opportunities to be successful in any-way that they can.  Success is not measure by the money that you make but by your own accomplishments and goals that you have met in life.”

Shanon Free – Associate EDI – Business Analyst

“Black History Month does not mean anything to me.  I was raised in Mississippi where my elders taught me not to accept a month for our history but learn and praise our history all year just like we do American history.  We as Black people have impacted the way of life for all Americans in so many ways there is no way we should be nor accept being relegated to just a month.   I am proud of being a Black man and want the children of now and going forward to learn about our contributions to not just in America, but the world.”

Alaina Miller- Sr. Customer Success Advisor

“When I look into my almond shaped brown eyes, I see my grandma watching MLK “I have a dream” speech on August 28, 1963, when I rub lotion on my soft Carmel colored skin I think of how beautiful in the summer it becomes a golden tint by the sun that God has created above me. I spent 10 years destroying my hair with chemicals, and 9 years later my natural curls are healthy, thick, and thriving and alive just like my soul within. Being vocal, positive, gracious, patient, a woman in her walk with Jesus Christ and humble is what I represent as a Black woman, and I am proud.”

Inga McIntyre- Claims Supervisor

“I grew up in the Caribbean so recognizing Black History Month is still a bit new to me, but I have come to embrace it more now as a parent. I see this as a time of opportunity to share, cultivate and establish stepping-stones for the current and future generation, by sharing the iconic people of the past and present. I see it as a time to collaborate how we can continue to celebrate, grow, and develop daily.”

Carola Gaines- Community Liaison Manager and UW Madison Outstanding Women of Color Honoree

“Men that fought in World Wars as soldiers only to return to America as boys, marched in Birmingham, hosed in Selma, jailed in Wilmington, assassinated in Memphis, segregated in the South, ghettoed in the North, ignored in history books, stereotyped in Hollywood…

“In spite of it all of this, my ancestors endured every era to make sure I had an opportunity so, I must succeed, and I must push forward to reach greatness.  It is not in my DNA to Quit.

This is internally what Black History Month and year means to me.” As Black History Month comes to an end, we must make the commitment to honor Black History beyond this month of recognition. As an organization, we make the pledge to increase our efforts to keep honoring Black and African American culture beyond this month, both within our company and in our interactions with our communities.

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