For many employers, Black History Month signifies a time to celebrate their Black employees and recognize the Black community’s many historical contributions. However, this year’s Black History Month looks a lot different this year, given COVID-19. Companies have been challenged to uplift, honor, and celebrate their Black employees virtually. From virtual events delving into critical issues within the Black community to ERG-led cultural celebrations, the below companies have gone above and beyond to highlight their Black employees for Black History Month and beyond. Read about them below and apply to their hundreds of open jobs.
To demonstrate their commitment to diversity, inclusion, and belonging, Capital One is celebrating the resilience, persistence, and progress of the Black community throughout Black History Month. They recognize their associates’ innovation and achievements, who continue to build upon their mission to change banking for good. Through open panel discussions with leaders, art exhibitions, and a unique visual and auditory experience in select Capital One cafe locations, they will pay homage to Black Americans’ rich history. Black History Month is one of many ways Capital One seeks to demonstrate its unending commitment to progress and inclusion — recognizing that change is not achieved in a moment or a month but a lifetime. Join them and move #forwardtogether.
In recognition of Black History Month, Gilead’s Leadership Organization for Black Employees (GLOBE) employee resource group (ERG) hosts a series of events throughout February, facilitating open discussions around working toward an even more open and inclusive environment. The company has also spotlighted its priorities, including advancing Black leadership at Gilead, reducing racial health disparities, furthering social justice, and coordinating with the Women at Gilead ERG, identifying bias and privilege, and promoting allyship.
Gilead’s commitment to diversity advancement and equity goes beyond February and the walls of the company. In the communities where their employees live and work, Gilead is partnering on programs including the Racial Equity Community Impact Fund, which supports organizations focused on tackling racial inequities; a data platform developed with Morehouse School of Medicine to help address the impact of COVID-19 and other diseases on communities of color; and the COMPASS Initiative, a 10-year, $100 million partnership with community-based organizations working to combat the HIV epidemic in the Southern United States, particularly in Black communities. Gilead also recently joined the OneTen initiative, a coalition of major companies committed to creating 1 million jobs for Black Americans over the next 10 years.
For this Black History Month, Genentech will share the Black experience through culture, representation, identity, and equity. They have various events centered on fostering belonging among employees, illuminating the importance of advancing inclusive research and health equity, and transforming society through partnerships to offer healthcare solutions and STEM education in their communities.
Some events include delving into the societal drivers of health inequity and how these disparities have been exacerbated by COVID-19, a visual art gallery walk that focuses on the historical journey of Black Art, conversations exploring the topic of race-based trauma, and hosting their annual “The Change Sequence” networking event to celebrate and engage diverse external multicultural talent. Their employees are also engaged in rich dialogue, including highlighting Black Americans who have made significant historical contributions to humanity through the sciences and sharing opportunities to give back to their communities.
Caterpillar’s organization is grateful for the ideas, perspectives, and experiences of every individual. It is taking time in February to recognize Black/African American colleagues’ contributions in honor of Black History Month. This month-long recognition will occur both internally and externally, highlighting their CAAN (Caterpillar African American Network ERG) and their organization and accomplishments through a kickoff article and interview.
There will be ongoing trivia throughout the month highlighting the accomplishments of employees and customers past and present. They will focus on their newly announced partnership with OneTen and the long-term impact it will hold. They also called on their employee base of 100,000+ to submit their own recognition of an employee, customer, or dealer (past or present) who has made a significant impact on either the company or them personally – which will be turned into a video tribute to wrap the month-long celebration. Additionally, throughout the month, individual business units and local resources groups have activities, meetings, speakers, etc., scheduled.
McCarthy Building Companies will be inviting their employees to submit videos sharing their experiences and perspectives throughout February. Also planned are opportunities to meet and explore new relationships with Black-owned businesses, along with a virtual employee Happy Hour celebrating Black History Month. Employees also are encouraged to broaden their exposure to Black culture, achievements, and positive contributions to society in books, podcasts, and documentaries.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma & Texas | HCSC
Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC)/BCBS has planned several activities in celebration of Black History Month, hosted by their African Americans In Motion (AAIM) BRG, which empowers members to develop skills and leadership capabilities in support of business efforts and community involvement. Additionally, they will leverage technology to communicate with and engage employees in these activities.
- Fill the Pantry Food Drive: In February, the AAIM BRG will fill the pantries of local community food banks in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
- Destroying the Myths: A Candid Discussion about Mental Health and the African American/Black Community: This event will focus on myths associated with mental health and offer practical tips to overcoming misconceptions surrounding mental health within the African American/Black community.
- Healthy Soul: This lunch-time cooking demonstration will combine food, health, wellness, and awareness by offering cooking and health tips to combat the disparate cardiovascular disease rates that African American/Black Americans face.
- Career Vision: Addressing Unconscious Bias: A panel of leaders will explore the concept of unconscious bias and how unconscious beliefs and stereotypes influence their actions and decisions when interacting with other people. The conversation will also explore ways to reduce unconscious bias in the workplace.
- A Culture of Distrust: Communities of Color and COVID-19: This conversation will focus on how COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted communities of color and how health and economic disparities have contributed to the issue. A portion of the discussion will be dedicated to exploring vaccination truths, answering questions, and addressing the vaccine’s concerns.
- An AAIM BRG leader will be featured as part of Black History Month communications. The article, shared across social media networks, will highlight the leader’s work and HCSC’s AAIM chapters.
First Command Financial Services
First Command Celebrates Black History Month by launching an employee resource group. This month, First Command proudly launched its first employee resource group, composed of multicultural employees whose objective is to influence diversity and inclusion through education and awareness at First Command. Throughout Black History Month, the group will share communications celebrating black Americans’ contributions from past to present. As part of their robust program, the team has also created opportunities for engaging discussions and a virtual event featuring an external speaker focused on creating awareness of black culture. First Command is excited to celebrate Black History Month as they rely on the foundation of courage, love, and effectiveness to drive their diversity and inclusion culture.
3M *Hiring Surge*
This year, 3M’s recognition and celebration of Black History Month is not only about reaching and educating their employees in authentic ways but ensuring that they’re making an equitable change in their communities and workforce. Externally, they’ve launched the UNCF 3M Science. Applied to Life.TM Scholarship Program – a multi-year, need-based scholarship program to support more than 100 students from St. Paul, MN, who wants to embark on STEM-related studies at HBCU – and shared their commitment to doubling the representation of underrepresented groups in their U.S. workforce.
Internally, 3M’s African American Employee Resource Network is holding virtual tours of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, in addition to hosting a fireside chat with 3M’s new Chief Equity Officer, James Momon.
As part of its commemoration of Black History Month, Zions Bancorporation will host it’s first One Zions Power Speaker Series centered on the topic: “Exploring the Intersection of Race, Sports, and Economic Inclusion.” This event will be a virtual panel featuring three former NFL football players of color: Steve Smith, Haloti Ngata, and Lorenzo Alexander. The conversation will delve into each of the panelists’ personal stories, examine how diversity, equity, and inclusion apply to the sports arena, and offer perspectives on achieving economic inclusion in America.
Additional Black History month activities include launching a Supplier Diversity program and publishing internal articles and social media content to mark the month-long commemoration. Zions also offers an ongoing affinity program, the Black/African American Business Forum, which connects employees across the company through networking events and speakers. The virtual forum meetings for nine different affinity groups like the Black/African American Business Forum provide a space and place for people of similar backgrounds or interests to come together. People interested in being allies are also encouraged to join to learn from those who self-identify with groups.
Equinix is proud to support their Black employees, specifically, the Equinix BlackConnect Employee Connection Network. Its mission is to increase the diversity, inclusion, innovation, and business impact of Equinix by expanding, empowering, and elevating Black employees and allies worldwide. BlackConnect ERG encouraged their regional ambassadors to share their lived experiences as they connect with their global communities online and “in person” for Black History Month this year. The month-long Black History Month engagement also includes two guest speaker panels discussing financial acuity and brand innovation. Equinix is excited to celebrate their global communities’ achievements, and there are many more successes on their journey that promote an inclusive culture.
At Twilio, they believe #BlackLivesMatter. Part of honoring Black lives addresses the inequities that the Black community faces and working to dismantle systematically racist systems that they endure daily. This month, the Black Twillions, Twilio’s ERG, put together a month-long program with events that promote community service, celebrates historical Black figures, spotlights Black families, and empowers their Black employees to thrive. Celebrating the diverse range of experiences and stories invite us all to find common ground that unites us and fuels innovation at Twilio.
At Micron, they are committed to increasing their inclusion culture, and recognizing Black History Month helps them raise their collective awareness and increase a sense of belonging for their Black employees. They have powerful and inspiring events planned for this month, including:
- An open conversation with Micron CEO Sanjay Mehrotra and their Black Employee Network (BEN) members.
- A discussion with Black law enforcement officers will share their perspectives on Black and police officers’ intersectionality.
- A panel of Black health care professionals about the historical reasons some Black Americans and other people of color are reluctant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and what the medical community is doing to build trust during the pandemic.
- A talk with Tim Wise, an American activist, and writer about race relations in the U.S., shares his views on Black social justice in America today.
- Micron Technology will close out the month with a Black gospel choir’s performance whose mission is to spread joy for all.
Elizabeth A. Morrison, Levi Strauss & Co.’s Chief Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging Officer, made it clear: “We are history makers as we continue to strive for equality, fight bigotry and bias, and celebrate the joy and wonder of Black courage, Black culture, and Black brilliance. This month, LS&Co. and their brands commemorate Black History Month through a series of partnerships with artists and activists and sharing incredible stories highlighting a range of Black voices.
Throughout February, LS&Co.’s Black employee resource group, Project Onyx, celebrates positivity and drives a series of activations to amplify Black voices across the company. Centered around four superhero themes inspired by the late Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther — Honor, Rest, Celebrate and Give Back — these Black History Month celebrations include a virtual performance by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, a slate of virtual volunteering opportunities, an employee giving campaign supporting racial justice organizations, and moments of restful meditation for employees.
For this year’s Black History Month, Fannie Mae will celebrate the Black family. This year, Fannie Mae’s employees will recognize the official 2021 theme – The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity – through a series of events and encouraging conversations organized by Fannie Mae’s African-Ancestry Business Leaders for Excellent (ABLE) Employee Resource Group. ABLE will host weekly virtual programs celebrating the following themes:
- Honoring the Black family history and legacy and what it means to employees.
- Celebrating education and the Black college experience.
- Recognizing community organizations and their impact on the Black community, and building equity in Black communities.
Brenda Shockley, Deputy Mayor of Economic Opportunity and Chief Equity Officer for Mayor Eric Garcetti for the City of Los Angeles, will join Fannie Mae’s Chief Administrative Officer, Jeff Hayward discussion about disparities in housing and employment. This inclusive speaking event reflects Fannie Mae’s core values and mission to help make homeownership more accessible for all.
In partnership with Black Employees at RingCentral (BE@R) Employee Resource Group, RingCentral will educate, share, and celebrate the richness of Black History and Black community contributions all month long. Contributions to STEM programs, the arts, local communities worldwide, financial wellness, and regional cuisines. They have also partnered with Black-led nonprofits and charities through their corporate social responsibility program, RCause. Throughout February, we are hosting daily activities:
- Money Matters Monday
- Tuesday Black History Facts
- Wellness Wednesdays
- Thursday Black History Facts
- Friday Features
- RingCentral Recipes
Alvarez & Marsal *Hiring Surge*
Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) and its Black Employee Network (BEN) are hosting several virtual events in honor of Black History Month. The firm looks forward to holding a global discussion on Courageous Leadership and Inclusive Diversity featuring an external expert on diversity and inclusion. The talk will cover actions for fostering A&M’s Core Value of Inclusive Diversity. A&M BEN is also holding small group discussions with other A&M Employee Resource Groups on intersectionality.
Micro Focus’s theme for this year’s Black History Month is “Embracing the Past While Building for the Future.” Eric Beulah, Global Business Operations Lead for Professional Services and leader of their enABLE ERG, discussed why ERGs are an important resource and network in Micro Focus and how their organization can support Black History Month. In efforts to acknowledge Black History Month, enABLE has prepared a series of interactive employee webinars throughout the month. One of the webinar speakers is a Micro Focus employee Alex Deng. Alex works in their Sales organization in the UK. He will share his personal story as a refugee from Kenya, his career highlights, and how he engages and gives back to the community.
To commemorate Black History Month, eBay is hosting a series of virtual events led by employees that will celebrate the long-lasting impact of Black women and the African diaspora culture throughout history and today. Spearheaded by the Black Employees at eBay (BEE), the events will include game nights, Black cinema watch parties, fireside chats, and panel discussions covering various topics, including technology, culture, and wellness.
eBay has been headquartered in San Jose, California, since its founding in 1995. To further support the San Jose community during Black History Month, eBay employees will participate in a volunteer read-in. They will read books to local elementary students authored by and about African descent’s heritage and people.