From February 1st to February 29th the United States of America will be celebrating Black History Month. Since 1976, February has been dedicated to recognizing the important people and events in the history of African Americans.
Recognition of African American achievements began ninety years ago. Dr. Carter G. Woodson launched “Negro History Week” in 1926. Woodson was born to parents that were former slaves, worked in the Kentucky coalmines during his youth then pursued the world of academia where he finished with a Ph.D. from Harvard. As a student he noticed the missing or altered history of the black American population.
One has to wonder – why February? Three public figures that wielded great influence on the black American population have birthdays in February – Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln and W.E.B. DuBois. Also the 15th Amendment (granting blacks the right to vote) was passed on February 3rd, 1870.
For more information related to Black History Month check out:
We asked our member companies to share what their organizations will be doing this month to acknowledge and celebrate Black History as well as the contributions of the African-American community to their organization. The impressive array of programs includes film series, panel discussions with African-American leaders from the company, employee outings to cultural events, and community action projects, to name just a few.
Here are some examples of the great work our member companies are doing for Black History Month.
Onboard our aircraft for the month of February, we are offering the inflight entertainment selection of an extraordinary documentary, The Luft Gangster: Memoirs of a Second Class Hero.
The award-winning film (but not yet released to the general public) is about the life and legacy of Tuskegee Airmen fighter pilot (Red Tail), Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson. On his 19th long-range mission in the European Theatre of war Alex was shot down and subsequently held as a P.O.W. by the Nazis. He survived. However, when he returned he still faced the biases and discrimination from his own countrymen.
In partnership with Veteran’s Initiatives and the Airpower Foundation, there will be a special VIP showing of the documentary at the C.R. Smith Museum in Fort Worth, TX in February.
In partnership with the filmmaker, prior to the VIP screening at the Museum, American will host a special showing of Luft Gangster documentary at Irving High School in Irving, Texas. Irving High was selected due their Aviation Signature Academy, which offers students education in Aerospace Engineering, Aviation Operations Management, and Aviation Science.
American’s African American Diversity Network Employee Business Resource Group has several events planned around the company system including, Washington, Dallas/Fort Worth Headquarters, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Tulsa.
American Red Cross
February Cultural Competency
The Cultural Competency Series is a monthly educational program, focused on the unique cultural characteristics of diverse communities as well as overarching theories and principles that support a culturally proficient organization. These sessions are open to all Red Crossers and also recorded and made available on the intranet. The February 2016 session is sponsored by the African America TMRG (AATMRG) on the topic of African Americans’ Contributions to the Red Cross. It will offer a historical perspective, which will be reviewed by the AATMRG Co-Chairs and CDO. The session will conclude with a panel discussion with current African American Red Cross Executives, which will also be facilitated by the CDO.
This is a new program we are launching for the AATMRG during Black History Month. We will spotlight members of the group on a quarterly basis. Members will complete a profile form that asks members why participation in the AATMRG is important to them, etc. The profile form will be posted on the AATMRG’s intranet and Facebook pages.
This is a new program we are launching for the group during Black History Month. We will spotlight an African American organization with which we have a national partnership. The spotlight will mention how we partner with the organization nationally and offer points of contact and tips on how chapters can partner locally.
Mission Statement and Goals
Black History Month will conclude with the group sharing their newly revised mission statement and goals. It will be posted on the groups’ intranet page and also shared on their Facebook page, and sent via e-Mail to their networks.
Ahold USA and its divisions will once again distribute over 500,000 copies of the Profile In Excellence pamphlet to their associates, customers, and community. While in the past this pamphlet highlighted African Americans making a difference in the world, industry, and society, 2016 brings change, celebrating supplier diversity and our African American Minority Owned Vendor Partners. Seven individuals will be highlighted, featuring their stories and their journey to success and how they give back to their communities.
Ashland’s African-American Leadership Network (AALN) is committed to advancing an inclusive and supportive work environment that promotes the sharing of information and resources, provides professional and personal development for diverse employees that contribute to and complements Ashland’s global diversity and inclusion efforts.
Launched in 2012, this is the fourth year that AALN has led Ashland’s Black History Month celebration.
To connect with all our global employees, a Black History Video was created to highlight notable African-American leaders that have made significant contributions to our society in the areas of business, science and civil/human rights. In addition, a corresponding online quiz was developed to allow employees to test their Black History knowledge.
Across our major campus locations, local AALN chapters have planned various events. Here’s a summary of planned activities.
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center – employees will visit the Freedom Center to learn the stories of freedom heroes and have a group dialogue.
Calvert City, Kentucky
Motown Black History Celebration – through the lens of the Motown era, approximately 600 Ashland employees will explore black history facts while sampling a menu of traditional southern cuisine.
Black History STEM Trivia – employees will test their knowledge of the contributions of notable African Americans to the fields of science, technology, engineering and math with a fun game of Black History trivia.
South Peach Cobbler Tasting – employees will be invited enjoy a sample of peach cobbler during a dessert tasting.
Black History Lecture – Dr. Gerald Smith, a history professor at the University of Kentucky, will give an informative lecture titled, “Revisiting My Old Kentucky Home: Researching and Writing Kentucky’s African-American History.”
A Taste of African Heritage – employees will be invited to explore the unique tastes and flavors of both West African and Southern cuisine.
Brown Girl Blue Grass Play at the Historic Lyric Theatre– AALN members will accompany teen girls from the local community to the theatrical experience that explores identity, race and culture through the eyes of a brown girl from Kentucky. The event takes place at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Center, a revitalized movie theatre built in 1948 that served Lexington’s African American population.
At Bloomberg, we believe diversity and inclusion powers innovation and global success. This February, our Diversity & Inclusion organization is working with our Black Professional Community, our Global Philanthropy & Engagement team, and senior leadership to host several events in honor of Black History Month.
Events that support D&I are a monthly occurrence at Bloomberg, for we’re committed to building and nurturing diverse and engaged teams across the globe and throughout the year. Thanks to the dedication of our community leaders and members who work in-step with our D&I and Philanthropy & Engagement teams, these events drive employee engagement, while underscoring the importance of D&I to our businesses.
Our communities are employee-run forums where members serve as culture carriers, role models, and brand ambassadors through philanthropic and other engagement activities. These forums also allow employees to expand their professional network and build leadership skills, while promoting a global dialogue on diversity and inclusion. Our eight global communities comprise more than 4,000 employees.
Our February D&I events are as follows. Note that while many of the following are based in New York and New Jersey, they are broadcast globally via the Bloomberg Terminal. Employees who work from other locations can access these events via a live feed or view a recording.
Celebrating Black History Month through CommUNITY
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Black History Month being formally recognized by the U.S. government. Honoring this history, SPLASH is proud to present Brown-Forman with Celebrating CommUNITY. The theme is a double entendre representing our focus on and the celebration of community in plural form (Black Community, Louisville Community, Brown-Forman Community) and our desire to foster unity with all of those communities.
SPLASH is an employee resource group committed to continually fostering the Brown-Forman African American experience. SPLASH aims to position African American employees as integral to the success of Brown-Forman by empowering the African American employment brand though guided career navigation, collaborative managers which serve as champions, and engaging Brown-Forman in cultural awareness. Below is a schedule of Brown-Forman Black History Month Events.
STATE OF BLACK AMERICA: Insights from Game Changers in Politics, Education, Justice and the Community
February 4th 2016
See CommUNITY through the eyes of African American leaders and their journey in making an impact.
GUEST CHEF @ Bourbon Street Café:
February 11th 2016
Celebrate CommUNITY through food in the BSC with Black history month guest chef.
SPLASH INTO A GOOD BOOK: Community Service Day
February 12th 2016
Celebrate CommUNITY and engage with students at local elementary school through education, fun, and interactive games
Fun @ 4: Live Music, Poetry, and The Art of Spoken Word
February 18th 2016
Celebrate CommUNITY through arts and culture; professional African American violinist performance.
HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES (HBCUs) The What and Why: Featuring Local Historically Black University, Professional Concert Choir & University President
February 25th 2016
Celebrate CommUNITY. Learn about the rich legacy of HBCUs, impact within the African American community, and Brown-Forman’s journey in partnership.
African American Network Black History Month Events
Black History Trivia Contest: In recognition of Black History Month, the FINRA African-American Network (FAAN) is sponsoring a Trivia Contest that will run throughout the month of February. Employees will have the opportunity to learn about the contributions of African Americans in the world of finance. The first three employees to answer the trivia questions correctly will win one of many prizes, including a book written by or about an African-American author. The questions are posted on FAAN’s internal SharePoint/website every Monday in February.
Spotlight on FINRA’s African-American Network: Members of the FINRA African-American Network (FAAN) will be “spotlighted” during the month of February. This will allow member contributions and professional experiences to be shared across an open forum for others to read and acknowledge. The spotlight will include a headshot of the member and an informative write-up about the employee, which are posted on FAAN’s internal SharePoint/website.
Black History Photo Challenge: To help increase membership engagement and to learn more about the African American history, members of the FINRA African-American Network (FAAN) will participate in a “Black History Month Photo Challenge.” This will allow employees to send in photos capturing their favorite moment that either celebrates African American heritage, or shows them or a member of their family enjoying or learning about Black history. Members can even take a selfie in front of a monument or traveling somewhere of significance in Black History or in African-American culture. Our goal is to educate and generate excitement from FAAN members about showcasing their experience or contribution to Black History.
Spotlight Breakfast/Lunch with FAAN Members: The FAAN Spotlight series is designed to showcase members of FAAN who have contributed to accomplishing FAAN’s goals and FINRA’s mission over the last few years. At the end of February, employees are provided the opportunity to come out to meet and interact with those FAAN Members spotlighted throughout the month. In a roundtable discussion, leaders will share their career experiences and exchange ideas, engage in dialogue about the value, importance and benefits of the opportunity surrounding diversity and inclusion in the organization.
Fifth Third Bank
Fifth Third Bank actively promotes diversity and inclusion, with inclusion councils and business resource groups (BRGs) throughout the Bank’s footprint. The groups work to infuse engagement and inclusiveness into the work environment and culture. They are open to all Fifth Third employees as members or allies.
The Bank’s African American groups have planned events and activities to celebrate African American History Month. Read on for a sampling of events across the footprint.
The region’s African American BRG is holding its annual Black History Month Celebration Breakfast at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Fifth Third Bank leaders and employees will hear a keynote speaker, network and be inspired.
The region’s African American BRG is helping lead financial empowerment sessions at the Operation Hope Global Forum, as well as sponsoring and attending several other local events, including the Multicultural Media Awards Luncheon and the United Negro College Fund’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Breakfast. Francine Gaston, vice president and community development relationship manager, will be honored as a Trailblazer Award recipient at the breakfast. Additionally, the region is holding its third annual Black History Month essay contest for employees.
Fifth Third Bank (Northeastern Ohio) is holding a financial fitness workshop for local students in the Delta Gems program, which was created to help at-risk adolescent African-American girls actualize their dreams. Additionally, the region is attending Kent State University’s Black History Month Financial Literacy event to help students understand their finances, establish credit, eliminate debt, build wealth and more. Employees also are being invited to participate in black history trivia through local communications.
Fifth Third Bank (Tennessee) is holding a small business seminar for business owners and entrepreneurs to learn more about services and solutions. Additionally, in honor of African American History Month, employees in the region will answer black history trivia questions for the opportunity to win prizes and are invited to a “coffee and conversation” session with Ken Green, president of the Urban League of Middle Tennessee, Jewel Tankard, TV personality from Bravo’s show Thicker than Water, and others.
Fifth Third Bank (Western Michigan)’s African American BRG is planning four events to commemorate the month. First, it will host an informal diversity and inclusion discussion with employees. The discussion will continue in a separate session that will feature a panel of guest speakers, including Dr. Robert Stevenson Jr., pastor and adjunct professor at Grand Valley State University; Rodney Martin, with Warner Norcross & Judd LLP; and Breannah Alexander, with Partners for a Racism-Free Community. The group is keeping its tradition of playing an educational game, with black history bingo for employees, and will wrap up the month with a cooking class focused on making healthier foods and eating decisions.
Fifth Third Bank is proud to have an engaged and inclusive culture and to promote and ensure equal employment opportunity in all employment decisions regardless of race, color, gender, national origin, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status, veteran status or any other legally protected status. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
In February, we celebrate Black History Month, reflecting on the progress, richness, and contributions made by people from the African diaspora.
Here at Freddie Mac, ARISE, our African American Employee Resource Group, will lead this celebration with four fun and inspiring activities. We’ll also be partnering with FLIK, our food service partner, for “A Taste of Soul” to commemorate Black History Month with menus and guest chefs from around the globe.
My Journey: Linkage to the Past, Present, and Future
On Thursday, February 4, we’ll kick off Black History Month with FHFA Director Mel Watt in an intimate fireside chat — My Journey: Linkage to the Past, Present, and Future — on his remarkable personal story. ARISE member Olufunke Owolabi will moderate the interview. Participants will hear from CEO Don Layton and the ARISE leadership team, including CFO Jim Mackey and VPs Lisa Stone and Adama Kah.
Other activities to highlight Black History Month include:
Panel Discussion: Linkage to the Business – February 11
Speed Networking: Linkage to Each Other – February 18
African Diaspora Closing Event: Linkage to Our History and Culture – February 24
The Hershey Company
The Hershey Company’s African American Business Resource Group (AABRG) is one of the company’s eight Business Resource Groups. Introduced in 2007, the purpose of the AABRG is to support and accelerate Hershey’s commitment to engaging employees with diverse backgrounds, skills and capabilities to further the company’s vision for growth.
To celebrate Black History Month the AABRG has collaborated internally and externally to educate and celebrate Black History Month with colleagues and the community.
Every day in February, AABRG members share black history facts on the company’s internal social network and on posters available in all Hershey, Pa. campus locations and U.S. manufacturing plants.
The group will host several events throughout the month including a career day for the National Black MBA Greater Harrisburg Leaders of Tomorrow (LOT) students. The students will have an opportunity to learn about different careers and participate in mock interviews with Hershey employees.
Rated 38th on Forbes’ list of America’s Best Employers, John Deere sponsors a variety of Employee Resource Groups. These employee-run networks provide a global competitive advantage to accelerate business results by finding innovative ways to create and sustain value for employees, business partners, customers, shareholders, and communities and by supporting an inclusive work environment in order to attract, develop, and retain top talent from all backgrounds. As the second longest-standing group of its kind, the Black Employees Resource Group’s (BERG) mission is to develop the skill sets of its members to lead, assist, and excel professionally and to improve recruitment and retention through company-directed professional experiences. In addition to its Steering Committee, BERG consists of four individual subcommittees that work toward fulfilling the mission statement:
BERG commemorates Black History Month with planned events open for all employees. Event types vary and include community service, employee development and employee engagement. All events align with BERG’s mission and its three pillars: “Building Future Leaders and Impacting the Business,” “Investing in the Community,” and “Building Relationships.” BERG hosts a variety of exciting events in February:
February 2016 Events:
A Fireside Chat with Mellody Hobson
Building Future Leaders and Impacting the Business
Investing in the Community
Winter Sports and Networking Trip
Mondelez International will be hosting four events throughout February: Black History’s Implications into the Present, Inspiring Stories on Leadership by MDLZ Trailblazers, BHM Food & Culture Festival and Diversity Truths – Black in America Panel.
New York Life
On the heels of its successful Diversity and Inclusion Awareness Week, New York Life will be celebrating Black History Month with an event featuring former New York Life Board Member and Credit Suisse Vice Chairman Fred Terrell, who will discuss his career path as well as his insights on building a successful career. New York Life’s African American Employee Resource Group (AA ERG) is sponsoring this event, which is sure to inspire and encourage attendees. The AA ERG is also sponsoring a historical review of African American music through the years. This musical adventure will take employees from the blues to jazz to modern R&B and back to the Motown era!
January 25-March 30 – Art Exhibit: “Art is Life – Recognizing Diversity and Inclusion”
February 4-7 – Sponsorship of Harlem Fine Arts Show (HFAS)
February 18 – PAALN Black History Month Meeting
Throughout the month of February, Black History Month menus will be featured at Pfizer cafeteria sites in the United States..
PAALN will also host annual “Day of Caring” community engagement activities in February. (Dates vary by site).
February 25 – NYHQ: Pfizer colleagues will have the opportunity to participate in two projects.
February 25 – Collegeville, PA: Colleagues will have an opportunity to provide onsite assistance at Phoenixville Area Community Services, a resource center serving both Montgomery and Chester counties. Areas of service include assisting with food donations and pantry organization
Black History Month 2016: Celebrating Across PNC
Events will recognize African-American community through dance, film, music.
Black History Month offers everyone the chance to reflect on the struggles, history and journey of the African-American community. This month, PNC will celebrate Black History Month by showcasing the achievements and contributions of African Americans in markets across the enterprise through mediums such as dance, film and music.
Market events began in January in support of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The PNC Foundation, African American Employee Business Resource Group, Regional Diversity Councils and employees will sponsor and host a wider array of programs and events this month. Among some highlights, PNC Arts Alive New Dance Horizons will return for its fourth year in St. Louis and Newark Public Library will feature the exhibit, “We Found Our Way: Newark Portraits from the Great Migration.”
“During Black History Month, we learn to better understand the rich traditions, history and cultures of our diverse employees, customers and communities,” Chief Diversity Officer Marsha Jones said. “We can celebrate their achievements and contributions, strengthen our relationships to help better meet their financial needs and position PNC for future growth. This first History and Heritage Month of 2016 gives us the chance to better appreciate our differences and build a more inclusive environment for everyone.”
You can keep up with events throughout the month on Connections. The Black History Month 2016 blog will provide information and news about various market activities through updates and photos. Jones kicks things off with her own blog post. Please keep in mind that employee feedback is encouraged.
Black History Month events
Take a look at what’s going on near you this month, and keep up with the events across PNC’s footprint on the Black History Month 2016 blog
Chicago: “Olympic Pride, American Prejudice,” a film sponsored by PNC about 18 African American Olympians at the 1936 Berlin Summer Games, will screen Feb. 25 and 26 at DuSable Museum of African American History.
Florida East: PNC will serve as presenting sponsor of the International Career and Business Alliance (ICABA) Business at Breakfast from 7 to 9 a.m. Feb. 19 at The Tower Club in Fort Lauderdale. The Business at Breakfast Series provides high affinity engagement with successful black entrepreneurs and professionals.
PNC also will serve as presenting sponsor March 5 for the 2016 Ascension Awards. The Black Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County established the Ascension Awards in 2009 to recognize business leaders who have ascended to greatness in their area of expertise.
GWA/Greater Maryland: The Morgan State University Choir will give a private concert to Greater Maryland employees and a guest from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 18 at the university in Baltimore.
Lexington: A family-friendly, one-woman show created by and featuring Lexington native Lacresha Berry will run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at Lyric Theater and Cultural Arts Center. This theatrical performance highlights the historic accomplishments and contributions of lesser known African Americans in Kentucky.
Louisville: The Lyric Theater and Cultural Arts Center in Lexington proudly presents its annual program celebrating and highlighting the cultural heritage of African Americans. This two-hour event Feb. 17 features artistic presentations from local artists and presentations from community leaders. The topic for 2016 is community involvement and how students are vital in creating inclusive communities.
Philadelphia/New Jersey: The exhibit, “We Found Our Way: Newark Portraits from the Great Migration,” will be on display from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 4 at Free Public Library of the City of Newark. The exhibit centers on the more than 100 remarkable narratives of the Krueger-Scott African-American Oral History Collection. Linda Bowden, regional president, will give opening remarks.
A Conversation with Robert W. Bogle, president and chief executive officer of The Philadelphia Tribune — one of the nation’s largest and oldest newspapers run by and for the African American community — will be held from 8 to 10 a.m. Feb. 9 at PNC Eastwick Center in Philadelphia for PNC employees.
St. Louis: Dance St. Louis’ original creation, PNC Arts Alive New Dance Horizons, returns for its fourth year – but with a twist. Three nationally renowned, African-American choreographers have created new works inspired by legendary St. Louis African-American artists. Each choreographer is paired with a local dance company to offer these unique world premieres Feb. 26 and 27 at Touhill Performing Arts Center.
The company holds two events, one is external focus; customer, community and supplier diversity, the other is employee focus initiated by our African American Employee Resource group (Networkers.)
For the external focus, the celebration will take place on Friday, February 5th, a crowd of 300 is expected at the event, which honors the achievements of local African-American businesses and leaders, their contributions to economic growth, service to the community and participation in energy-efficiency programs.
This celebration recognizes the importance of African-American contributions to our communities, our state and our nation. SCE serves one of the most ethnically diverse regions of the country and serving our customers means embracing and incorporating diversity into everything we do. Our partnerships with our business and community leaders are the foundation of the service we provide to our customers. Southern California Edison’s annual Black History Month event is an opportunity to show our appreciation to them and to the communities we serve.
U.S. Bank is celebrating Black History Month in a variety of fun and educational ways:
Wells Fargo is a founding donor of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), opening this fall.
We announced our $1M contribution, in addition to a gift of artifacts dating back to the 1800s (two mining stock certificates and one piece of letterhead) developed by African American artist and lithographer, Grafton Tyler Brown. The artifacts are from our very own (Wells Fargo History Museum) collection and will be added to a broader NMAAHC exhibit featuring Brown’s work.