Blog Post

DBP Members Celebrate Black History Month 2018

By Jennifer London
January 30, 2018

February is Black History Month in the United States. Carter G. Woodson, along with the organization he founded, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), first conceived and announced Negro History Week in 1925. The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The celebration was expanded to a month in 1976, the nation’s bicentennial.

There are a plethora of resources to help support your Black History Month celebrations. has a Black History Month page with links to speeches, photo galleries and other video content. is co-curated by the The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to provide an incredible archive of video, audio and print resources.

Each year, Diversity Best Practices gathers from our member companies the activities and initiatives they are doing to celebrate and acknowledge Black History Month. We hope that this list, although not exhaustive, gives you some ideas for your own Black History Month programming. Here is what they told us:


As part of Anthem’s 2018 African-American history month activities, we are enlisting the engagement of our associates to seek out stories and histories that often go overlooked — but it also serves as a call to recognize the various black leaders in our own lives.

Collectively, we are encouraging associates to:

  • Seek out African-American history in their local areas (i.e. museums, monuments)
  • Learn about unsung heroes of African-American History
  • Celebrate African-American Literature
  • Become a mentor in the community to uplift and inspire Anthem’s African-American

Professional Exchange (APEX) Associate Resource Group will share weekly quizzes that will help provide an understanding of the outstanding contributions of African-Americans from science to arts and literature. To learn from where we came is humbling and motivating. Anthem looks forward to sharing this experience with all associates!

Additionally, APEX will host a 3-part series themed, ‘Financial Awareness and Wellbeing within the African-American community ’ designed to increase the financial business acumen for Anthem associates, share African-American financial history and strategically correlate fiscal wellness to overall well-being. The focus will be on:

The Black Wall Street: The Importance of Our Financial History and investments
Financial 101: Financial Health and Managing Money
Financial Business Acumen at Anthem

In further commemoration of the AAHM, APEX has sponsored Broad Ripple School, an inner city school in Indianapolis, Indiana, by hosting an online interactive black history curriculum created by Everfi, a vendor partner specializing in the deployment of engaging digital resources, equipping students and teachers with critical skills for success beyond the classroom. Anthem leaders will participate in an onsite school visit to host a panel discussion on “Becoming a Bold and Courageous Leader… Lessons from Our Ancestors and Modern Day Leaders.” Students and faculty are invited to partake in the discussion.

Anthem’s Commitment to Diversity Anthem’s celebration of African-American History Month is one of many examples of this organization’s commitment to diversity. The importance of diversity can be seen through our 9 active Associate Resource Groups, the Diversity and Inclusion leaders that have been chosen to hold our organization accountable and the commitment that our senior executives and leaders have to drive diversity and inclusion. Anthem is striving to provide associates with training opportunities and tools to continue cultivating a unified, inclusive and high-performing workplace culture. “Every great dream begins with a dreamer.

Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” –Harriet Tubman

Bank of the West

The African American Resource Group (AA RG) is featuring a “Did you know?” series consisting of articles featuring African Americans and telling their story.
The AA RG in LA is hosting a Black History Month event with Kenneth B. Morris Jr. who is a descendant of Fredrick Douglass and Booker T. Washington. (Contract pending finalization.)

In San Ramon, they are working on an agreement with Sable Images to provide a speaker that will display an extraordinary exhibit of African-American memorabilia for a Black History Month Celebration. This “ArtiFACTs” presentation will allow participants to receive a heightened awareness on the origins of enslavement and its effects on African Americans, as well as its impact on politics, social, economic and cultural development. Participants will be able to see a pictorial view of life experiences, witness authentic artifacts and feel an emotional impact of what African-American forefathers had to endure in America.

The exhibition will serve as an educational tool to enhance communication between diverse cultures, races and lifestyles; and it fosters a better understand and acceptance of our differences, while at the same time exploring our similarities. The display will also convey the importance of, the need to respect, recognize, to be proud and tolerant of others.

CSAA Insurance Group

Colorado Springs

Week One: A daily Black History Month-themed PowerPoint presentation will be shared on key prominent figures to educate the staff on the history and progress. It will also highlight individuals that can tie into our PRIDE and Military ERG groups.
Weeks 2 and 3: Different locations in the building will feature inspirational and motivational quotes from leaders throughout black history. We encourage everyone to pick up a quote or two to help engage and inspire their conversations.
The final week we are planning a treat for everyone – we are selecting something that is edible in honor of black history month and something that is central to African-American culture.

Oklahoma City

The OKC Pride group will collaborate with the BEA ERG to present an HIV Testing day in honor of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness day.
Through an interactive experience designed for black history in America, employees will travel through the decades (1800s to present day) to get an understanding of how black history corresponds with our American heritage.
Employees will compete for prizes by participating in a Black History Month-themed scavenger hunt.

Las Vegas

Roy Whitmore, PH.D author, motivation speaker, and President at W Consulting & Mentoring Group will discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion as it pertains to African Americans. He will also address some of the obstacles the African American community faces in the present day.
Former employee Blake McMorris will also speak and share his experiences during the Civil Rights movement and D&I in the workplace during his career. He will also address personal branding, goal setting and opportunities in the insurance industry.
Offering Black History Month timeline trivia games.
Inviting a Touch of Soul food truck to the premises.
The office will display exhibits and posters along with Black History Month Did You Know?


Glendale BEA will be posting the biographies of lesser-known Black historical figures and conducting a scavenger hunt based on this information –winners will receive tickets to see the new Black Panther movie in theatres.
Possibly adding a special cultural snack to the cafeteria menu for the month of February.

Walnut Creek

Gospel singers from Los Medanos College will perform for employees in celebration of Black History Month. There will be four choral selections and three solos, as well as a keyboardist.
The BEA will also host a panel of speakers from organizations we currently support, such as 100 Black Men of the Bay Area, to talk about their experiences growing up of color in America and how it has impacted the fantastic work they do today. The theme will be ‘Growing Up in America. The Story Continues…’

Eli Lilly and Company

Black History Month Kickoff: “The African American Journey”

What is it like to be an African American working at Lilly? Join us to learn the results of robust market research, and the Moments of Truth that many of our African American colleagues experience.

Navigating the Moments of Truth

Leaders will share their personal stories and collective wisdom on how to achieve success through Moments of Truth shared by many African Americans at Lilly.

Immersion Experience

Through an emotional, interactive exhibit, you’ll experience the perspective of individuals who represent key findings from the African American Journey research.

Race in Corporate America

In this session, author Trudy Bourgeois will help participants understand the harm that racial stereotypes cause and suggest practical steps to recognize stereotypes and avoid perpetuating them. Trudy will sign books after the talk.

Our Future is Now

Lisa Nichols is a media personality, corporate CEO, author of seven books and motivational speaker known around the world. She transformed her own life—from a struggling single mom to a millionaire entrepreneur—and inspires others to discover and harness their own potential.

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s, Strengthening Talent African American Resources (STAAR) Network Group will be celebrating and acknowledging Black History Month by viewing a live stream of a City Club of Cleveland speaker and having a conversation around the event. Another event that they will be hosting will be a straight talk session with an invited speaker and some follow up discussion that provides an opportunity for the resource network group to contribute to their diversity and inclusion strategic focus.


In honor of Black History Month, the Employee Resource Group – FINRA’s African American Network (“FAAN”) intends to hold a series of events to educate employees about the achievements of prominent African Americans. FAAN will also share stories and issue publications through its newsletter and internal website to highlight the talents of FINRA employees. Some of the events and programs include:

Black History Trivia Contest: The 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 all walks of life. The first three employees to answer the trivia questions correctly will win one of many prizes, including a book written by or about African American(s).

Black History Photo Challenge: To help increase membership engagement and to learn more about African American history, members of FAAN will participate in a “Black History Month Photo Challenge.” This will encourage employees to share 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. For example, members can take a selfie in front of a monument or during their travels that has some significance in Black History or in African American Culture. Our goal is to educate and generate excitement from FAAN members about displaying their experience or contribution to Black History.

Spotlight on FINRA’s African American Network: Members of FAAN will be “spotlighted” during the month of February. This will highlight the contributions, accomplishments and professional experiences of talented employees 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 will then be posted on FAAN’s internal SharePoint/website.

Black History Month Speaker Event: This year’s event will feature external speaker Dennis Hopkins, a Partner in the Intellectual Property and Patent Litigation practices of the international law firm Perkins Coie LLP, and a notable professional with substantial experience and accomplishments in the areas of Diversity & Inclusion. At the end of February, employees will have the opportunity to attend a symposium to meet and interact with Mr. Hopkins. The symposium will feature a discussion with Mr. Hopkins about his many life experiences, and his perspective on the value, importance and benefits he believes diversity and inclusion can bring to an organization.

Fifth Third Bank

Fifth Third Bank actively promotes diversity and inclusion, with eight virtual Enterprise Business Resource Groups (BRGs) led by Enterprise Committee Executives and 10 regional inclusion councils and business resource groups (BRGs) throughout the Bank’s footprint. There are over 2,000 members and 69 regional BRG chapters. The groups are focused on growing our people, our reputation and our business which fosters engagement and inclusion into the work environment and culture. The BRGs are open to all Fifth Third employees as members or allies.

The Bank’s African American groups have a variety of planned events and activities to celebrate African American History Month during the month of February.

The Cincinnati AABRG members will host a Black History Month breakfast for approximately 140 participants with the theme “Connections: Feeling Connected, Being Connected, I am Connected.” The event will feature world acclaimed artist and lawyer, Brian Washington as the keynote speaker. Mr. Washington’s artwork will be on display at the Bank during the breakfast and key art pieces will be displayed long-term at the Bank’s headquarters. In addition to Mr. Washington’s speech and display, the event will feature opening comments from Greg Carmichael, President and CEO of Fifth Third Bank and music by Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Dr. Ian Saunders.

In addition to a Black History Month celebration, Fifth Third Bank AABRG members in Detroit will be hosting the Black History Month essay contest for youth at the Detroit Northwest Activities Center, which is a community center that has a Fifth Third branch located inside.

Fifth Third Eastern Michigan AABRG members will be hosting a meeting at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and they’ll be participating in the Genesee County Black Business Expo in Flint. They will also promote and participate in homeownership education workshops with nonprofit agencies throughout the month.

The Fifth Third AABRG in Western Michigan will host a forum titled, “Let’s Talk about Race,” which will be facilitated by Julian Newman from the GRCC Woodrick Center for Equity and Inclusion. The forum will inspire a harmonious environment, allow employees the opportunity to discuss challenging conversations about race and promote critical thinking. The group will also be hosting the AABRG Family Feud Game, a lively trivia game where people will test their knowledge, learn interesting facts about African American history and accomplishments.

Freddie MAC

In honor of Black History Month, ARISE has collaborated internally to educate and inspire employees with four company-sponsored activities. Read on to learn more about the exciting programming planned. Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by people of the African diaspora. It’s a time to honor the too-often-forgotten accomplishments of black Americans in every area of U.S. history and hear diverse voices on a variety of topics affecting black lives.

ARISE has an impressive array of programs planned throughout February, including an intimate Q&A with Freddie Mac Board Member Lance Drummond, an executive networking event, mentoring circles, and a joint meeting and reception with the DC Metro Area NABA Chapter.

ENGAGE: Featuring Lance Drummond – Come hear Freddie Mac Board Member Lance Drummond during an interactive Q&A session. He’ll share his personal story, most influential moments, and multi-industry perspective

DEVELOP: Connect to Achieve – Join co-sponsors HOLA and Rising Leaders for a professional development event for emerging and mid-career staff. Don’t miss out on this chance to network with and learn from Freddie Mac executives, as well as to engage with other professionals across the company.

DEVELOP: ARISE Mentoring Circles – ARISE hosts an invitation-only Mentoring Circle for men of the African diaspora. Mentoring Circles are an excellent way to share your successes and mentor and learn from others in a supportive environment.

ATTRACT: Freddie Mac Presents the DC NABA Chapter – Time to get your network on? Mark your calendars to attend the ARISE and Washington DC Metro Area NABA Chapter joint meeting and reception.

General Mills

On February 1, our Black Champions Network will host a Black History Month kick-off celebration that includes a networking breakfast and live entertainment.

Each week in February, the cafeteria will feature a meal in honor of Black History Month. Every week will tell a story of the evolution of Black History through our plates. The menus include African-inspired food, Caribbean, Soul food; and Minneapolis/Somalian. There will also be opportunities to fellowship, discuss, and learn with the weekly topics.

There are also a number of other social events including a Black History Month Brunch, a “Coffee and Culture” event with a curator who will lead a tour created/inspired by Black artists, Black Panther movie viewing, and a volunteer activity with Reading Partners.

Johnson & Johnson

In recognition of MLK Jr. and in celebration of our Black History, J&J’s African American Leadership Council (AALC) Corporate Chapter in partnership with PNC’s African American Employee Resource Group and the Harlem Fine Arts Show organized a unique networking experience on Thursday, January 25, 2018 from 5-8 pm EST. The event was held at PNC Bank in New Jersey.

The program began with an African Diasporic Art Exhibition and Sale during which professionals from both J&J and PNC had an opportunity to network. Following the art exhibition and networking opportunity, there was a screening of the “Black Like Me” episode of Finding Your Roots Season 4. J&J is a founding sponsor of the “Finding Your Roots” franchise, and has helped Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. produce some of the most groundbreaking programs about African American History including “Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise” and “Africa: The Great Civilizations.”

The screening of “Black Like Me” was the basis of a panel discussion that explored Unconscious Bias within the Black Community and at work. Panelists included Danny Burrell (J&J, Head of Global Diversity and Inclusion Enterprise Strategy) and Marsha Jones (PNC, Chief Diversity Officer).

This was a unique networking opportunity, while also a celebration of Black History through art and exploring perspectives that shape the way the Black Community is perceived!

On Tuesday, February 20, 2018, the H.O.N.O.R. and African American Leadership Council (AALC) employee resource groups will be holding its 40th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance celebration. The theme this year is “Celebrating 40 Years….Continuing to Build A Legacy”

As in past years, we will be honoring members of the Johnson & Johnson companies and the local community who have demonstrated a passion for others through caring and service in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy. We have invited our employee community to submit nominations for four recognitions.

In collaboration with our local New Jersey partners, the State Theatre New Jersey, Johnson & Johnson is hosting a pre-show party of Motown The Musical for all of its employees and retirees. Employees and retirees will have an opportunity to network over hors d’oeuvres and beverages immediately prior to the show. Discounted tickets are being offered to these guests.

In celebration of our Black History, Johnson & Johnson’s Piscataway Chapter of the African American Leadership Council (AALC) Employee Resource Group are holding a networking and learning experience. There will be a guest speaker, some history sharing and other cultural exhibit. All Johnson & Johnson employees are invited to attend.

JPMorgan Chase

At JPMorgan Chase, we celebrate Black History Month as an opportunity to recognize the deep culture and expansive history of the black community, as well as achievements and advances across diverse industries. For our firm, it also marks the two-year anniversary of the launch of the Advancing Black Leaders Diversity Strategy, which aims to attract, hire, retain and advance black talent.

We have a variety of events and content running throughout Black History Month. Below is a snapshot of some highlights:

Lobby exhibit at our headquarters – ‘Moments in Time’ – honors Black History Month and includes videos, brochures, slideshows and volunteers to engage in discussion:

  • ‘Take a Moment’ – review chronological panels outlining firm’s commitment and milestones through time, learn more via video snippets and quotes, and link to Business Resource Group (BRG) information/membership sign-up portal
  • Make a Moment’ – by posting a photo at the interactive wall in the exhibit
  • or submitting a photo that answers the question: What’s the #1 thing you’ll do in 2018 to help make the firm a more diverse and inclusive environment?

A letter from executives Doug Petno, Operating Committee sponsor of BOLD, and Valerie Rainford, who leads the firm’s Diversity Advancement Strategies, announces the firm’s new initiative to increase its focus on the black community to all employees

Articles on our internal and external channels from influencers
Exhibition on view featuring works by African-American artists
Events held throughout the firm by BRG chapters and specific hubs
A firm-wide video: “Commitment”
30-5-1 mentoring circles where employees can network with members of the global Black Executive Forum and one another

Kaiser Permanente

National Kaiser Permanente African American Professional Association (KPAAPA)
Virtual Discussion around the Stigma of Mental Health in our Communities, a Town Hall styled transmission across Kaiser Permanente Regions

The purpose of our event is to bring awareness on a broad scale around the Stigma of Mental Health in our African American Communities. This issue can be identified as a partial cause for our high incarceration rates, depression, suicide, etc. Reducing stigma around mental health and wellness for our members and the communities we serve is a priority for Kaiser Permanente, as Chairman and CEO Bernard J. Tyson recently wrote in a post published on LinkedIn.


  • The Houston chapter has planned several events throughout the month including a fitness challenge, weekly office wide trivia, employee spotlights, and an ensemble production of Muhammad Ali.
  • The Orange County chapter will distribute weekly trivia questions to the office throughout the month. The questions will focus on informing individuals about Black History Month, the African American Network, and diversity within the local community.
  • The Montvale chapter is partnering with KPMG’s Hispanic Latino Network (HLN) to hold a screening of the PBS documentary, “Black in Latin America,” which portrays an in depth look at Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Refreshments will feature cuisine from each country.
  • The Chicago chapter will host their annual “Diversity Day,” featuring prominent, diverse executives sharing their perspectives on current affairs and issues faced by African Americans in corporate America.
  • The Denver chapter is collaborating with KPMG’s Experience Design Engineering group and other Diversity Networks to leverage virtual reality and media as a vehicle to educate employees on the African American Network, discuss topics surrounding Black History Month and expose professionals to the broader discussion of Inclusion and Diversity.
  • The Boston chapter invited 40 students from a predominantly diverse high school to the office for a tour of the facilities, networking luncheon, and presentation on careers in a professional services firm. Later in the month (2-22) the chapter will hold an African art show for the office, featuring local artists displaying their work and providing guests with an informative narrative.
  • The Los Angeles chapter will host an informative luncheon to discuss Black History Month (2-12). Additional events include a career day with a local high school (2-16) and “Lunch & Learn” to solicit membership and inform the office of KPMG’s African American Network (2-22)
  • The Philadelphia chapter will host an evening event at the African American Museum of Philadelphia, including networking opportunities, museum tours, and screening of a short film (TBD). Refreshments will be provided. Additionally, the office plans to distribute weekly trivia questions to all partners and employees with questions covering Black History Month topics.
  • Collaborating with KPMG’s Family For Literacy (KFFL), the Atlanta chapter will host a book distribution and reading to students at a local elementary school with literature celebrating accomplished African Americans. Care packages will also be handed out to needy students containing items such as coats, school supplies, and hygiene products.
  • The Orlando office will be celebrating the launch of its local African American Network chapter, the first and only KPMG African American Network chapter in the state of Florida.
  • For the second consecutive year, the New York chapter will host gastroenterologist Dr. Holly Lofton to discuss with members and guests the effects of stress on our metabolism and ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle in a high performance culture. Secondly, centered around the theme of “Innovation & Entrepreneurship: Transforming and Taking Charge of Your Career,” the New York chapter will host a session offering tips on how to allow for more creativity and innovation in our lives.
  • The Silicon Valley chapter will be holding an informative luncheon for the entire office, featuring a guest speaker (TBD).
  • The Tysons Corner chapter will be holding several events throughout the month of February including a book reading at a local elementary school with KPMG’s Family for Literacy (KFFL), a co-branded luncheon with a client (inviting Diversity Network members from both organizations), and a cultural reception featuring a discussion led by retired KPMG partners.

M&T Bank

African American Resource Group (AARG), Western New York Chapter

“Did you know …” Emails: Emails are sent to all Employee Group Members highlighting influential and historical African Americans in all aspects of society. The dual purpose of these bi-weekly email blasts in the month of February is to: (1) educate resource group members on Black Americans who have made remarkable and often pioneering contributions to society, and (2) recognize, acknowledge and talk about those who paved the way for people of color.

AARG WNY also organized displays in commons spaces in some M&T buildings where photos of prominent African Americans were displayed along with brief bios. The purpose was to share this information with team members and encourage mutual celebration.

The Black History Month Event is a mainstay for M&T Bank in the WNY area. Many team members from all over the bank look forward to the food, entertainment and networking that occurs at these events. This is a semi-formal evening celebration that occurs at an offsite venue in the month of February. Our goal for the Black History Month event is to create a family-type atmosphere where the warmth and vibrant color of our culture is on display and purposefully celebrated. Every year we hone in on the artistic, educational, and historic contributions of African Americans. Whether we are focusing on different time periods in history, bringing in scholars and well-respected leaders in our community, or working with cultural institutions, AARG WNY always looks to create a well-rounded, unforgettable event.

For 2018, the Black History Month planning committee has created the theme “Night at the Apollo” in honor of the Apollo, an entertainment icon in the Black Community. It was at the Apollo in New York City that many legendary performers earned their foot-in-the-door opportunity. “The Divine One” Sarah Vaughn and “The First Lady of Jazz” Ella Fitzgerald both won amateur nights at The Apollo, which in turn led to their first big breaks in the business.

Buffalo/Niagara is steeped in history and much of it relates to major movements that were coordinated by African Americans. AARG WNY proudly partners with our history. We acknowledge with pride the path that have been paved, and the road that is yet ahead.

Northern Trust

My Block, My Hood, My City Community Event

My Block, My Hood, My City Explorers Program engages teenagers from under-resourced communities and exposes them to new opportunities through structured, educational explorations at hosting firms. Partners of Northern Trust are invited to speak to students about their career. The goal of this event is to expose the students to the opportunities available at Northern Trust.

TEDx My Culture: Part I

Join us for the first installment of several 5-min TED-style talks presented by BBRC members that will inspire conversation and provide insights into the way our personal culture influences our work ethic.

Strategies for Improving Race Relations in the Workplace

Panelists: Mike O’Grady, Teresa Parker, Shundrawn Thomas, and Susan Levy
Moderator: Connie Lindsey

In this context, race relations refers to the ways in which people of different races interact with each other. This discussion will examine cultural differences and offer insights and suggestions to better understand how cultural upbringing shapes work ethic.

TEDx My Culture: Part II

Join us for the second installment of several 5-min TED-style talks presented by BBRC members to continue the conversation on how culture plays a role in our daily tasks and Northern Trust principles.

Northrup Grumman

In honor of those who have served, The African American Task Group celebrates the 2018 Black History Month theme: African Americans in Time of War

AATG Summit
“In Honor of Those Who Have Served” is title of the African American Task Group (AATG) employee resource group’s (ERG’s) 7th Annual Summit. The focus parallels with the 2018 Black History Month theme, “African Americans in Times of War” and welcomes a close collaboration throughout the Summit with the VERITAS ERG. The event will feature a webcast fireside chat with Wes Bush, chairman and CEO.

Black History Month Kickoff Cake & Photos
Storytime (all ages) and Kidding around Yoga (ages 4-12): Bring your family for a wonderful morning of stories, songs, and stretches as we engage in Yoga and Mindfulness! For children 4-12 and their families. Mats provided.


African Americans in the US Military


At PG&E we are doing the following in honor of Black History Month:

Supply Chain Responsibility will be hosting its annual Black History Month Small Business Workshop for African American suppliers. The event will discuss safety, PG&E’s Supplier Diversity and Sustainability Programs and supplier networking.

Black Employee Resource Group (Black ERG) and National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) employee members will volunteer to support at the Black College Expo in Oakland, CA (Expect close to 5,000 students to attend who can receive admissions and/or financial aid at the event)

Black ERG/NSBE will be hosting an employee Leadership lunch talk with PG&E Board of Director Member, Honorable Jeh Johnson, who formerly served as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security during President Obama’s Administration

Community Affairs will be co-Hosting a Media Roundtable with African American Media to meet PG&E executives and Subject Matter Experts to share about PG&E’s rate plans, Supplier Diversity and Sustainability programs, Black Employee Resource Group and Scholarships, and Community Partnerships.


PNC joins the nation in celebrating Black History Month with market events honoring African-American history and culture and a keynote presentation featuring diversity expert and executive Steve Pemberton.

Throughout February, PNC will sponsor internal and community events as part of our ongoing commitment to an inclusive workplace and the engagement of all employees to drive greater business results and benefit the communities we serve.

“As we celebrate Black History Month, I encourage all employees to reflect on the principles for which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood: unity, justice and peace,” said Marsha Jones, PNC’s chief diversity officer. “This year will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. King, a leader who changed the trajectory of American history. His dream of a society that appreciates people of different backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities and experiences is as relevant today as it was five decades ago. When we all work together each day to strengthen PNC’s inclusive culture, we are helping to keep Dr. King’s dream alive.”

Keynote presentation on leadership
The event titled “Keep the Dream Alive” will be livestreamed across the company and will feature Steve Pemberton, the chief human resources officer at Globoforce, the leading social recognition provider for companies worldwide. He is an expert on diversity and inclusion and D&I’s importance to the sustainability of organizations and communities.

A ward of the state for much of his childhood, Pemberton brings a personal understanding of human differences to his work as a diversity advocate. His childhood experiences are chronicled in his memoir, A Chance in the World, and in a film of the same title. Pemberton’s dedication to public service and personal and professional achievement have earned him honorary doctorates and the Horizon Award by the United States Congress, presented to individuals from the private sector who have contributed to expanding opportunities for all Americans through their own contributions, and who have set exceptional examples for young people through their successes in life.


At Shire their Black Leadership Council (BLC) business resource group has coordinated a series of engaging and educational activities across their sites in Massachusetts, Illinois, California, Pennsylvania, and California.

  • Sites will host a Black History Month networking kick-off event on February 1 to introduce Black History Month and inform employees about the upcoming ways to participate.
  • BLC created 15-20 “Did You Know” profiles of African American STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) trailblazers, many whose innovations have influenced how they work at Shire. These profiles will be displayed on their sites’ plasma screen boards throughout the month of February. Each week there will be a new rotation of profiles. There also are plans to share these profiles on Shire’s Yammer Communities to encourage further learning and dialogue.
  • Some sites will host a Black History Month “Taste of Culture” celebration. Shire has partnered with their on-site Catering team so that employees can enjoy an array of freshly prepared African American and Afro-Caribbean inspired menu items. Next to each “tasting offering” will be a brief description explaining the significance and history behind the dish.
  • Shire’s Learning and Development team will feature the BLC leaders for a “Leadership Spotlight” interview. They also are planning to share educational content about Black History Month (including some of DBP’s resources) on Shire’s internal learning platform, WeLearn.
  • Their Massachusetts BLC chapter will host a breakfast speaker event. The slated guest speaker is Monica Cost who will address the topic of “How to Live an Authentic Life.”
  • BLC leaders who will be at Shire’s annual U.S. Commercial National Sales Meeting at the end of February will host a Black History Month panel event. The panel will include employees at various stages of their careers discussing how storytelling – an important cultural expression within African and African American communities – has helped them reach their professional aspirations. The panel also will address what it means to be a tenacious leader since tenacity is the theme of NSM.


At Sodexo we are passionate about community engagement and providing services that create and improve the quality of life of the diverse communities we serve.

February is Black History Month (BHM). To celebrate, Sodexo in partnership with African American Leadership Forum (AALF) and numerous external partners have planned several activities for internal and external audiences. BHM celebrations kicked off on Martin Luther King Day with messages from the Regional Leaders and the Chair of AALF.

Internal celebrations will be announced and promoted using different elements on sites, internal websites, and social media. At headquarters, a “Mindful BHM at Rio Cafe” will offer authentic African American dishes promoting health and wellness. AALF internal events include; a AALF National Webinar, which will feature Mary Frances Winters, a well-known expert on Diversity & Inclusion; a Networking Mixer at HQ.

Externally, Sodexo celebrates and supports African Americans in collaboration with excellent partners such National Urban League (NUL), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) ACT-SO, and Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA). With NUL we conduct Holistic Wellness Workshops year-round and engage chapters in the Sodexo workforce. With NAACP ACT-SO our chefs mentor high school students interested in the culinary and hospitality industry, one of which will earn a scholarship to the Culinary Institute of America. Every year during BHM, Sodexo profiles/highlights two outstanding Sodexo African American senior leaders through the MFHA Black History Multicultural Tribute ad. This year SodexoMagic and Boeing will be hosting an BHM external event called “Chartering Foundation of Success.”

The Coca Cola Company

The celebration of Black History Month, gives the opportunity to honor influential trailblazers in a variety of industries. Reflecting on the many contributions African Americans have made across our country, The Coca-Cola Company’s African American Business Resource Group (AABRG) will be honoring a few key trailblazers in the area of business, art and sports. Following are key activities planned for this 2018 Black History Month. The AABRG will celebrate and highlight the achievements of some of the most iconic pioneers as they Honor Trailblazers On & Off the Field”.

  • Monday; February 5th; The AABRG kicks off the month with a focus on African American Trailblazers in business. The AABRG will have a Heart to Heart Conversation with the CEO of Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Company; Trailblazer, Junior Bridgeman.
  • Wednesday; February 7th, The AABRG will host a Cultural Celebration; Honoring Arts Trailblazer August Wilson. This event will honor the role African Americans have played in the field of arts, specifically the work of August Wilson. One of August Wilson’s most notable plays is King Hedley II. The AABRG will be joined by True Colors Theatre. True Colors Theatre will perform a scene from the King Hedley II play and share additional information about their August Wilson Monologue Competition, which provides scholarships for high school students.
  • Monday; February 19th, The AABRG will host a panel discussion about the Ten Bears; Inaugural Lacrosse Trailblazers of Morgan State. This event will focus on Trailblazers in the area of sports. The Ten Bears is a book chronicling the history of the first Historically Black College & Universities (HBCU) Collegiate Lacrosse team at Morgan State University. Dr. Miles Harrison, the original catalyst of the Morgan State lacrosse team, and current surgeon in Baltimore, will join the AABRG to discuss the experience.

Additional activities:
The following events will also be available to AABRG members & Coca-Cola employees to engage in during the 2018 Black History Month.

  • Wednesday; February 14th; Health & Wellness Challenge – February is also Heart Health month. The AABRG has partnered with The Coca-Cola Wellness team to have a Heart Health Challenge
  • Coca-Cola Archives team will display African American Artwork throughout the Coca-Cola Atlanta campus during the month of February
  • Be Your Own Trailblazer – Professional Personality Refresh. The AABRG will have a professional photographer and makeup artist on site (February 21st and 23rd) for members and employees to have an opportunity to have their professional headshots for 2018 taken

About The African American Business Resource Group (AABRG)

Understanding that innovation and transformative business impact result from combining the best of everyone’s creative talents, the AABRG exists to foster an inclusive environment by stewarding the value and impact our differences has in the workplace, in our lives and in our communities. The AABRG seeks to contribute to The Coca-Cola Company’s (TCCC) business growth and support Global Diversity & Inclusion mission of mirroring the diverse markets we serve by:

  • Providing meaningful contributions to the company regarding African American Insights
  • Providing learning & development opportunities that lead to personal and professional growth
  • Nurturing an inclusive & growth oriented environment by creating collaborative connections that promote and support education, well-being, the environment and our communities


Kick Off

The kick-off mixer is an event celebrating the different cultures of the African Diaspora with the purpose of educating employees on the differences of people from African descent.

Drum Circle

The drum circle will be a fun and interactive hour during lunch to show the art form of drum playing which has a long legacy in African American culture.

Storytelling Panel

The story telling panel will consist of 4-5 panelist telling their personal stories of finding themselves, their purpose, and their success. It will be a thought-provoking and inspiring session for all.

Blood Drive

This is a second year that we are executing a BE-U Blood Drive in support of Sickle Cell Anemia. We are well aware of the severe blood shortage with are faced with as noted by the Red Cross. What is also well known among the African American community is that we are genetically more likely to contract Sickle Cell Anemia. In 2017 we partnered with the Red Cross as a part of Black History Month to not just donate blood but raise awareness around Sickle Cell anemia. Though a small incentive, BE-U would like to provide the first 50 participants with a gift card as a small payment for their donation beyond the feeling of helping someone.

Volunteer Event

The volunteer event will be with a local New Jersey high school

Our field offices and factories will also celebrate in their own unique ways by hosting TedTalks and discussions, and visiting African History Museums.


UnitedHealthcare is coordinating numerous activities to celebrate and acknowledge Black History Month. We will highlight stories and experiences of current UHC employees. Additionally, we will host a guest speaker – Alan Page. Alan Page was an associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court from 1993-2015. Previously, Page was a defensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings during the 1970s and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame (1993) and the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1988). This session will highlight his experiences and the value of diversity & inclusion in the workplace and is available for all UHC employees, whether in-person or virtual and will be recorded for future viewing.

U.S. Bank

The African American Business Resource Group (BRG) at U.S. Bank is celebrating Black History Month in a variety of fun and educational ways:

  • Throughout the month employees will be encouraged to join the African American BRG.
  • Leaders of the African American BRG will be featured in a video highlighting their experiences and reflecting on Black History Month.
  • The company’s intranet will feature articles on the African American BRG and how employees can get involved.
  • A variety of events and activities are planned, including a company-wide virtual event and local events in several markets including Chicago, St. Louis, Southeast Wisconsin and the Twin Cities.
  • The BRG is sponsoring a Black History Month trivia contest for employees throughout February. Randomly selected winners will receive prizes such as gift cards and books.
  • Employees are encouraged to organize activities and events for their teams or locations, and to share recaps and photos in the company’s online African American BRG community.
  • Employees and branch locations are invited to display a specially designed Black History Month poster.
  • U.S. Bank’s intranet news page will highlight these events and tools all month long.


Zurich North America is celebrating Black History Month during February to honor the history and contributions of people of African ancestry to our society and our business. Valuing the diversity and potential of every individual is embedded in our Values and plays a significant role in how we are able to deliver on our strategy.

Having employees with diverse perspectives united with a single purpose helps them win in the marketplace. That’s why this year’s Black History Month theme is “Standing Together,” and events throughout the month, open to all employees, focus on building connections.

The Zurich African Ancestry Alliance (ZAAA) has planned a full month of rich programming that will help educate, develop and inspire all employees. These events include:

Taste of Diversity: Employees will host panels of industry and community leaders discuss industry insights and local business/community collaborations. Discussions will be followed by networking.

Series of four Lunch and Learns: focusing on the importance of mentorship, navigating change, and realizing your dreams with insight from Zurich’s Commercial Insurance regional leadership team and brokers.

Making Diversity and Inclusion Happen: Zurich is proud to host Steve Pemberton, Globoforce Chief Human Resources Officer and best-selling author who will share his own powerful story, which is now being made into a movie based on his memoir, “A Chance in the World: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past, and How He Found a Place Called Home.”

Lifting as We Grow: Employees will participate in a highly engaging and insightful exercise that allows discussion of how we’re more similar than we think, and what informs our differences.

Driving Your Own Bus: Navigating the Organization: Diversity/MBA provides talent management and diversity and inclusion strategies for Fortune 1000 companies. Employees will hear their CEO Pamela McElvane share her story, strategy and insights to helping you drive your career.

About the Author

Jennifer London
Director, Events