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Black History Month: Vantage’s Black Employee Network Share Their Thoughts
Business Center

Black History Month: Vantage’s Black Employee Network Share Their Thoughts

Inaugurated in the United States in 1976, Black History Month was established to recognize and celebrate the manifold contributions of African Americans and black individuals globally. This observance honors the rich tapestry of black heritage and its profound impact on the world across various fields, including science, governance, civil rights, arts and technology.

Black History Month has evolved into a global observance, fostering an international dialogue on the diverse experiences from African Americans to black communities around the world. It serves as a reminder of the resilience, innovation and enduring spirit that these communities have contributed to civil rights and the global stage, driving social and economic progress.

Recognizing the universal value of diversity, companies worldwide have embraced the spirit of this observance. For instance, within the global data center industry, Black History Month resonates as a powerful reminder of the necessity for representation and equity. It celebrates the achievements of African American professionals who have enriched this sector, highlighting the critical strides made towards civil rights and creating a more inclusive work environment.

One such initiative is the Black Employee Network (BEN), one of Vantage’s affinity groups, which exemplifies a proactive approach to fostering diversity and inclusion within the workplace. As an integral part of the company’s Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Community, BEN provides a platform for black employees to express their perspectives, confront challenges and spearhead initiatives that enhance inclusivity and representation in the industry. Through networking, mentorship and advocacy, BEN is instrumental in cultivating a culture where diversity is not only recognized but celebrated.

As we observe Black History Month, employees of Vantage and members of BEN shared personal reflections on its significance for civil rights and what it means to them. They emphasize the importance of this period as an educational and celebratory time that underscores the importance of understanding and appreciating the global impact of black heritage and the critical role African American history has in shaping a diverse and dynamic future. Here’s what they shared:

Jamaica Swoopes, Contract Analyst, North America: Black History Month is about learning and reflecting on our shared history, acknowledging the struggles faced and highlighting the countless achievements that have shaped our nation.

By learning this history, we can foster understanding and unity and have hope for a reverence that transcends racial boundaries and creates a more inclusive future.

Alyson Cookes, Office Manager, North America: To me, black history means “opportunity.” It’s an opportunity to learn, share and reflect. An opportunity to listen, absorb, act and do something different.

Ashley Barrett, Cybersecurity Engineer, Global: For me, Black History Month is an opportunity to explore the less-known stories of black lives. It encourages me to think about why these stories may have been neglected in the past and–at the same time–gives me a chance to honor those who have positively influenced others.

My hope is that by celebrating Black History Month, black history is not limited to one month a year but remembered, learned and celebrated all year round.

Phil Follett, Senior Manager, Digital Training, Global: Celebrating Black History Month is a chance to reflect on where society has been, how it has developed and the many contributions black people have made to aid that development.

It’s a chance to reflect on the struggles and the fruits of my ancestors and stands as a reminder to live by my beliefs and values and never give up. It makes me grateful that I live at a time when my contributions can be valued and recognized, as small as they might be.

Michael Greenway, Environmental Health & Safety Manager, EMEA: Black History Month is a chance to promote and celebrate black contributions across the world and challenge what we have learned in history.

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