February is Black History Month in the US! To celebrate, Lenovo featured members of our Black Leaders Achieving Success in Technology (BLAST) employee resource group (ERG).
Launched in 2014, BLAST serves more than 300 African American employees across North America. The group strives to inspire, support, and empower its leaders through enlightenment, exposure, mentorship, and outreach. It provides regular career development opportunities, including its 6-month “Empower” mentor program. BLAST also regularly hosts speaker panels for best practice insights, recognizes member achievements and promotions, and partners with other Lenovo ERGs to give back to the community through the Lenovo Foundation.
Santiago Morris, Inside Technical Sales Representative, shares his thoughts and insights on several topics.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
“Black History Month is a time to celebrate, demonstrate fellowship, and reflect. Black History is important to American History and to all people who identify as Black or of African descent. BHM is a celebration of past heritage and of the progress that has been made over the years. It's a time to reflect on the past in hopes of changing the future.”
What can people do this Black History Month and beyond to support the African American community?
“A great way to support the African American Community is to support Black-owned Businesses, bakeries, coffee shops, restaurants, etc. Try incorporating a black-owned business into something that is already part of your weekly routine.”
How has Lenovo's BLAST ERG made you feel supported in the workplace?
“Lenovo’s BLAST ERG has given me the opportunity to impact Lenovo and its surrounding communities. I have met many wonderful people through BLAST and helped create a community that makes Lenovo feel like home.”
Celebrating Black voices beyond Black History Month
We elevate Black voices throughout the year on the Lenovo EDU Community. Here are some notable contributors:
- Imposter Syndrome Exists Everywhere by Derron Payne shares an excerpt from his book, The Art of the Pivot, where he learned an important lesson about imposter syndrome and how to combat it.
- Success Isn’t Rocket Science—Except When It Is: Sydney Hamilton has wanted to fly since she was a little girl, despite not seeing many African-American women in space or as pilots. Now she’s developing ways to reduce the cost and margin of error of satellites, using 3D printing to create things like a superlight electrical bracket from aerospace-grade materials.
Resources for educators: 15 ways to honour Black History Month in your classroom
From Black American innovators to artists and social activists, there are a large number of people and stories to celebrate during Black History Month. But as educators lead conversations about painful aspects of the past, it’s important to remember that many of these issues remain part of the present.
Celebrating Black history means focusing not only on history but also on ways to increase equity now and in the future. One way to expand your focus is by utilizing a variety of resources that surface ideas and stories from the past, but also highlight the work being done today.
Whatever your subject matter, you can take part in celebrating and sharing Black history in your classroom. Here are 15 resources from The LANSchool to help.