Celebrating Black History Month at ACA

Author

Joel Bernardin

Publish Date

Type

Article

Topics

  • ACA News

To celebrate Black History Month, ACA is proud to announce that we have formally launched the “Connected Black Professionals” affinity group (CBP). CBP was created to promote advocacy and kinship among our Black professionals. Our purpose is to provide a medium by which black employees can engage directly with one another on a regular basis and to discuss any issues that may be relevant to their professional career.

At ACA, our culture is one of our most treasured assets. Given the social unrest over the last few years, ACA has actively participated in promoting the well-being of our diverse employees including our Black employees. In the summer of 2020, ACA participated in the 21-Day Racial Challenge to create awareness and understanding of the racial inequality that still exists in our modern society, as well as educate our employees on the history of racism. Thirty minutes each workday for 21 days, this program gave our employees the chance to speak freely about a topic that is typically taboo in the workplace. I was inspired by the personal stories and experiences of my colleagues and was honored to lead a session alongside my colleagues and our most senior management. I am proud to work at a company that has embraced this program and given our employees a platform to open up about these issues. The feedback from this challenge was overwhelmingly positive and one of our proudest moments at ACA.

As we reflect on the theme of Black History Month for 2021, “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity,” we will encourage our Black professionals to share their stories and perspectives on what “The Black Family” means to them. In addition, we will continue the theme from our racial challenge that taught us that listening with an open heart is always the first step to establishing & maintaining trust.

I am excited to be a part of CBP and join the other Affinity Groups at ACA, such as ACA ALLiance supporting the LBGTQ+ community, [email protected] supporting women, HALO supporting our Hispanic and Latino community and our Working Parents group which has provided resources to educate children on the importance of understanding different backgrounds.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

"Black History Month is an opportunity to reflect on the contributions of Black scientists and Black entrepreneurs and Black activists who have fought bravely for justice with dignity and resolve in an often unfair world. Black History Month is a chance to expand our own personal rosters of heroes, so that we may recognize and support the Black heroes of today and work together for a better tomorrow." - Joshua Broaded, Partner, Pittsburgh, PA

"When I think of Black history, I think of how my great grandparents would not have been able to imagine me being able to experience life in the world we live in today. To me, Black history means reflecting on the trials, successes, failures, obstacles, and joy of Black people and Black culture. Black history means carrying the legacy of those who came before me. Black history means reflecting on the beauty and preciousness that is Black culture. Black history means educating myself on those who have and currently contribute to the preservation of the Black community. Black history means educating those who look like me, and those who don’t. Black history means everything to me." - Jamil Ohayia, Consultant, New York, NY

"Black History Month is both a time to celebrate the amazing contributions of Black Americans throughout our history and a time to remember the struggles of Black Americans throughout our history. It's also a time to strengthen our resolve as a society to fight against systemic racism and fight for equality and justice." - Carlo di Florio, Global Chief Services Officer, New York, NY

"Black history is American history, or European history, or the world’s history. So pausing to acknowledge and celebrate Black History Month is to better understand all of our histories, and what makes us great and what makes us frail." - Shvetank Shah, Chief Executive Officer, Washington, DC

"Black history means educating, informing, remembering, and praising a culture that has been stripped and tarnished. It means never forgetting where we have come from, the accomplishments we have achieved, the world we have inspired, and the legacies we have created. Most importantly, it's about ensuring the future generations are proud of who they are, their history, and what all they can do." - Noble Langley Orie, Consultant, Chattanooga, TN

"Black History Month represents our responsibility to remember the past and the opportunity we have to change the future." - Justin Guthrie, Chief Operating Officer, Chattanooga, TN