2月 23, 2021

Every February, we celebrate Black History Month by honoring African-American heritage, achievements and contributions. This year, we’re spotlighting the tremendous impacts of the Black community on our built environment. We asked our employees to share what this month means to them, personally, and how we can work together as an industry to foster equity.

We asked our employees:

  • What does Black History Month mean to you?
  • What are some steps that A/E firms can take to promote diverse voices within the industry?

 

 

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black History Month means that I have an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the contribution and achievements of African American people. It is important for me to reflect on and pay homage to the many people who have paved the way through adversity and have helped enrich U.S. history. I also take the month as an opportunity to remember my grandmother, she may not be a well-known figure in African American history, but has definitely made an impact in my life. I reflect on her tenacity, her response to social justice and her impact on our community. Both her example and others in my life have shaped me to be the person I am today and allowed for different opportunities. During this month and throughout the year, I make it a point to educate my children on Black history and show them that it takes hard work to achieve your goals through challenges and adversity. Not only do I celebrate this month for those who throughout history stayed focused and were able to accomplish achievements through challenges, but also for those who in more recent times and days to come will continue to pave paths and contribute to the fabrics of this country. That is what Black History Month means to be me, and I believe is worthy to be celebrated.

Kimberly Williams, PHR, SHRM-CP
Human Resources Employee Advocate
Nashville, TN

 

 

 

What does Black History Month mean to you?

The celebration and acknowledgement of Black contributions that have helped to propel human race and society forward into what we have today, no matter how big or small.

Monique Nichols
Project Coordinator
Charlotte, NC

 

 

 

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black History Month has taken on an even greater meaning for me this year. In the past, I regarded it as a way to understand a rarely discussed part of our history. Now, I can see the opportunity to explore beyond mere events and dates. It’s about all of us coming together to become acquainted with the culture and experiences of the Black community, and understanding why things are as they are today, all with the objective of making them better—together.

What are some steps that A/E firms can take to promote diverse voices within the industry?

It should begin with individuals sincerely seeking to connect with someone different than themselves. It’s about overcoming uncomfortable feelings, opening hearts, and making the first move to get to know a person beneath the surface. Do that, and we will appreciate voices of all kinds.

Mickey Sullivan, P.E.
Executive Vice President
Nashville, TN

 

 

 

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black History Month means a lot to me as a Black women. It is a time to highlight the achievements and many accomplishments that Black people have made to the scientific, education and social justice landscapes of our country. Every year, I challenge myself to learn more about my history, and especially the history of those who’ve made major contributions but are unknown. For example, Esther Jones was a famous Black jazz singer from Harlem who inspired the cartoon Betty Boop.

What are some steps that A/E firms can take to promote diverse voices within the industry?

One step that A/E firms can take to promote diversity within the industry is by hosting speaking engagements, such as fireside chats, with different Black architects and engineers.

Imani Moon
Assistant Project Manager
Midtown Atlanta, GA