This year, we celebrated Black History Month with our colleagues from all over the world. It was an honor to work with NortonLifeLock’s Black Life Empowerment (NOBLE) Community members to make this wonderful event a reality.
NOBLE is open to Black employees and allies. It took teamwork, drive, and a unified passion to make this event happen. This is our fourth event since the relaunch of NOBLE, and we couldn’t be prouder of the event and receptions from our fellow coworkers.
To kick off the celebration, we opened with a rendition of the Black National Anthem by Tasha Cobbs Leonard and shared the history on how the anthem was created and adopted. We focused on this year’s theme for Black History Month, “Black Health and Wellness,” celebrating Black pioneers and current leaders in the medical and wellness field. We spoke about Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett - scientific team lead for the COVID-19 vaccine, CNN’s 2021 Hero of the year – Shirley Raines, Dr. Barbara Ross Lee and many others in the health and wellness field.
This year, the theme really spoke to us after navigating COVID-19 and seeing how the virus disproportionately affected the Black Community. One of our NOBLE members also shared tips on health and wellness and the importance of representation in these respective fields. We hope our open and honest conversation on health inspired others to take charge of their health.
In addition to health and wellness, we also had NOBLE members share who they believe is currently shaping the future in the Black Community. We learned about Rosalind Brewer – Walgreen’s first Black CEO, Sydney Barber – the U.S. Naval Academy’s first Black female brigade commander, along with several other inspiring Black men and women. Throughout February, we highlighted other figures and key events in our weekly DEI learning journeys.
Our celebration took place over Zoom this year, which is the norm these days, but we found that we could still create an open and safe space for our NOBLE members to share and be heard. We also found that this interactive platform made our fellow coworkers feel safe and could discuss a range of topics during our Q&A session. Questions ranged from family gatherings to social justice and the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S. Our NOBLE members answered honestly. Listening to this thoughtful conversation truly proves that you can shape your future by knowing your past and working with your allies toward a better future.
We truly hope that our Black History Month celebration opened a whole new level of candid conversations that will benefit everyone.
Giving Back and Learning Together
In addition to our event, our Corporate Responsibility team organized a great volunteer event. A wonderful Black artist helped us tap into our artistic expression and led a discussion on social justice issues. It led to thoughtful conversations and will hopefully direct us to healing. This will be our third volunteer event this year since Syreeta McAuley, Leshawn Parrish and I became Champions of NOBLE. One of our main goals was to have a positive impact on our community through volunteerism.
Throughout February, NortonLifeLock also offered our employees an opportunity to support organizations that focus on racial equality and social injustice with a special 2:1 match. This matching gift opportunity allowed us to maximize personal donations to help tackle issues that we care about. As part of NOBLE, we hope to empower our communities, change the landscape, and inspire new realities.
What Can You Do to Celebrate Black History Month?
There is a range of things you can do not only in February but all year long. You can learn more about Black History, visit (virtually) museums that center Black History and Culture, watch films or TV Shows created by Black creators. You can purchase, read, and share books written by Black authors. Educating yourself is a great way to start. For example, you can listen to or read The New York Times 1619 Project.
I hope you found ways to celebrate Black History Month this February, whether it’s learning about Black History, supporting charities in the Black Community, or supporting Black-owned businesses.
Black History Month is truly a time to celebrate our accomplishments and look towards the future for all the barriers we still must break as we continue our journey.
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