What does Black History Month at Remix mean to me?
As an adult, I can honestly say that I look forward to Black History Month every year. African American history is and will always be American history but I appreciate what Black History Month represents. A designated time to celebrate, acknowledge and share experiences from the African diaspora. I love my culture, I love being Black, I love my community, and I love the shared appreciation that comes from BHM celebrations.
Remix’s celebration of Black History Month started four years ago. I was humbled to lead a small group of Remixers in planning events and resources for our colleagues to access during the month. As shameful as it is to say it, I was also shocked at how many people chose to volunteer and participate. I think this was the moment that I realized the culture we had at Remix is something I had never experienced in my professional career. It truly felt that we had created a safe space where cultures could be celebrated without judgement.
Unfortunately, not every work environment I’ve been in has welcomed this kind of involvement with open arms. Microaggressions and discrimination in the workplace are real. But, my time at Remix has shown me that I can, in fact, bring all of me to work; I can be authentic. Authenticity tends to be a buzz word these days but when it’s put into practice it can really make a world of a difference. It shows up in simplest of ways; for example, learning to give an honest answer when someone asks “how are you doing today?” Last year I experienced a lot of anger, frustration, and sadness. Being able to openly share these emotions without judgment helped me feel safe and also put others in a position to support. It helped build trust. I’ve found that authenticity is contagious. By feeling empowered to bring all of myself to the work and allowing my light to shine, I can, in turn, give other people permission to share their lived experiences and create an environment that welcomes honest, genuine dialogue and constructive conversations.
This past year was a tough one for many reasons. On top of dealing with ongoing civil unrest and injustice in our communities, we were all struggling with new, and often isolated, work environments. Last year I met with close friends countless times over zoom and FaceTime to try unpack recent events. We would talk about how the unrest was bleeding into work. Some of my friends communicated feeling isolated at work due to a lack of acknowledgment or having their company simply ignore events all together. This is when I really took a step back and asked myself, “How is Remix showing up for me right now?”. It was during this reflection that I recounted all of the ways that I felt supported and seen. I had the support and understanding of leadership when I need to take time away to mentally process or participate in protest. There were open dialogues being had in public channels and company-wide meetings. We shared articles, we had large and small group discussions, and my personal favorite, a candlelight vigil for the lives lost.
And this does not go to say that Remix is perfect but I can say with the utmost confidence that I have never felt as supported as a Black woman as I do here.
I have always been proud to be Black and celebrating Black History Month has given me and my peers an outlet to express that pride. We aren’t pushed to play the role of educators or spokesperson for Black culture. Instead, we are given the freedom to carve out the space need for and invite other to participate. This Black History Month we anchored events to the theme of Black Resilience. It gave me and my colleagues an opportunity to reach out to people in our communities that exemplify Black Resilience and ask them to share their story. We also actively promoted Black businesses and artists. This is the kind of space Remix offers, a space to share your story and celebrate your journey with others. Working here has been a constant reminder that no matter who you are or what your story is, space can always be made and differences can bring people together.
Read how Remix celebrated Black History Month 2021 with art, literature, food, and community events.
Here's how Remix celebrated Black History Month this past February with art, literature, food, and community events that focused on the theme of Black Resilience.
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