How Major Companies Marked Black History Month
As Black History Month comes to a close, we at Raines Intel want to highlight some of the ways companies and their Diversity & Inclusion programs promoted and honored Black leaders and stories this month. This is certainly not meant to be an exhaustive list, but simply a chance to share some of the tributes for breaking boundaries and efforts to remember history.
Delta highlighted trailblazing African-American employees, including its first African-American female captain, Capt. Stephanie Johnson, who also was Northwest Airlines’ first African-American female pilot, Delta’s first black male flight attendant, Eugene Harmond, Delta’s first black pilot, Sam Graddy, and Rachelle Kerr, who “piloted the first all-black, all-female flight crew in U.S. history, which included first officer Stephanie Grant and flight attendants Robin Rogers and Diana Galloway” in Feb 2009 with Delta Connection carrier Atlantic Southeast Airlines.
Johnson & Johnson highlighted three graduates of its Scientist Mentoring & Diversity Program (SMDP). The program matches “ethnically diverse students interested in STEM with mentors from the medical technology, biotechnology and consumer healthcare industries.”
The AFL-CIO profiled Black leaders including Muhammad Ali, Ella Josephine Baker, Stonewall Inn activist Marsha P. Johnson, activist Keith Richardson, and more.
Microsoft search engine Bing.com featured a picture of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.on Feb. 1.
United Healthcare interviewed a staffer about his thoughts on black history month and diversity at the company.
Universities and museums across the country hosted events and discussions, like the Detroit Institute of Art’s permanent collections on The General Motors Center for African American Art and African, Egyptian, Oceania Americas.
The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation held special events in honor of Black History, including musical performances, exhibitions and discussions.
Ford Motor shared its long history promoting diversity on its website, noting it hired its first salaried African-American employee in 1924, its first African-American senior manager in 1950, its first African-American on the Board of Directors in 1973 and its first African-American Vice President in 1987. According to Ford, in the 1920s, the company had “more African American employees than any other automotive company.”
Kroger holds an annual contest for Michigan students in honor of Black History Month, calling for children in grades 4-12 to submit art, music, essays or poetry. 2017 marks the tenth year of the I Can Make History contest.
Boeing’s South Carolina plant invited two Tuskegee Airmen to share their stories.
The Birmingham Times published profiles of “notable black Alabamians.”
JP Morgan Chase celebrated the first anniversary of its Advancing Black Leaders program, which works to recruit, retain and promote black talent.
The Disney Channel created special programming for Black History Month featuring segments educating viewers on black history. At Epcot, Disney hosts the private Kinsey collection, an educational exhibit of African American history, artifacts, art and more.
The UAW looked at some of the black leaders of its union.
Allstate Insurance continued its annual campaign “Worth Telling,” which shares the stories of African-American leaders. This year, the campaign highlighted Philadelphia comics and coffeehouse owner Ariell Johnson, the founder of Alabama’s White’s Barber College, Isaac White, Sr. and the founder/CEO of New Orleans’ Camelback Ventures, Aaron Walker.
Across the country, AMC Theatres and 21st Century Fox offered free screenings of “Hidden Figures,” the Oscar-nominated movie about three black female NASA mathematicians.
Uber offered “free and discounted rides to African-American history museums and landmarks” during February.
UPS highlighted Patrice Clark-Washington, the first African-American woman pilot captain for UPS.
Comcast created a category of films and TV shows about “Black Women Behind the Scenes” and partnered with the American Black Film Festival and BlackStar Film Festival to share the work of the black film-making community.