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Nicole Colbert, Product Manager

  1. Tell us a bit about your heritage or background and what Black History Month represents to you?
    I do not have African American heritage; however, I’ve been married to a black man for 15 years and we have 3 children. Black History month is a time for me to broaden my knowledge, understanding and ensure my children are keenly aware and proud of their heritage.
  2. Tell us how you define diversity?
    I define diversity as simply appreciating and understanding that we are all the same but with different cultures, upbringing, education and traditions.
  3. Do you celebrate Black History Month? Tell us how.
    Yes! Reference #1- because many of my family members are black, I take it upon myself to appreciate this month and ensure I do something in my home to recognize the importance and ensure my children and husband know that I am with them ? We normally watch documentaries or important fact-based movies related to black heritage and experiences.
  4. Introduce us to a Black author whose work you enjoy reading. James Melvin. He is not an author, but an illustrator of children’s books based on the life in the Outer Banks, NC. Our family has a beach house in NC and my children grew up going there. I started purchasing these books and reading them to my children and they LOVED them and the pictures. They are educational, fun books about sea creatures and their life on the islands. One in particular is called Speedy Ghost Crab. ?
  5. Tell us about any movies, documentaries, or series’ you have watched that educated you on black history. Because I am in a interracial relationship I’ve always loved the story of ”Loving” where a couple goes against the laws of 1967 where Interracial marriage was not allowed. My kids find it unbelievable that this was once not allowed. Also, since I have a daughter, I made sure we watched “Hidden Figures” and the importance these women played in our in Aeronautics.
  6. Tell us about any Black leader(s) who have inspired you. Of course, Martin Luther King but there are so many!! We love to search for black Inventors and find out how black people have added to our everyday life:
    • Iron board
    • Traffic lights
    • Security systems
    • Refrigerator trucks
    • Elevator doors
  7. Tell us about a Black-owned business we should check out (and why). We luckily have several black-owned businesses in our community, and we ensure to frequent them as much as possible, from Coffee shops to Seafood restaurants. One very special one is called “The Krab Joint”. What makes it so special is that an 18 year old owns and operates the business and specializes in boil bags full of delicious crabs, shrimp, potatoes and corn, with a special house sauce created by his Aunt. It’s a family-owned business and it has been EXTREMELY successful during the pandemic by offering curbside/delivery and specialty menu items. Check them out online at https://order.wiynn.com/ordering/md/thekrabjoint/
  8. Do you know of any unsung hero of black history? Tell us about them.
    Dr. Crumpler was the 1st African-American physician in the United States in 1852 earning an MD and attending medical school.
  9. What’s your favorite line from Dr. King’s I Have a Dream Speech?
    “Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual”.
  10. Tell us about an organization in your community that supports racial justice. Tell us what they do and how we can support them.
    We have a local “Black Lives Matter” group that drives support for local black-owned businesses. They offer educational programs (open to all races), and peacefully protests on matters and decisions that impact our Black community. They are a powerful force in our local county administration and state govt. During our recent election, they were able to successfully help support and elect several black women within our local city and county to represent and support the community.
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Bradley Fenton, Social Media & Email Marketing Manager

  1. Do you celebrate Black History Month? Tell us how.
    No, not actively, as I don’t use designated days, weeks, months to engage in something I value. Instead, I try embody the values of the causes and principles I believe in.
  2. Introduce us to a Black author whose work you enjoy reading.
    None that I can think of. I don’t consciously pay attention to the ethnicity of authors when choosing what to read. However, I do enjoy the films of Spike Lee, as he courageously tackles the topic of race inequalities, although I do not always agree with his point of view
  3. Tell us about any movies, documentaries or series’ you have watched that educated you on black history.
    See above, plus I’m sure I’ve seen films from other directors, that I cannot recall at the moment.
  4. Tell us about any Black leader(s) who have inspired you.
    MLK. I read a biography of his when I was a teen, and U2’s song Pride (In the Name of Love) inspired me to learn more about him. I preferred his pacifist approach to activism in opposition to Malcom X’s more militant, and often violent, approach. But sadly, as I get older, I see the latter’s approach as being perhaps more effective.
  5. Tell us about a Black-owned business we should check out (and why).
    I never consciously consider a business owner’s ethnicity when making a consumer decision.
  6. What’s your favorite line from Dr. King’s I Have a Dream Speech?
    Nothing off hand, but the classic closing remarks from the “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech resonate with me:
    “Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!”
  7. Tell us about an organization in your community that supports racial justice. Tell us what they do and how we can support them.
    Good question. I’ve been trying to find a way to help the aboriginal people of Canada, so please let me know if you now of any pertinent local organizations.
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Emilie Hu, Litigation Specialist

  1. Tell us about any movies, documentaries or series’ you have watched that educated you on black history.
    The Help starring Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain.
    It’s about the recollection of a black maid working with white families in the South, showing us that racism was infused in everyone’s minds. And, there is one episode that is hard to forget: the main character took her revenge on one former employer – a housewife who had humiliated her – by offering her a chocolate cake… I won’t spoil the movie for you, go watch it!
  2. Introduce us to Black Creatives (artist, poet, local musician, etc.) we may not know about. Tell us a bit about them and share their social profiles if available.
    I’d like to shed light on Misty Copeland’s career, because she is a prima ballerina and African-American, which is very rare in the ballet world: https://mistycopeland.com/During her career, from the youngest age, she had to overcome prejudice and racism (ex: inadequate make-up backstage, rumors that being dark colored will distract the audience’s eyes from the other white co-dancers’ performance, bone structure being too strong, etc.), but despite that she found faith in herself and made it to the top. She is an example of dedication and abnegation, like any ballet dancer, but her skin colour added even more obstacles in her career, which shone despite that.Currently, there is a debate about race at the Paris Opera House: https://www.lesoleil.com/arts/du-blackface-au-ballet-blanc-lopera-de-paris-sempare-de-la-question-raciale-9598763df1332e1c205b887605e94258
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Pam Mukiama, Senior Marketing Manager

  1. Tell us a bit about your heritage or background and what Black History Month represents to you?
    I’m Kenyan-Canadian. I was born and raised in Nairobi and at the age of 18 decided I wanted to study abroad. I ended up in Atlanta, GA because I already had family there. Atlanta, being the home of Martin Luther King Jr., meant I was immersed in African American history from the get-go!For me black history begins with Kenyan history. It’s what I know and what I teach my children. However, being a Kenyan living in the diaspora, I find myself tied to the history of those connected to the African continent. Black History Month represents a great way to honor our ancestors and to celebrate the achievements of those who came before us. It began as a move to counter negative and racist stereotypes ingrained in American culture which unfortunately, persist to this day.

    So, it’s important for people to understand and respect the role of black people in the larger narrative of the U.S. It’s not about relegating black history to one month out of the year. No, It’s about having a joint celebration of how far we have come despite a very tragic history. I stand in awe at the resilience, strength, and humanity of all those who fought against slavery, racial discrimination, and segregation. I draw strength, confidence, and inspiration from their accomplishments!

    So, while we educate ourselves about our history 365 days of the year, in February we come together in fellowship with one another. We remember where we have come from, we acknowledge the champions in our midst, and we realign our focus on where we’re headed, because we still have a long way to go!

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