As we celebrate Black History Month, we checked in with the African American Leadership and Learning (AALL) employee resource group to see how they are bringing together employees to celebrate Black history and culture, and to support through allyship.
Established in Dallas last fall, AALL’s mission is to support the recruitment, retention, and professional advancement of African America/Black employees in the workplace. Lisa Youngblood, Senior Leader of Operations and President of AALL, said the group is “dedicated to networking, education, community engagement, and career development.”
Community service has been a key focus on AALL’s efforts. Dallas County ranks 47 percent above the national average for food insecurity, and during the holidays AALL partnered with Crossroads Community Center to provide a total of 2,500 pounds of food including 102 frozen turkeys, 52 hams, and dry and canned goods. These donations reached 128 families – a total of 700 people! AALL also raised nearly $500 for cash donations which provided 2,000 additional nutritious meals beyond the holiday season.
Barry Sando, Managing Director of Underwriting & Workflow Solutions said, “Black History Month is a time to recognize the role of African Americans throughout history and to honor their culture and achievements. I am proud and honored to serve as the executive sponsor of the AALL ERG and excited to see the continued impact AALL will have with our employees, our business and the community.”
AALL will host a Virtual Black History Month mixer this Thursday, Feb. 25, at 11 a.m. CST to conclude the month-long celebration. The mixer will feature guest speakers Kwabena Antoine Nixon, a poet, author, and activist, and Beth Ridley, founder and CEO of The Brimful Life. The session will unfold what belonging is, why it matters, and what people can do to contribute to a culture of belonging to keep the spirit of Black History Month alive beyond February.
Here’s how you can celebrate and support Black history throughout the year:
- Support Black-owned businesses
- Invest in organizations serving the Black community
- Read literature by Black authors to deepen your understanding of Black history and systemic racism
- Donate to a historically Black college and university (HBCU)
- Commit to impactful and long-term Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts