Black History Month
“Let truth destroy the dividing prejudice of nationality and teach universal love without distinction of race, merit or rank.”
~ Carter G. Woodson
To commemorate and celebrate the contributions made by people of African descent, American historian Carter G. Woodson established the second week in February as Black History Week in 1926. In 1976, President Gerald Ford decreed Black History Month a national observance. Since then, the month of February serves to both reaffirm and uphold the historical importance of Blacks in America. Woodson also hoped that the time would come when Black History Month would be unnecessary. Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go.
Black History Month gives us a cultural appreciation of the richness of African-American contributions in American history. Locally and across the nation, we see the social movement protesting against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against Black people in the form of Black Lives Matter protests, yard signs, T-shirts, bumper stickers and flags. We see the Black Lives Matter banner hanging above the Mountain Road in Stowe.
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
~ Maya Angelou
Below you’ll find a few resources to help you celebrate Black History Month!
1. Create a list of your favorite Black influencers such as:
- Martin Luther King,
- Malcom X
- Maya Angelou
- Arthur Ashe
- Rosa Parks
- Serina Williams
- List of 100 Greatest African Americans
2. Check out some local Black History virtual events such as:
- Righting the erasure of Black history and creating an inclusive American story – A virtual presentation
- Buffalo Soldiers in Vermont, 1909-1913 – A virtual presentation
- Follow on Facebook – REAL: Racial Equity Alliance of Lamoille
3. Tour a Black History cultural center (virtually of course)
“The man who has no imagination has
~ Muhammad Ali
MOCO has always condemned hate in our community and beyond. We recognize and strive for diversity and inclusion in our staff and board of directors. We support diversity when recruiting, hiring and promoting within the co-op and we foster inclusion to allow employees to feel safe, welcome and valued.
Check out a few Diversity and Inclusion Statistics below:
- In the 40 years between 1980 and 2020, the white working-age population will have declined from 83% of the nation’s total to 63% while the number of minority workers will have doubled. (CNN Money)
- 67% of job seekers consider workplace diversity an important factor when considering employment opportunities, and more than 50% of current employees want their workplace to do more to increase diversity. (Glassdoor)
- 45% of American workers experienced discrimination and/or harassment in the past year. (Gallup)
- Higher representation of women in high level positions results in 34% greater returns to shareholders. (Fast Company)
According to Glassdoor, “a diverse workplace is one of the main factors potential employees take into account when considering a job.” Fast Company states that businesses with more women in leadership positions consistently outperform companies with less than half of their leadership positions filled by women.
“With diverse and inclusive companies outperforming those who haven’t made the effort to recruit and retain diverse talent and create a welcoming and innovative environment, there’s no question that Diversity & Inclusion initiatives are good for business,” according to Fast Company.
We are fortunate to have such strong female leadership at MOCO. Our General Manager, Taylor Evans, has worked hard to create an inclusive culture and a workplace where employees feel respected, valued and comfortable being themselves.
For more on MOCO’s Diversity & Inclusion policies, please see our blog post, Condemning Hate In Our Community & Beyond and our Equity & Diversity Policy.
From all of us here at MOCO, we are honored to be serving our community during this time and
thank you for supporting your local food coop!