During Black History Month this February, we are highlighting some of the employees that shape Medicom. Today, we asked our colleague, Michelle C., to answer a few questions about the meaning of BHM, black heritage and the importance of diversity.
Why is celebrating Black History Month meaningful to you?
Black History Month is important to me because it’s a time where we can learn about Black culture and achievements worldwide. We often take this time to recall the horrific atrocities that have occurred to black people during slavery, Jim Crow and the Civil Rights movement. This is, of course, an important part of our history, but we are more than that. We have contributed to the upliftment and evolution of the human experience.
Why is diversity important?
Diversity is so important because representation matters, not only in the workplace, but everywhere. We must remember that representation is fundamental for a progressive environment. In terms of Black History Month, it is important to recognize this at Medicom because we want to foster a culture inclusion and empathy and we want to celebrate the uniqueness of our employees.
What would you like to see your friends celebrate black heritage? In February and throughout the entire year?
Black heritage means many different things to different cultures. My family is Jamaican so for us, we take a moment to remember the very rich and diverse history of Jamaica. This is done through food, music, and history lessons for my children. They often see the images of slavery in school, but I want them to know that their history is more than that.
Who inspires you?
My mother is someone that I have always admired. Imagine leaving Jamaica and coming to Canada in the middle of February! She worked hard to have a successful career as Social Worker all while ensuring her family was taken care of. I would also say that I am a huge fan of Dr. Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and, of course, Oprah. These are all people that are resilient and have used their experiences to teach others to be better versions of themselves.
The theme for Black History Month this year is Black Health and Wellness. Why is that important?
We unfortunately still live in a society where getting help for mental health issues is seen as taboo. It’s common in Black culture to be tough and strong and not let your weakness show. We’ve all heard the term “Strong Black Woman.” That message gets ingrained in us at a young age and then we grow up not wanting to be vulnerable. It’s so important to take the necessary steps to take care of your mental and physical health.
Just like Black History, we shouldn’t focus on mental health once a year – it should be all year-round. We should be taking out a time each day to focus on something that helps us feel better. It sounds cliché, but if we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t help others.
About Black History Month at Medicom
While Black History Month is celebrated across Canada, the United States and around the world this February, we at Medicom want to make it a true celebration of Black communities and their important heritage. Read more about our initiatives here.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article. We also wish to thank Michelle for sharing her views and opinions regarding Black History Month.
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