At TripActions, we believe our company thrives best when diverse perspectives and opinions are equitably and equally represented. We believe in having a work environment that makes people feel heard, welcomed, included, and appreciated.
It is in this spirit that we kick off the celebration of Black History Month. To do that, TripActions’ Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Equality Shaka Senghor shared background into how Black History Month came to be celebrated in America:
The first known celebration tied to Black History Month happened in February 1926 when American historian, journalist, and author Carter G. Woodson pioneered “Negro History Week.” Woodson was also founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History and selected the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
The idea for “Negro History Week” came about when Woodson recognized the need to highlight and name Black peoples’ contribution to the world -- something that was obviously missing our history. He wanted to find a way to ensure these contributions were recorded in the history books.
“Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history,” Woodson explained.
The celebration was not more widely recognized until February 1970 when Black students and educators at Kent State University expanded this idea to include an entire month. Since 1976, every U.S. president has designated February as Black History Month. Woodson’s foresight, determination, and intellect in crafting Black History Month stand as a reminder of how important it is for people within the culture to tell their own stories.
It is in this spirit that the TripActions team is exploring these resources throughout the month:
Throughout the month, the TripActions Employee Resource Group Twende (Swahili for “Let’s go,” TripActions’ motto) will lead the team in celebration of the diverse historical and cultural contributions of Black people around the world. We’ll be sharing more stories of celebration throughout the month.