February marks a month-long celebration of Black history. It’s an opportunity to highlight the achievements and contributions of Black people, while also acknowledging the barriers to progress they still face. This February carries extra weight as we’re one year into a global pandemic in which people of color have been disproportionately affected and eight months since the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, which has forced society to address its systemic racism.
As a values-driven organization, Samsung is making continued progress in creating a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) with the aim of providing those within our workplace and communities with a rich sense of belonging. One way in which we’re acting on that mission to drive positive change is by convening a global dialogue.
Throughout the month, the Samsung Galaxy of Black Professionals (GBP) employee resource group (ERG), which launched in February 2020, is hosting several events to recognize the strength of Black people within Samsung, across the United States, and around the world. Among the events will be a “The Color of COVID” panel discussion with medical professionals to learn how systemic social and health inequities have put minority groups at increased risk and the hopeful path for the road ahead; a “Black Trivia Night” challenge to test one’s knowledge of black historic and modern-day leaders and events; and a “Change Agents in 2021” talk to spotlight black executives as agents of change in business.
In the past year, Samsung and the GBP have made advancements in our journey towards a more inclusive workplace.
- The GBP worked with Samsung Electronics America leadership, leveraging their experience, thought leadership and community insight, to identify areas where we, as a company, can do more to drive change internally and in our communities.
- The GBP engaged with Samsung employees for regular open forums on race in America.
- Samsung kicked off a C-Chat series to educate and inform on Community, Care and Culture topics with dynamic inaugural speakers, such as Congressman James Clyburn (D-SC), Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Black-ish creator Kenya Barris.
- The GBP hosted a Juneteenth panel to bring exposure to the anniversary marking the abolition of U.S. slavery and Samsung has granted an early release for the annual holiday going forward.
Samsung’s Citizenship team incorporated social justice volunteerism activities recommended by the GBP into Samsung Gives Month of Service, our employee community service initiative.
Additional steps towards meaningful change will be taken in 2021, including partnering with our allies and leaders to continue to make a lasting impact on Samsung’s culture and driving more candid conversations on the national, regional, and local levels.
DE&I efforts like the above have inspired our employees to speak up and speak out. In their own voice, here’s what Black History Month and the importance of representation, identity and diversity means to them: