Black History Month pays tribute to the generations of African-Americans who have struggled, faced adversity, and triumphed throughout U.S. history. At Brivo, celebrating Black History Month is more than just a declaration of support for its black employees and their community. It is also about elevating their voices and providing helpful resources.
This year, Brivo, the DEI Committee, and the Shades of Brivo employee resources group, a community for black employees discussing wellness, accessing professional mentorship, maintaining mental health, improving financial savviness, and celebrating excellence, hosted two events internally for Brivo employees.
The first were two intimate financial sessions with the Shades of Brivo group employees and a leading financial service company. According to the 2021 TIAA Institute-GFLEC Personal Finance Index, financial resilience is more common among African Americans than white Americans, with insurance and investing being the greatest knowledge gap. Employees asked advisor questions about their 401K, ROTH IRA, life insurance, tax benefits, the stock market, and college savings within those sessions.
“I found the session with the financial service company very helpful. I was never really taught the importance of saving for retirement within my household. Since the session was more intimate, I felt more comfortable asking the advisor questions about my 401K.” – Brivo Employee and Shades of Brivo Group Member
“These sessions are fantastic! It’s amazing to understand what options are available to Brivo employees and how much support and access we have to financial advice. These are real tangible life design lessons. Looking forward to the next one.” Brivo Employee and Shades of Brivo Group Member
The second session, Normalizing Language Diversity as a DEI practice, was led by Dr. Latimer-Hearn, a public scholar, speech pathologist, and educational consultant. She received her Ph.D. in Instructional Leadership for Changing Populations at Notre Dame of Maryland University in Baltimore, MD. She is also the founder and director of REACT Initiative Inc., a nonprofit organization addressing barriers impeding individuals’ educational access and success from historically marginalized populations.
The session included an in-depth conversation about linguicism, discrimination based on language or dialect, defining dialect, codeswitching, understanding what racism looks like and how the average employee can counteract racial bias in the workplace. Employees were also able to break into interactive groups to discuss racial behaviors and beliefs and how to address them.
“Dionna Latimer-Hearn’s presentation on Normalizing Language Diversity as a DEI practice for our company was great. She brought to light some scenarios about language diversity that we are not always aware of that create biases. She was full of information and resources that are not only applicable to a professional environment but a worldly one. It was engaging and enlightening, leaving us wishing we had more of her time.” – Brivo Employee
As Black History Month comes to a close, Brivo, the DEI Committee, and Shades of Brivo remain dedicated to supporting and celebrating black employees while providing resources to help with their success.
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