Celebrating Black History Month: Reflections as the Chair of Coalfire's Black Employee Resource Group

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Michi Everett

Senior Resource Deployment Manager, Coalfire

February 1, 2024
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As we embark on another February, I am honored to reflect on the significance of Black History Month from the perspective of serving as the chair of Black Employees in Cybersecurity Obtaining Mentorship, Influence, Networking, and Growth (B.E.C.O.M.I.N.G.), Coalfire's Black Employee Resource Group (ERG). This month holds a special place in our hearts as we take the time to acknowledge, celebrate, and educate ourselves and our colleagues about the rich history and contributions of the Black community. It is an opportunity to unite, foster understanding, and promote inclusion within our workplace.

Embracing Unity and Cultural Richness

One of the critical aspects of Black History Month within Coalfire is the emphasis on unity and inclusivity. We organize social events, fundraisers, and service activities, host difficult discussions, highlight and celebrate the diversity within our community, and provide a platform for everyone to share their unique experiences and perspectives. As the B.E.C.O.M.I.N.G. ERG chair, my role is to celebrate the richness of our culture and create a sense of belonging among our Black employees and allies.

Last year, we hosted a special event on May 25th to celebrate African independence.

Education and Awareness

Black History Month is an ideal time to amplify awareness and understanding of Black individuals' struggles, achievements, and contributions throughout history. In the United States, Black History Month is highlighted every February; however, at Coalfire, we reflect Black history every day of each year, whether it's highlighting current events, commemorating holidays, celebrating our employees, or promoting cybersecurity within the Black community. Through educational initiatives, we aim to break down cultural stereotypes, combat microaggressions, dispel misconceptions, and foster a deeper appreciation for the diversity that strengthens Coalfire. By learning from the past, we can better shape an inclusive future!

Throughout the year, BECOMING ERG members watch and/or read books about Black history and engage in collaborative discussions.

Celebrating Achievements

In B.E.C.O.M.I.N.G., we take great pride in showcasing the achievements of our Black colleagues. Black History Month is a chance to spotlight these individuals and notable Black figures who have paved the way in their respective fields. Acknowledging these successes, we celebrate individual triumphs and inspire our community's next generation of Black leaders.

Creating a Safe Space

B.E.C.O.M.I.N.G. plays a crucial role in fostering a safe and supportive environment for our Black employees here at Coalfire. Black History Month provides an opportunity to reinforce our commitment to inclusivity and ensure that every member of our community feels valued and heard. I have listened to many Black colleagues' concerns, opinions, and suggestions, offering advice and solutions without fear of retribution or judgment. Through open discussions and forums, we encourage dialogue about the challenges faced by our Black colleagues and work collaboratively to address any concerns.

2024 BECOMING Council

Building Lasting Connections

Black History Month is one opportunity to build lasting connections within our organization and community. I am committed to creating networks that extend beyond February and Coalfire. We aim to strengthen the bonds among our Black employees, allies, and Coalfire nation by establishing mentorship programs, hosting networking events, leveraging ERG intersectionality, and facilitating cross-functional collaborations.

Coalfire employees around the country celebrated Juneteenth at local events.

Serving as the chair of B.E.C.O.M.I.N.G. is a privilege and a responsibility. It is an opportunity to celebrate the richness of our history, promote unity, and foster a workplace culture that values diversity and inclusion year-round. By leveraging Black History Month to educate, honor, and connect, we create a workplace where everyone feels seen, heard, and empowered to thrive.

Learn more about Coalfire’s DE&I programs.