Black History Month is an annual observance, offering a moment to reflect on the seminal role Black people have played in US history. Dating back to 1926, historian Carter G. Woodson selected a week in February to honor the achievements of Black Americans that coincided with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and Frederick Douglass (February 14). Today the observance has expanded to a month-long commemoration, with countries around the globe such as Canada, Ireland, the U.K., and Germany joining the United States in celebrating Black history.
Examining history helps each of us develop a clearer understanding of the world we live in, and is a powerful link between the past and the present. Seeing the world from the perspective of another, can be a huge driver for change, regardless of heritage. Enabling our employees to make these connections by opening space for new stories to be shared, is a critical component of our diversity, equity, and inclusion journey at Konica Minolta.
Pursuant to the goal of sharing new stories and sparking moments of reflection, we are proud to partner with Arshay Cooper, bestselling author of the book A Most Beautiful Thing, to offer a fresh perspective on what it means to make history in modern day America. Arshay grew up on the west side of Chicago, and was captain of the first all-Black high school rowing team in the US. Arshay will deliver a powerful account of how rowing changed his life in a private forum with Konica Minolta employees. Throughout the month of February, KM teams will have the opportunity to read Arshay’s memoir via our virtual library and watch the documentary based upon the book. Arshay’s book can also be found wherever books are sold, and the documentary is streaming on Peacock and Amazon Prime.
This February, we invite you to lean into Black history by discovering new stories and new perspectives. Through this lens of history and shared understanding, we can strengthen our sense of community and embody our commitment to racial inclusion and equity.
Director, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion