GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.- Black History Month is an annual celebration of accomplishments by African Americans and a time for recognizing their vital role in U.S. history. Since 1976, each United States president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month also known as African American History Month.
Black History Month began in 1915. Half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the U.S., Carter G. Woodson and Jesse E. Moorland founded an association dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by Black Americans and other peoples of African descent – Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASNLH). The second week of February was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, inspiring schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, host performances, give lectures, and create clubs.
Mayors of cities across the country began issuing yearly proclamations recognizing the celebration of the month, and in 1976, President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month. Black History Month is the time to honor the contributions and legacy of African Americans across U.S. history and activists such as Harriet Tubman, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, and Sojourner Truth. All leaders throughout science, culture, politics, and more.
Since 1976 every American president has designated February as Black History Month and assigned a specific theme. The Black History Month of 2022 is “Black Health and Wellness.” This theme is dedicated to medical scholars and health care providers, a timely theme as the U.S. enters into the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at FWF
In 2020, Fifth Wheel Freight created the Diversity & Inclusion Alliance (DIA), an employee-led group committed to the vision of establishing education, unity and diversity among employees and the community. The Diversity & Inclusion Alliance hosts trivia sessions, happy hours and events focused on spreading awareness of key diversity initiatives such as women’s history, Black history and Hispanic heritage.
To celebrate the month, the Diversity & Inclusion Alliance is hosting a Black History trivia event for FWF team members. Trivia questions will focus on educating employees on history and achievements by Black Americans and other peoples of African descent. Trivia winners will receive a gift card to donate to a local black-owned business.
Last year, Diversity & Inclusion Alliance attended a walking tour of downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan to learn about Black History Month. This year, the alliance is planning to attend an additional Black history event happening within the community.
“Community involvement has always been a commitment for FWF, so it was vital for the Diversity & Inclusion Alliance to seek out local, Black-Owned businesses to support this month. We wanted to ensure that we are connecting with the businesses that make our city unique while also pushing our team members to be open to new experiences.”Ashley Sanders, Accounts Payable Manager and Diversity & Inclusion Alliance President
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are important topics for companies to address. FWF’s unmatched culture strives to educate and implement diversity initiatives for all employees. You can learn more about FWF and apply here.