By Todd Mason Scott, US Executive Sponsor, Black Kyndryl Inclusion Network
Today marks the first day of Black History Month. During the month, Kyndryl will celebrate and reflect on the significant and, too often, neglected achievements and contributions of Black individuals. Black History is a rich history; it is American History. It is deeply woven into the fabric of American society. But not only in America, Black individuals have made contributions to our global community. Black History is one of profound legacy, culture, innovation and resilience.
This time allows us to recognize, fully understand and appreciate the role Black innovators and leaders occupy in history — many of whom changed the way we use technology today. As visionaries, enduring centuries of great adversity, they have demonstrated incredible resilience in overcoming obstacles to advance our society. Black History Month serves as a reminder of our past and allows us to pay tribute to our ancestors whose shoulders we stand on today.
Black History Month also is a reminder of the ongoing challenges and pain that we face today — brought back to the surface with the recent tragic death of Tyre Nichols, a young Black man, who was savagely beaten and killed at the hands of police officers in Memphis. This is the most recent in a series of acts of violence against the Black community. The dichotomy of Black History, past and present, is one of unspeakable tragedy and monumental success.
The Black community plays a vital role in our societal past, present — and what we hope to be a more inclusive future. As Kyndryl acknowledges its past, present and future, now is the time to model change on a path toward genuine inclusivity, empathy and progress. As we honor Black History, we must also remain steadfast in executing on the three pillars of our inclusion, diversity and equity strategy — the recruitment, representation and retention of Black talent at Kyndryl.
Bayard Rustin, a Black civil, social, nonviolence and gay rights activist once said, “We are all one — and if we don’t know it, we’ll learn it the hard way.” Our goal is to make Black History Month a time for Kyndryl to not only collectively honor the rich history and accomplishments in the Black community, but also serve as a time to have meaningful — and sometimes uncomfortable conversations to combat discrimination, prejudice and violence, and discuss how we at Kyndryl can play a role in making progress.