Black History Month was a month of reflection at Marqeta, and we centered our events and themes around Roots, Excellence, and Health & Wellness. Through the leadership and sponsorship of our BlackCard Employee Resource Group, we also acknowledge the national theme of Resistance for Black History Month by having necessary discussions on discrimination and inequality. It is important for us to acknowledge the state of our world and offer a space to learn and aid in the healing process of our members. Our society doesn’t change unless we continuously learn and implement our learnings to ensure impact is systemic and sustainable.
While this month was full of self-reflection, we also made sure we celebrated the excellence within our Black community. We held events celebrating the musical talents of our members, with a special guest appearance from Christopher Watson of ABC’s Listen to Your Heart, followed by a retrospective of Black superheroes and comic book creators. We then partnered with our Marqeta Veteran ERG for a screening on the historical impact of the Montford Point Marines, and ended the month with a Zumba fitness class centered around physical and mental wellness.
We’re also highlighting the importance of the themes for the month and their connection to Marqetans. Hear what a few of our team members said around the importance of our themes [Roots, Excellence, Health & Wellness] and moments to connect:
Roots: “When I think about roots, I think of an individual and their story. Everyone’s story and understanding of what has shaped them matters- Why? Because an understanding and ones’ roots/story can be used to empower and shape one’s dignity and understanding of themselves intern canceling out the judgment and single stereotypes of others.” – Damilola Alausa, Deal Desk Analyst.
Excellence: “When I think of excellence in Black History I think of effort leading to results. Doing something in excellence means trying your best, not being afraid to take a risk, and seeing the payoff. This is a standard I try to live by.” – Luwam Arefaine, Senior Risk Operations Analyst.
Health & Wellness: “Health is a human right and health equity is a core tenet for undoing the negative impact of decades of oppression and health care disparities. We take this opportunity during BHM to have these conversations and bring to light the actions we can take individually and as a community.” – Steward Carter, Director, Customer Success.
We finish with this – though the month allowed critical moments to connect, learn, and take action, it does not end here. With the month coming to a close, we invite fellow Marqetans and those reading this blog to continue to support, learn, and take action for Black People and Communities. To help get you started, we’ve crafted this list for you to explore:
- The Conversation
- The 1619 Project
- Nobody Knows My Name
- Kimberlé Crenshaw and Randall Kennedy on How to Teach About Race
- I Am Not Your Negro
Community & Business Support:
We look forward to continuing and celebrating Black Communities throughout the year, in and out of Marqeta. Stay tuned for further updates around initiatives from BlackCard. Learn more about Marqeta’s DEI initiatives here.