History in the making: Black History Month at Smartsheet

by The Smartsheet Team

March 19, 2024

Each February, we commemorate Black History Month to honor the resilience, creativity, and enduring legacy of Black trailblazers and innovators who have left their indelible mark on our world. Together with the Black at Smartsheet employee resource group (ERG), we embrace this annual opportunity to amplify Black voices, provide a space for their stories to be told, and reflect on the profound impact of Black individuals throughout our collective history.

Black at Smartsheet (BAS) is an ERG dedicated to supporting and advocating for Black employees within our organization. Through initiatives focused on personal and professional development, including internal programming and events as well as participation in the world’s largest Black tech conference Afrotech, BAS creates a safe and inclusive space for all Black employees to gather, discuss important workplace issues, share feedback, and explore growth opportunities. The ERG provides a platform for building connections and leveraging diverse perspectives to drive positive change and foster a workplace culture of inclusivity and belonging.

Our Black History Month Events

The 2024 national Black History Month theme is African Americans and the Arts, showcasing art of all kinds infused with African and Caribbean influence and honoring the Black American lived experience. BAS embraced this theme for its celebration at Smartsheet, and added a theme of its own: History in the Making. These themes set the tone and guided the discussions that took place during our Black History Month events.

BookSmart discussion

As part of our ongoing BookSmart diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) book club series, employees read I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown, and hosted an open panel discussion led by Smartsheet employees Sampson F. and Alexis B. The discussion focused on existing as a Black person within a culture of whiteness, the power of names and personal identity, the impact and importance of diversity in education, and the personal responsibility of active allyship.

“The world I want to see might not be realized in my lifetime. But if I stop what I’m doing, if we all stop what we’re doing, that day is never going to come. The small moments we create add up over time to shape the outcomes we want to see in the world.” –Sampson F., Sr. DEI Program Manager at Smartsheet

A chat among friends featuring Enitan Bereola II

BAS also hosted a chat with longtime friends Enitan Bereola II, an award winning author, creative director, and co-founder of SAINT MILES, and Alexis B., a Senior Solutions Specialist here at Smartsheet. With the background of their childhood friendship, the two led an eye-opening discussion centered around inspirations, aspirations, and how to consider your legacy in the world. Larry G., a Large Enterprise Solutions Engineer at Smartsheet and BAS board member, summed up the words of Bereola in his closing statement: “Be the change agents. You never know the doors that will open for you. That thing you’re afraid of? Do it, cause what if it works?”

Join the Smartsheet community

We are dedicated to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment that encourages everyone to grow and thrive, at work and beyond. As we commemorate Black History Month, we also acknowledge our commitment to creating an inclusive environment where every voice is heard and every individual is valued. Let us honor the past, celebrate the present, and continue working toward a future where diversity is championed. Join us in creating a legacy we can all be proud of. 

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