Black History Month 2016 is off to an amazing start. It is very refreshing to work for an employer who provides space for their employees to celebrate their heritage and invite the community to share in the celebration as well. Our theme this year is “Celebrating a Century of African-American Art & Culture” where we have sought to recognize the accomplishments of African-Americans by way of visual arts, performing arts, fashion, music and education.
February 1st was a big day as Target hosted “unchARTed”, an event that brought together community dignitaries, young leaders, and everyone in between to celebrate and discuss how African-Americans have influenced the American experience. Target Chairman and CEO, Brian Cornell kicked the morning off, and disclosed that September 24th will be the opening date of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), where he serves on the advisory board. We heard from Lonnie Bunch, Founding Director of NMAAHC who proved to be a phenomenal storyteller and gave us a peek into what it’s been like to create the next landmark on the National Mall. The morning also featured a panel discussion moderated by journalist Michelle Norris featuring Lonnie Bunch, Lou and Sarah Bellamy, founders of the Penumbra Theater, and Caroline Wanga, Vice-President of Diversity & Inclusion at Target.
Throughout the month of February artwork from local artists, pieces from Target’s Black History Month assortment, and fashion from past African-American design partnerships will be on display at Target Headquarters. To mark the opening of this exhibit, we hosted a Gallery Opening & Fashion Show which featured the local artists, the band #MPLS, and singer/songwriter Ashley DuBose.
Community and Wellness are important strategies for Target as well as for the employee resource groups such as the African-American Business Council. We spent the morning of February 8th, African-American Parent Involvement Day, at a local elementary school where we read books from our assortment and lead various activities and games. Later in the month Toni Sands of TU Dance will share her journey as a former Alvin Ailey dancer and conduct a short dance class.
It’s been a fun month so far and I look forward to continuing the conversation and celebrating amazing contributions of African-Americans.
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