February marks a month-long celebration of Black history. It’s an opportunity to highlight the achievements and contributions of Black people, while also acknowledging the barriers to progress they still face. This February carries extra weight as we’re one year into a global pandemic in which people of color have been disproportionately affected and eight months since the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, which has forced society to address its systemic racism.

As a values-driven organization, Samsung is making continued progress in creating a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) with the aim of providing those within our workplace and communities with a rich sense of belonging. One way in which we’re acting on that mission to drive positive change is by convening a global dialogue.

Throughout the month, the Samsung Galaxy of Black Professionals (GBP) employee resource group (ERG), which launched in February 2020, is hosting several events to recognize the strength of Black people within Samsung, across the United States, and around the world. Among the events will be a “The Color of COVID” panel discussion with medical professionals to learn how systemic social and health inequities have put minority groups at increased risk and the hopeful path for the road ahead; a “Black Trivia Night” challenge to test one’s knowledge of black historic and modern-day leaders and events; and a “Change Agents in 2021” talk to spotlight black executives as agents of change in business.

In the past year, Samsung and the GBP have made advancements in our journey towards a more inclusive workplace.

  • The GBP worked with Samsung Electronics America leadership, leveraging their experience, thought leadership and community insight, to identify areas where we, as a company, can do more to drive change internally and in our communities.
  • The GBP engaged with Samsung employees for regular open forums on race in America.
  • Samsung kicked off a C-Chat series to educate and inform on Community, Care and Culture topics with dynamic inaugural speakers, such as Congressman James Clyburn (D-SC), Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Black-ish creator Kenya Barris.
  • The GBP hosted a Juneteenth panel to bring exposure to the anniversary marking the abolition of U.S. slavery and Samsung has granted an early release for the annual holiday going forward.

Samsung’s Citizenship team incorporated social justice volunteerism activities recommended by the GBP into Samsung Gives Month of Service, our employee community service initiative.

Additional steps towards meaningful change will be taken in 2021, including partnering with our allies and leaders to continue to make a lasting impact on Samsung’s culture and driving more candid conversations on the national, regional, and local levels.

DE&I efforts like the above have inspired our employees to speak up and speak out. In their own voice, here’s what Black History Month and the importance of representation, identity and diversity means to them:

Ramon Gregory Black History Month

“Family is that feeling of “unconditional love” I get, not just from blood family, but those that I share common values with or with whom I have emotional ties. I am blessed to have both. My immediate family that knows the best and worst of me and accepts me regardless and my human family that reminds me that no matter the race, cultural background, religion, or different beliefs we have, we are more alike than we are unalike.”
Ramon Gregory, Senior Vice President, Customer Care

Monica Jean Baptiste Black History Month

“Family is everything and we were blessed to have our family expand by +1 last summer! In addition to welcoming Baby Alexander into our family, my husband, who was born in Haiti, became a US citizen! Despite all the challenges 2020 brought us, we had so much to be thankful for. This photo is from last Thanksgiving. While it was nice to avoid the holiday travel, we’re looking forward to a much larger celebration with our whole family next year.”
Monica Jean Baptiste, Senior Manager, Verizon Sales

Leroy Williams Black History Month

“Black History Month has always been a reminder for me of the perseverance and excellence of the many African Americans, both the acknowledged and unheralded that have shaped the success that our country has had the privilege to enjoy today. Despite overwhelming obstacles, resistance, and at times unthinkable conditions, our ability to achieve, drive advancement and innovation continues to inspire and motivate to reach for an even higher gear.
This photo, taken a few years ago, captured both the essence of what family represents to me and our consistent enjoyment and appreciation of sharing our life experiences together as “The Clubhouse”, in addition to the making of history with my daughter being the first African American female elected to her north Atlanta high school homecoming court.”
Leroy Williams, Senior Vice President, Mobile Business & Executive Sponsor of the Galaxy of Black Professionals Employee Resource Group

Brittneye Willams Black History Month

“This moment was so special for me and my husband. We were celebrating an event that was ten years in the making. The realization that we were indeed about to become the parents of not one but two little princesses. I was eight months pregnant with Aria Star and Arielle Sky, and gave birth a few weeks after this photo. Black history is also a celebration of family, a celebration of love, and a celebration of persistence which is what it took to bring our dream of a family into reality.”
Brittneye Williams, Retail Training