As Lutheran Services Florida continues to celebrate Black History Month, we reflect on the importance of honoring this month as a part of the ongoing work of diversity and inclusion.
Nancy Sung Shelton, M.A., LSF’s Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion., explains the significance of this time.
“When you think about it historically, there have been a lot of contributions by Black people that remain unsurfaced and inaccessible to the greater population. But these contributions have helped to make America the amazing place that it is.”
At LSF, we pride ourselves on being a diverse workspace. This is because we know that when you are intentional about inclusion—and your processes, protocols and policies focus on equity—you manifest an environment where people feel valued. This fosters innovation, motivation, and the reacquainting to our humanity.
“You cannot learn about the world simply by staying confined within the four walls of your home or workplace. You have to immerse yourself in cultural experiences to really get to understand people.”
Once you have that cultural awareness, Nancy explains, it will inform how to be more inclusive in your work and your life.
“Begin with curiosity married with cultural humility (the awareness that you don’t know what you don’t know), but you’re eager to learn, be informed, and share who you are with the person you’re learning from.”
The key is to look at Black History Month as a conversation starter, not the full conversation. Examining the history, trials, and successes of Black people can not be contained within one month.
“Black history lives 365 days a year.”