Black History Month is held every year in October to promote the history and contributions that Black people with origins in Africa, the Caribbean, North and South America and other Black communities around the world have made.
Events and celebrations around the globe, in support of Black History Month, including history and heritage, arts and culture, news, and ideas from a range of communities, give us an opportunity to share activities and experiences.
So, as we head into ‘Black History Month 2023’ I have been reflecting on how I can leverage my knowledge and insights, through TC4RE to promote the contributions of the people I know.
How we began
In 2021, I began working closely with Microsoft and a handful of other tech partners to discuss what we could do to accelerate racial equality in the IT industry. We got our heads together and created a new community TC4RE (Technology Channel for Racial Equality), with the aim of sharing our learnings and insights with each other.
What we have achieved
Like others involved, I used my network, experience, and knowledge, to help drive this conversation, and two years later I am thrilled with the progress we’ve made. A staggering 150,000 online engagements, 11 Founding Members and over 160 volunteers, and between us hundreds of partner events and celebrations.
I am also beyond delighted to be heading towards our second TC4RE Scholarship competition reaching its judging period. To be able to support black and ethnic minority University students, studying IT, with hard cash rewards for their innovative, creative competition entries is heart-warming. Like all of us at TC4RE, it helps us to feel confident we are doing something tangible for the next generation.
My friends, I thank you
From Apay Obang-Oyway, I have learned about the power of thought, patience, and inclusive leadership (and some big new words). Belton Flournoy, you have developed my negotiation and communication skills, maybe I am a little less like a bull in a china shop sometimes. And Colin Williams, your direction to ‘get down to the bones of it’ clarity of thought has been refreshing and given me confidence even I did not know I needed.
I thank all of you for your friendship and your support, and my life is richer because I know you.
The effect of TC4RE on the IT industry
TC4RE is critically important to all Founding Member leaders committed to giving everyone equal opportunity. We do not want to work in an industry where someone is held back or made to feel less important just because of the colour of their skin. And so we are working together to share our progress, investments, and training with each other to accelerate advancement.
Commercially speaking the benefits are significant. There is no doubt that not everyone we sell and market to is the same. By attracting, recruiting, and retaining a diverse workforce, we open wider opportunities for our businesses, have a greater talent pool to recruit from, and extend our value propositions to a wider variety of customers.
As human beings, our need to live in an equal, supportive society, means we must do everything we can to learn about each other’s culture, heritage, and traditions. Taking fully on board that some of us were born with privileges others were not and educating ourselves on how we can embrace the richness and deep human connection diversity brings. Which makes us all better people.
The future of TC4RE
TC4RE will grow over time. We are already planning our next phase of scaled growth, to open up a wider membership, establishing ourselves as a Community Interest Company (CIC), and working hard on our Careers Hub, Mentoring Programme and Upskilling Initiative to ensure we are bringing value forwards.
Personally, I have learned so much by working so closely with a group of brilliant people, who think like I do. Who want to learn. Who want to grow and get better, and make a difference – and of course, if that means I feel like that, then ResourceiT as a Founding member of TC4RE also benefits.
We all do.
TC4RE is working hard to make the IT industry a great place to be for ourselves and future generations and Black History Month is the perfect time to shout about it.
What are YOU doing?