Official Google Blog: Celebrating our history, accomplishments and community during Black History MonthIf you walk down the halls of our New York office, you might learn something about the history of technology. This month, our walls showcase the contributions of Black inventors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in celebration of Black History Month.
Black History Month, which is every February in the U.S., provides us with an opportunity to recognize the history and diversity of the communities where we operate. Yesterday, our midwestern Googlers listened to the music of Michigan’s only Black and Latino Orchestra and next week, Dr. Clarence Jones will be speaking to our Bay-area Googlers about writing Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. This is just a small sampling of the dozens of celebrations Googlers are hosting all month long.
Black History Month also gives us a chance to celebrate the diversity of our Googlers and highlight some ways we work with underrepresented groups. One of my favorite examples is the story of the Black Googlers Network (BGN). In June 2006, a group of Googlers looking to connect and foster community among Black colleagues got together to create an internal networking group. The Black Googlers Network started as a mailing list, but quickly grew into much more. Passionate about growing the next generation of Black leaders in the technology industry, BGN partnered with our university programs team to strengthen our relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). As a result, we’ve not only increased our recruiting presence at these schools, but are now also partnering with HBCU faculty to develop STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum, encouraging more students to pursue degrees in these areas and prepare them for careers in technology.
Members of our BGN are also shaping the way we do business. In May of 2009, two recent grads in our Ann Arbor office saw an opportunity, and what started as an idea bounced around between two twenty-somethings turned into an official Google program. The idea was to help minority-owned small businesses grow their online presence and, just a few months later, the idea became a reality when Accelerate with Google officially launched. The program has since grown into a team of several dozen Googlers, all working to get small, minority-owned businesses online and helping those business owners connect with one another.
Our passionate Googlers, like those behind BGN and Accelerate, allow us to better connect with the Black community and help to create an inclusive and diverse workplace. As we throw dozens of celebrations around the country in our Atlanta, Chicago, Ann Arbor, New York, Los Angeles and Mountain View offices to mark Black History Month, we invite you to join us by following our Google for Students and Life at Google pages on Google+, where we’ll be hosting photos, recaps and hangouts throughout the month.
Posted by Yolanda Mangolini, Director of Global Diversity Talent & Inclusion