Growing up in the 70s, not all that long after the peak of the Civil Rights Movement, there was lots of focus on equality, race, and understanding.
Like many other kids, I listened to stories of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., his lofty speeches filled with soaring rhetoric, his vision of a better world. We learned about peace and tolerance and standing up for what was right.
But Dr. King’s stance wasn’t always presented with a lot of context. We heard about his greatness, but not of the violence to which he and so many others were subjected. We didn’t hear about Medgar Evars or Malcolm X. We learned about Rosa Parks’ brave stand, but not of John Lewis or James Baldwin or Stokely Carmichael.
And over time, while these stories were shared each year with reverence, they became, for many, it seems, platitudes; things that were supposed to be revered, but were simply said. They weren’t really taken to heart.
Fast forward to 2018, and we find ourselves in a time where questions of race, of how our society treats people of color, how we all interact are once again coming to a head. The stories of America’s Civil Rights leaders – and the leaders of today – are now more important than ever.
We need to hear about the struggles of Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP. We need to hear about Ruby Bridges and Brown v. Board of Education. We need to understand history and the things black people in America have gone through for hundreds of years. We need to understand their now, we need to listen. And we need to learn the stories of the leaders of today: John Lewis is still here, still making “good trouble,” and he’s joined by Deray McKesson, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Tamika Mallory, Colin Kaepernick, Erica Gardner, Angela Rye, and so many more. Their stories are important to who we are, and to who we are to become.
At Citrix, we understand that we’re strongest when we hire the best people in the business—no matter who they are or where they come from—and support them fully. – Donna Kimmel, Citrix SVP & Chief People Officer
Because we are listening and because we always want to do more, and to do better, Citrix places heavy value on Integrity, Respect, Curiosity, and Unity. We do our best to champion the causes of Diversity and Inclusion, and we know that a healthy dose of perspectives isn’t just good for business, it’s good for us. For all of us.
For Black History Month this year at Citrix, we’re celebrating people of color, we’re celebrating their achievements, telling the stories of their struggles, the power of their experiences. There will be flag-raising ceremonies, celebrations of Historically Black Colleges and Universities — or HBCUs — panels on diversity and inclusion, and celebrations of the contributions black people have made — and are making — to the remarkable fabric of this nation.
But most of all? We are listening. Because a world in which we’re all treated as equals is a better world, indeed.