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Black History Month: Doing more starts today

“If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes negligible in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.” — Carter G. Woodson, founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. 

February 11, 2021

 

 

 

 

Almost one hundred years have passed since historian and author Carter G. Woodson — the son of former slaves — proposed one of the first public recognitions of Black people in the United States. Called Negro History Week, it was the precursor to what we now know and recognize as Black History Month.

At Cargill, we celebrate Black people’s central role and achievements throughout history. We celebrate Black history, Black culture, Black legacy and Black excellence, as well as Black people’s critical role in the food and agriculture industries.

At the same time, we acknowledge that’s not enough. And so, we’re taking a business focused approach to diversity, equity and inclusion with concrete, measurable actions. 

"For the first time in my life, I truly believe we’re going to obliterate anti-Black racism,” says Anna Richo, Cargill’s general counsel, chief compliance officer and corporate secretary. “To get to that level of understanding and acceptance, we’ve got to take action. And the first step towards action is education.” 

Black History Month is officially recognized by the governments in the U. S. and Canada; more recently, it’s been observed in Ireland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, too.

 

“Knowledge is the great equalizer,” adds Richo, who’s also the executive champion of the Cargill Ebony Council (CEC), the company’s top resource group for Black employees. To that end, the CEC is inviting all Cargill employees to join an ongoing Racial Equity Challenge: a set of educational activities to help us better understand the experience of Black people.

Over the next weeks, we will share some of those activities* with our broader community as well, highlighting one of four themes: struggle, perseverance, achievement and action. Why? Because around the world, our collective progress to advance racial equity has been inadequate. We have to do more. We all have a role to play. And we can play it now.

Learn about Black struggle

Watch:

Uncomfortable conversations with a Black man (YouTube – 9m)
How Black Americans were robbed of their land (The Atlantic/YouTube – 15m)

Read:

The 1619 Project on slavery’s legacy in America (The New York Times) Note: If you have access troubles, the Pulitzer Center offers a .pdf version.
Race and policing in America: 10 things we know (Pew Research Center)

Listen:

The 1619 Project podcast series.

Movie night!

Jim Crow of the North (TPT documentary)
• The 13th (Netflix)
• When they see us (Netflix)
• Between the world and me (HBO Max)


*Cargill does not own these resources.