This February, the SERJobs Employee Engagement Black History Month Subcommittee hosted a lineup of events to amplify Black history and culture amongst staff, with a special focus on Black history in Texas and in Houston.
The first event was an open-air happy hour kicking off the month hosted at the Wing Quarter, located in the Third Ward. The event was an excellent team-building opportunity, paired with delicious Cajun cuisine and great weather!
The next two events were geared towards amplifying Black history: a Lunch + Learn event featuring a screening of Netflix’s High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America, Episode 4 with popcorn from POParazzi Popcorn; and Black History Month Jeopardy.
To explore Black history and art from a Houston perspective, a Black History Month Book Club was organized to read a book written by a Black author from Houston. After a vote amongst participants, the winning book club selection was Invisible Houston: The Black Experience in Boom and Bust by Dr. Robert D. Bullard of Texas Southern University, who is widely regarded as the Father of Environmental Justice. The books were purchased from Houston’s first Black-owned bookstore, Kindred Stories in the Third Ward. The book club will meet in March to discuss the book.
To end the month, the Black History Month Subcommittee organized the second annual Culture + Cuisine Day! Staff were treated to a day of catered meals from local Black-owned restaurants, with the day kicking off with breakfast from Glazed the Doughnut Café located at 1333 Old Spanish Trail. Staff lunches were catered by Mikki’s Soulfood Café and Soul Food Vegan. The day ended with Crumbville’s famous stuffed cupcakes!
To complement these events, a newsletter was distributed each week highlighting celebrated Black Americans throughout history, and a display in the SERJobs lobby was also erected to highlight these historic figures.
The SERJobs Employee Engagement Black History Month Subcommittee was chaired by Kazhari Ray, Program Coordinator. The subcommittee members were Robert Depay, Valeri Dunn, Joyce Harris, Felicia Hines, Zully Ramon-Vidal, and Christi Vasquez.