February 21, 2023
February is Black History Month! To celebrate, our RSG team members who identify in this community shared their voice on what is meaningful to them regarding the sentiments of this month. How do you celebrate?
“I’ve dedicated my career around helping people, and RSG and my predecessors allowed me to express my gifts and demonstrate that there’s equal possibilities for growth and leadership here. So many African Americans, and specifically, African American females, aren’t provided the same opportunities, so when I pause and reflect on my own journey, I forget sometimes how blessed I am to be given this opportunity and strive to provide similar opportunities to others. Through feedback from former colleagues and employees, I’ve learned that I have become a role model and inspiration for others. For this I am truly grateful, as I worked hard to feel comfortable letting people see who I am by leading with compassion, respect, and hope.” – Tara Matthews
Dominique Clark reflected on a quote from the poem “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou:
“Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise.” (39–43)
“This quote gets me emotional because it is a beautiful reminder that the successes my family and I have been blessed to experience is only possible due to the sacrifice and strength of those who came before us. I know only some of their names and very little of their stories, but I am reaping the fruits of their struggle. I am profoundly grateful.”
“Black History Month to me brings awareness to the systemic injustices that were present at the founding of our nation but also to the progress we have made since then. Working at RSG every day, I am reminded of that progress and how lucky I am to work at a job that has representation and allows me to travel to communities of all kinds in the state. Just this year, I had the pleasure of going to the city of Fresno and patronizing probably the best Black soul food place I have had in California, called Rhapsody’s!” – Wesley Smith
“I am so grateful for the Black women that came before me, especially my Nana Ollie Mae Cross (middle). Because of the fragmentation of my ancestors due to slavery, I do not know who my relatives are past a few generations; however, I feel my ancestors and know they are an active part of my life, and I am their wildest dreams come true.” – Jessica Henderson