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African American Employment Program

Background

The Department of Commerce strives to create a culture that encourages collaboration, flexibility, and fairness that enables employees to participate to their fullest potential.  The African American Employment Program (AAEP) enhances the Department’s efforts to comply with the mandates of Executive Order 13583, Establishing a Coordinated Government-wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce, and Executive Order 11478, Equal Employment Opportunity in the Federal Government.

The AAEP develops, plans, and implements strategies that enable the Department to recruit, hire, promote, and retain a more diverse, qualified workforce. In addition, the AAEP helps the Department address potential discriminatory and/or inequitable practices in hiring and employment and works to eliminate barriers to full participation for AAEP in the workplace.

Program Manager: Monique Dismuke

African American History Month

February is designated as African American History Month or Black History Month to commemorate the rich and varied contributions of African Americans to the culture and history of the United States and the world. Negro History Week was initiated in 1926, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard Ph.D., who 11 years earlier founded the Association for the Study of Afro- American Life and History. In those early days, the words Afro and Black were seldom used. It was Dr. Woodson's hope that through this special observance, all Americans would be reminded of their ethnic roots, and that “togetherness” in the United States racial groups would develop out of a mutual respect. Dr. Woodson chose February to recognize Negro History Week because it contains the birthdays of two iconic figures in African American history, Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

In 1976, Negro History week was expanded to include the entire month of February and became known as "Black History Month", also known today as "African American History Month." From its initiation, African-American History Month has evolved to incorporate the views and expressions of many ethnic and social groups, not just African Americans.

Each February, the Department plans activities designed to provide cultural awareness, debunk stereotypes, and recognize the contributions and achievements of African Americans represented in our workforce.

News

February 17, 2021

2021 U.S. Department of Commerce African American History Month, “Inclusion is on US” Special Presentation: “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity"

  • 00:02
    good afternoon and thank you all for
    00:03
    standing by
    00:04
    for the duration of today's conference
    00:06
    all participants lines are in listen
    00:08
    only mode
    00:09
    today's conference is being recorded if
    00:11
    you have any objections you may
    00:12
    disconnect at this time
    00:14
    it is my pleasure to turn the call over
    00:15
    to your host for today miss monique
    00:17
    disney
    00:18
    thank you ma'am you may begin all right
    00:21
    thank you so much holly
    00:22
    well welcome everyone to our 2021
    00:26
    african american
    00:27
    history black history month event the
    00:30
    theme of this month is the black family
    00:31
    representation
    00:32
    identity and diversity before we get
    00:35
    started i'd like to
    00:36
    bring a couple of matters to your
    00:38
    attention one if you are
    00:41
    dialing in to this event you will be
    00:44
    placed on you
    00:45
    and so we will won't have an opportunity
    00:48
    there won't be noise going back and
    00:49
    forth
    00:50
    so you are mute throughout the entire
    00:52
    event however
    00:53
    at the very end of the event we will
    00:55
    have an opportunity
    00:57
    for audience questions so if you have a
    01:00
    question
    01:00
    you like to ask of our panelists
    01:02
    throughout the event we ask you to
    01:03
    please put that question
    01:05
    in the chat function that chat function
    01:07
    is over to the right
    01:08
    on your computer screen so please feel
    01:10
    free throughout the event to put your
    01:12
    questions there and
    01:13
    when we have a few minutes at the end we
    01:15
    will uh open the
    01:17
    the session up to questions we also
    01:21
    have captions available so again if
    01:22
    you're looking for the captions
    01:24
    feature please go to chat there's a link
    01:27
    there
    01:27
    you can click on the link and it'll take
    01:29
    you into the
    01:31
    captions finally
    01:35
    if you uh thank you for joining us today
    01:37
    we will begin our program
    01:39
    in just a second and i'd like to turn
    01:41
    this over
    01:42
    to our opening
    01:46
    turn it over for opening remarks to the
    01:49
    office of civil rights acting director
    01:52
    mr
    01:53
    larry l beat
    01:58
    thank you monique good morning for some
    02:01
    of you good afternoon to everybody on
    02:03
    behalf of the department of commerce
    02:06
    office of civil rights i want to thank
    02:07
    you for joining us today
    02:10
    my name is larry beat i'm the acting
    02:13
    director for the office of civil rights
    02:14
    as monique
    02:15
    just said it is my pleasure to join you
    02:18
    this afternoon for this special event
    02:21
    in honor of african-american history
    02:23
    month which runs
    02:24
    throughout the entire month of february
    02:27
    this year's theme
    02:28
    as monique just mentioned is the black
    02:31
    family
    02:31
    representation identity and diversity
    02:34
    this is just a wonderful theme
    02:37
    it really presents us with an
    02:38
    opportunity to explore and reflect on
    02:40
    the many meanings of the word
    02:42
    family through the historic lens of the
    02:44
    african-american family
    02:47
    the concept of family stands at the
    02:49
    heart of all human relationships
    02:52
    and they represent the tie the ties that
    02:54
    bind people together
    02:55
    by race blood social affinity
    02:59
    national heritage and religious
    03:01
    conviction
    03:03
    concept of the black family often
    03:05
    includes not
    03:06
    only parents and children brothers and
    03:09
    sisters
    03:10
    and descendants of ancestors but also
    03:13
    those
    03:13
    victims can or pretend aunties
    03:17
    uncles and cousins not actually related
    03:20
    by blood
    03:21
    as well as the cherished sisterhood
    03:24
    and brotherhood of sororities and
    03:26
    fraternal organizations
    03:29
    the black family theme provides a window
    03:31
    into the african-american experience
    03:33
    over generations family stories
    03:37
    stories images and traditions have long
    03:40
    inspired and mobilized african americans
    03:43
    in their quest for racial equality
    03:45
    social justice and self-determination
    03:49
    the march of time has proven that the
    03:51
    black family represents the perseverance
    03:53
    and the resilience that has brought
    03:55
    african americans through centuries of
    03:57
    enslavement
    03:58
    jim crow laws and glaring racial
    04:00
    inequalities
    04:01
    and dangers that linger into our time
    04:04
    hey we bring together a group of
    04:06
    panelists who will share their story
    04:08
    as it relates to this beautiful theme of
    04:10
    family
    04:12
    our panelists are a diverse group of
    04:14
    dedicated
    04:15
    employees of the us department of
    04:17
    commerce and they are
    04:19
    they are our colleagues their poignant
    04:22
    stories
    04:22
    will enlighten and inspire while
    04:25
    providing insight
    04:26
    and appreciation of this theme the black
    04:29
    family
    04:30
    representation identity and diversity
    04:34
    once again thank you for joining us for
    04:36
    today's event
    04:38
    and i will now turn the program over to
    04:40
    mr derek small
    04:42
    will serve as the moderator for today's
    04:44
    program
    04:45
    derek is a communication specialist with
    04:48
    the u.s
    04:48
    international trade administration the
    04:51
    u.s commercial service
    04:53
    derek it's all yours welcome pages
    04:57
    thank you very much thank you i
    04:59
    appreciate it um
    05:00
    just just a little bit about me i have
    05:02
    about
    05:03
    18 years plus of government service
    05:06
    which includes eight years service
    05:08
    in the marine corps uh currently i'm a
    05:10
    communication specialist with the u.s
    05:12
    commercial service
    05:13
    and i also serve as a member of be bold
    05:16
    which is black's building opportunities
    05:18
    to leverage diversity
    05:19
    um i'm excited and honored to take part
    05:22
    in this event and to
    05:23
    talk to the diverse group of ladies that
    05:26
    we have
    05:27
    this event to me is very important
    05:29
    especially because of all the events
    05:31
    that have happened last year that remind
    05:34
    us
    05:35
    of past struggles in this country
    05:38
    especially for the black community
    05:40
    and at the time that this event sort of
    05:44
    was coming about i had written a
    05:47
    few verses to a poem that that
    05:50
    goes pretty much like this and i'm only
    05:51
    going to deliver the first few lines
    05:54
    slave from africa born in america
    05:57
    parents from panama grandma granddad
    06:00
    jamaica trinidad haiti maybe
    06:03
    native likely i don't know i guess you
    06:06
    can't track
    06:07
    past a graveyard of slaves and because
    06:10
    of the importance of
    06:11
    family i believe that having a knowledge
    06:15
    of our
    06:16
    legacy is very important but not only
    06:19
    because of our legacy i think it's also
    06:22
    important
    06:22
    in shaping our future as you'll see in
    06:25
    the various stories from our panelists
    06:27
    today
    06:28
    so i'm happy to have with us carrie ann
    06:31
    turner
    06:32
    a communication specialist with the
    06:33
    national marine fisheries services
    06:35
    office of international trade and
    06:37
    seafood inspection
    06:39
    michelle robinson an economist with the
    06:42
    bureau of economic analysis
    06:44
    cecilia kaiser director of the office of
    06:47
    financial internal control
    06:49
    travel and travel management division
    06:53
    jacqueline deschamps a business
    06:54
    specialist with miss
    06:56
    balbridge performance excellence program
    06:59
    and just a reminder to everyone if you
    07:02
    have questions please feel free to put
    07:04
    them
    07:05
    in the chat and we'll get to them later
    07:07
    it's such a privilege to speak to you
    07:09
    ladies
    07:09
    especially during black history month
    07:12
    and hopefully
    07:13
    uh you know these events that go on
    07:15
    throughout department of commerce
    07:16
    throughout the year and that we continue
    07:18
    to use
    07:19
    and to employ diversity throughout all
    07:22
    of our categories
    07:23
    that we see we'd like to get started
    07:26
    with kerry
    07:28
    thank you uh i'm happy to have you here
    07:31
    today happy to speak with you
    07:33
    um maybe you could start by telling us a
    07:35
    little bit about what you do with the
    07:37
    department of commerce
    07:40
    hi everyone um again my name is carrie
    07:43
    anne turner
    07:44
    i go by kerry i am a communications
    07:48
    specialist
    07:49
    within noaa fisheries office of
    07:51
    international affairs and seafood
    07:53
    inspections
    07:55
    part of my function within the office is
    07:59
    to
    07:59
    help develop implement
    08:03
    and coordinate various communication
    08:06
    strategies
    08:08
    for office in terms of international
    08:11
    fisheries priorities
    08:13
    um so a lot of the work that i do is
    08:16
    um assisting our policy teams and
    08:19
    various
    08:20
    uh stakeholder engagement uh
    08:24
    for programs uh like the import
    08:26
    provisions
    08:27
    for the mmpa the marine mammal
    08:29
    protection act and also
    08:32
    trade monitoring programs like uh the
    08:34
    u.s seafood import modern program known
    08:36
    as simp
    08:39
    in terms of uh department of commerce i
    08:41
    have been a federal employee for about
    08:44
    uh we're over a year i've been a federal
    08:47
    contractor within
    08:48
    the national marine fisheries service
    08:50
    who are about five years old together
    08:54
    wonderful thank you happy to have you
    08:56
    here so tell us a little bit about your
    08:58
    upbringing and maybe share a story of an
    09:00
    experience
    09:01
    achievement accomplishment or something
    09:03
    that someone you know
    09:04
    had tell us something about you
    09:08
    well i come from a large family
    09:12
    [Music]
    09:13
    including myself five kids my mom and my
    09:16
    dad
    09:16
    and um i am part of the
    09:20
    uh what what is considered the african
    09:22
    uh diaspora
    09:24
    um and that is um the
    09:27
    uh um uh descendants uh
    09:31
    from the uh african uh descendants that
    09:34
    were
    09:35
    moved around um through the slave trade
    09:39
    uh through their various parts of the
    09:41
    world um
    09:42
    my family can be trait backed um our
    09:44
    slave
    09:45
    descendants were traced back to west
    09:47
    africa and so they came to the caribbean
    09:50
    and um so i uh
    09:53
    immigrated from the island of jamaica to
    09:56
    the united states when i was about
    09:58
    six years old um and we landed
    10:02
    in brooklyn new york
    10:05
    it's various challenges growing up
    10:11
    but quite a few achievements my
    10:14
    family my parents worked incredibly hard
    10:17
    to ensure that we had a good life
    10:21
    it was a bit of a change coming from
    10:24
    jamaica to new york city but
    10:28
    and that assimilation process but uh
    10:32
    their greatest achievement uh for us
    10:35
    that they were able to see
    10:37
    uh both my mom and my dad that all of
    10:39
    their five children went to college and
    10:41
    graduated with honor
    10:43
    and so uh for them that was um
    10:47
    quite an achievement um i think
    10:50
    they're they were more excited about the
    10:54
    um the fact that we're all quite
    10:56
    involved in various causes
    10:58
    in civil um public service all my
    11:01
    siblings
    11:02
    whether it's federal city law
    11:05
    enforcement
    11:05
    community we are all working within
    11:08
    some form of public service so that
    11:12
    aspect of really starting over and
    11:15
    being able to um integrate into the
    11:18
    american fabric that was quite important
    11:22
    for them and they were quite proud of it
    11:25
    right that's a great story i'm i'm a
    11:27
    brooklyn night myself
    11:28
    so you know i've have a lot of
    11:31
    experience growing up around caribbean
    11:33
    people especially
    11:34
    uh jamaican people trinidadian people
    11:36
    and
    11:37
    you know i can tell that there was some
    11:40
    struggles
    11:40
    assimilating could you talk about that a
    11:43
    little bit even though you know
    11:45
    i'm certain that you honor and know that
    11:48
    you're obviously a part of the black
    11:49
    community there is sort of a slight
    11:51
    difference right
    11:52
    then what what do you think about that
    11:56
    i mean uh i guess when we originally
    12:00
    came
    12:01
    it was quite um
    12:03
    [Music]
    12:07
    you know there was a lot of issues that
    12:09
    we had
    12:10
    my siblings and i in school and being
    12:12
    accepted
    12:14
    and so my parents particularly
    12:18
    my mother took a different approach
    12:19
    which she really
    12:21
    wanted us to survive and thrive and you
    12:24
    know as a as a mother
    12:26
    having seen her children come home each
    12:28
    day with
    12:30
    um really just stories of being isolated
    12:33
    uh
    12:34
    you know the approach was to really
    12:36
    scrub a lot of
    12:38
    those connections mainly linguistically
    12:41
    just to for us to assimilate easier
    12:45
    and for me most of my students were able
    12:48
    to reconnect
    12:50
    quickly i did not i it has taken me
    12:54
    quite a while uh to be able to reconnect
    12:58
    to those roots because i as you know
    13:00
    when you come in at six
    13:02
    it's it's all you you know the country
    13:04
    that you grew up is all you know
    13:06
    um and so i didn't really
    13:09
    once you know we we learned quickly how
    13:12
    to
    13:12
    um assimilate into the culture
    13:16
    uh i did not have any issues moving on
    13:19
    from
    13:20
    then i mean you know i'm i'm
    13:23
    black so when you see me you don't
    13:25
    really think
    13:26
    what type you just think that's congress
    13:29
    that's a representation
    13:31
    of a black american and so um
    13:34
    aside from the assimilation portion and
    13:37
    just being able to
    13:38
    um connect there were so many
    13:40
    similarities in tradition and food i
    13:43
    i didn't really have that issue i think
    13:45
    as an adult
    13:46
    i had more of an issue in trying to
    13:49
    reconnect
    13:50
    to my caribbean roots because i was
    13:52
    seeing so much
    13:54
    um from those that part of my my black
    13:56
    caribbean family is too americanized
    13:59
    and so that was something that i had to
    14:03
    learn to do and
    14:04
    as an adult um and but i've learned to
    14:07
    do that through
    14:08
    being involved in organizations within
    14:10
    my community there's a strong
    14:13
    african diaspora community within um
    14:16
    montgomery county where i am in maryland
    14:18
    and and so
    14:20
    that has been incredibly helpful in
    14:22
    reconnecting to those roots
    14:24
    um and being part of a larger family
    14:27
    and maybe you could talk some about
    14:29
    about your traditions or customs that
    14:31
    you have as part of your family and
    14:33
    cultural identity
    14:35
    we we are um
    14:39
    and i have to really think about this
    14:41
    because certain things are so
    14:43
    it's so part of it for the back of your
    14:45
    brain i
    14:46
    i we sing at every event we're all
    14:49
    novice singers musicians writers
    14:52
    uh some professional singers in my
    14:54
    family um
    14:55
    but there is not an event that i can
    14:58
    think of
    14:58
    where we don't sing where we don't
    15:02
    um you know we communicate
    15:05
    our our emotions if we ever have a
    15:07
    conversation where it gets very intense
    15:10
    someone will break out in song and i
    15:13
    don't
    15:13
    i don't know where that started from um
    15:16
    but it's something that we do all the
    15:19
    time
    15:20
    it does help that my parents
    15:23
    have the full spectrum with five uh kids
    15:26
    we have sopranos uh uh alto which i
    15:30
    am a tenor and two bass and so we have a
    15:34
    really good spectrum
    15:35
    of a choir all on our own um
    15:38
    so that's a lot of the things that we do
    15:41
    it's it's cultural songs it's lingual
    15:43
    spirituals it's
    15:44
    old hymns it's everything that we sing
    15:47
    but if there is an emotion
    15:48
    we sing and then we start the harmony um
    15:51
    so that's something that's
    15:52
    really um fun that we do um
    15:56
    and just how we communicate particularly
    15:58
    harsh emotions
    15:59
    when we're going through or to uplift
    16:01
    each other um
    16:02
    happy birthdays um voicemails that i get
    16:05
    from my family
    16:06
    always end up in a song so
    16:09
    um yeah that's pretty that's pretty um
    16:13
    integrated into our interaction with
    16:15
    each other
    16:17
    and you know before we move to michelle
    16:19
    i did want to give you a chance because
    16:20
    i know that
    16:21
    you and your family uh have a lot of
    16:24
    government
    16:24
    service and what what what types of
    16:28
    organizations are you
    16:29
    involved in are you involved in
    16:31
    organizations outside
    16:33
    of the government yes um
    16:36
    so again that is something that we
    16:40
    we when we move and and that was a
    16:42
    really lesson from my parents
    16:44
    when you move into a community you
    16:46
    become part of what
    16:48
    enriches it what protects it what makes
    16:50
    it grow and so
    16:51
    i've been in part uh in montgomery
    16:54
    county
    16:54
    they have various committees um so i'm
    16:57
    involved in a committee against um
    16:59
    hate violence uh so i work with the
    17:02
    community on issues like that
    17:04
    doing a lot of outreach to
    17:07
    to the area on those issues i also am a
    17:10
    part of a group called my sister's
    17:12
    keeper united and that works with issues
    17:16
    that women of color deal with in terms
    17:20
    of health
    17:21
    access in terms of
    17:24
    mental health those are some of the
    17:26
    issues that we work on
    17:28
    and also involves a lot of things within
    17:31
    the community in terms
    17:32
    of um black representation
    17:35
    so that's something that has continued
    17:38
    to be a threat in my life
    17:40
    and connects me my larger black family
    17:45
    thank you carrie um and i want to remind
    17:47
    everyone if you have questions
    17:48
    please feel free to uh put them in the
    17:51
    chat especially for kerry so that we can
    17:53
    ask for those questions
    17:55
    um when we come close to the end
    17:57
    michelle hi
    17:58
    um thank you for being here as well
    18:01
    um i loved reading your story i want you
    18:04
    to tell us about a little bit about what
    18:06
    you do
    18:07
    with the department of commerce
    18:10
    so good morning well good afternoon at
    18:12
    this point good morning to some though
    18:14
    thank you so much for allowing me to
    18:16
    participate in this
    18:18
    event today so i am a federal economist
    18:22
    um with the bureau of economic analysis
    18:25
    um i have been um a federal employee
    18:29
    i think i have like 35 years of service
    18:31
    coming up um
    18:33
    and 27 of those uh this year will be
    18:35
    with
    18:36
    the bureau of economic analysis as an
    18:38
    economist
    18:39
    at the agency responsible for producing
    18:43
    gross domestic product and various other
    18:45
    economic statistics
    18:47
    i like to explain what we do to people
    18:50
    who are unfamiliar
    18:51
    that if the u.s government were a
    18:54
    company a private corporation would be
    18:56
    like their accounting firm
    18:57
    so we keep track of um
    19:01
    financial transactions and flows within
    19:03
    the u.s economy
    19:05
    and inform our users of
    19:08
    the health or lack thereof of our
    19:11
    economy
    19:12
    um i'm a product of hbcu a proud
    19:16
    graduate of howard university
    19:18
    so wrapping up the hbcus and
    19:21
    have been involved in our diversity
    19:24
    efforts at bea
    19:26
    so initially when i first started bea
    19:29
    had
    19:29
    a lot of diversity
    19:32
    initiatives based on ronald brown who
    19:35
    was secretary of commerce at the time
    19:37
    so i was involved in those efforts and
    19:39
    also participated in the department of
    19:42
    commerce's diversity council that was
    19:44
    stood up at that time
    19:45
    and we've kind of come full circle bea
    19:48
    recently revamped our diversity efforts
    19:51
    and i serve now as co-chair of our
    19:53
    diversity and inclusion council
    19:55
    and i'm very happy to kind of
    19:58
    come back full circle to the work that i
    20:00
    began as a young
    20:03
    economist at bea
    20:07
    you know i was curious about what
    20:09
    prompted uh
    20:10
    the creation of the diversity and
    20:12
    inclusion
    20:13
    committees um
    20:17
    honestly i'm not exactly sure what
    20:19
    prompted it to come back
    20:21
    initially when we first um started those
    20:23
    efforts back in the late 90s it was due
    20:26
    to a mandate
    20:27
    from um at the time secretary ron brown
    20:31
    who um kind of mandated all of the
    20:34
    agencies and bureaus within department
    20:35
    of commerce
    20:37
    uh to uh work on diversity efforts based
    20:40
    on seven tenets that he put out
    20:42
    i don't have them all memorized but if
    20:44
    you go to
    20:46
    bea.gov or actually you probably can
    20:48
    google it and find out what those seven
    20:50
    tenets were
    20:51
    but i believe just recently there's been
    20:53
    more conversation
    20:54
    about diversity and inclusion um efforts
    20:58
    um
    20:58
    within the department and i think dea
    21:00
    just kind of took up the mantle and and
    21:02
    picked up our efforts once again so our
    21:06
    recently revamped diversity and
    21:07
    inclusion council
    21:09
    was stood up i want to say it was a call
    21:11
    for volunteers maybe in the fall of 2018
    21:15
    um so we've gone through a full two-year
    21:18
    cycle which is the term
    21:19
    terms of most of our members and it's
    21:22
    been a great experience
    21:23
    being able to be involved in this work
    21:25
    and
    21:27
    try to make our workplace a more
    21:29
    inclusive environment for all
    21:33
    okay do you uh what what drew you to
    21:36
    federal service
    21:39
    um honestly it's not it's a funny story
    21:43
    and i say it often
    21:44
    but uh i grew up in the washington dc
    21:47
    area and as you know federal government
    21:49
    is a major employer
    21:50
    um for people in the general area and i
    21:53
    have
    21:54
    a history of family members who uh have
    21:57
    been federal employees i had a sister
    21:59
    who worked for the postal service
    22:01
    i had two sisters who worked at hhs
    22:04
    my uncle who raised me um worked for the
    22:06
    government printing office
    22:08
    and so my mom used to always say
    22:11
    girl get you a good government job and
    22:14
    you can't go wrong with that and i don't
    22:16
    know if that kind of subconsciously
    22:18
    stuck with me all of those years
    22:20
    but when i was in high school i um took
    22:23
    the civil service test like many of my
    22:25
    my friends and peers and started out in
    22:28
    government as a clerk typist because
    22:30
    back then you know you took typing as a
    22:33
    class in school
    22:34
    and so i had speed with it and was able
    22:37
    to get a job and that's how i actually
    22:39
    initially
    22:40
    got my foot in the door of federal
    22:42
    service for the first time although
    22:44
    prior to that as a resident of
    22:45
    washington dc
    22:47
    um starting at the age of 14 i
    22:50
    participated in mayor berry's summer
    22:51
    youth employment program
    22:53
    and just so fortunately i always had
    22:55
    office jobs each summer
    22:57
    so um i don't know i guess it kind of
    23:01
    just stuck with me
    23:02
    and i continued in uh government service
    23:05
    kind of ever since
    23:08
    okay tell us a little bit about your
    23:10
    family
    23:12
    well um my my direct family as a as a
    23:16
    grown adult
    23:16
    i'm the mother of four wonderful boys
    23:19
    even when they drive me crazy
    23:22
    and part of my um wanting to be a part
    23:25
    of this
    23:26
    event today was to share what is kind of
    23:29
    an unusual story
    23:30
    um as the life of a hockey mom so
    23:34
    my son uh my second oldest son
    23:37
    decided i want to say well okay
    23:41
    let me talk a little bit he's the most
    23:43
    naturally athletic out of all of my boys
    23:45
    so he's the kid that wanted to try
    23:47
    everything and as a mother of four boys
    23:50
    you know that's not always financially
    23:52
    possible
    23:53
    so luckily we i live in pg county and we
    23:56
    have a very robust parks and planning
    23:58
    program
    23:59
    that offers all types of activities um
    24:02
    sports related and otherwise so anytime
    24:04
    he would say oh mommy i want to do this
    24:07
    we would quickly look at pgparks.com to
    24:09
    see if they offered a class or a session
    24:11
    or something
    24:12
    so he's done everything from flag
    24:14
    football to playing enter
    24:17
    mural basketball with our local
    24:19
    community center
    24:20
    but then when he said hockey i was just
    24:22
    like oh lord but
    24:24
    we're gonna do that and funny story we
    24:27
    literally
    24:28
    lived like five to ten minutes from an
    24:30
    ice rink but because it was never on
    24:32
    my radar like i didn't grow up ice
    24:33
    skating not even really roller skating
    24:35
    for that
    24:36
    matter um so i never really knew like
    24:39
    where we would find hockey so it just so
    24:41
    happens
    24:43
    again me looking on pgparks.com our
    24:45
    local ice rink the tucker road ice rink
    24:48
    located in fort washington maryland
    24:50
    was having an open house so we went down
    24:52
    to the open house
    24:53
    and um he had an opportunity to get on
    24:55
    some skates at the time i think we had
    24:57
    ice bumper cars i don't know what you
    24:59
    call them but they were like little
    25:00
    bumper cars that you
    25:01
    on the ice and it was a great experience
    25:03
    the figure skating team there put on a
    25:07
    performance and we got to escape for
    25:09
    free around the ice rink for like an
    25:11
    hour and it was a great experience
    25:13
    and as we were leaving i saw a flyer
    25:15
    that said learn to play hockey and i was
    25:17
    like boom
    25:18
    there you go drew there's your hockey so
    25:20
    we ended up signing up for the class
    25:22
    i want to say it started maybe in march
    25:25
    of that year
    25:26
    and by that fall maybe september or so
    25:29
    the ice rink decided to put together a
    25:32
    developmental youth hockey program
    25:34
    and so that's how we started in hockey
    25:37
    he's a founding member
    25:39
    of the tucker road ducks youth ice
    25:41
    hockey program
    25:42
    and i'm proud to say he's the sole
    25:45
    remaining
    25:46
    founding member that is still with the
    25:47
    team our rank
    25:49
    in 2017 suffered a devastating fire
    25:53
    that shut down our rink but fortunately
    25:56
    because of the partnership we have with
    25:58
    our park and planning staff
    26:00
    and outreach from the community we were
    26:02
    able to
    26:03
    keep the team going um using ice time
    26:06
    from other ranks
    26:08
    as as needed because obviously our rank
    26:11
    was unavailable
    26:12
    but i'm also happy to say that um we
    26:15
    helped to advocate for the rebuild of
    26:17
    our ice rink
    26:18
    and we should be opening in uh summer of
    26:21
    this year
    26:22
    so i invite you all to come out and
    26:23
    check out the new and improved tucker
    26:26
    road ice rink home of your tucker road
    26:28
    ducks
    26:30
    and then my last question for you that's
    26:32
    really an amazing story
    26:33
    like you know i i imagine that
    26:36
    maybe i could be wrong maybe you had a
    26:38
    lot of tough conversations
    26:40
    with your kids you know about hockey
    26:43
    and you know maybe the implications of
    26:46
    being one of
    26:47
    you within that sport but then also
    26:49
    maybe you could also talk to us about
    26:51
    you know you mentioned
    26:53
    uh in in some of your writing the
    26:55
    importance of building communities and
    26:57
    networks could you
    26:58
    maybe talk to us about how those fed
    27:00
    into each other
    27:02
    well yes i can initially when he started
    27:05
    playing hockey
    27:06
    i'm not sure if it was because of the
    27:08
    location of the rink and the
    27:10
    community surrounding the rink but the
    27:13
    majority of
    27:14
    our players were either of
    27:16
    african-american descent or mixed race
    27:18
    and actually our coaching staff at the
    27:20
    time was also uh
    27:22
    african-american so we were kind of like
    27:24
    an anomaly on the ice
    27:26
    but we didn't necessarily see ourselves
    27:28
    as that way
    27:29
    because that's all we kind of knew and
    27:32
    honestly the program is open to any
    27:34
    youth so any youth
    27:35
    in the county from ages 4 to 18
    27:38
    regardless of ability
    27:40
    as far as learning how to skate and all
    27:41
    of that we're invited to be a part of
    27:43
    our program and it was just
    27:45
    awesome to be you know for him to find
    27:48
    this village
    27:49
    and like being in pg county you know
    27:52
    most
    27:52
    youth tend to gravitate to basketball
    27:56
    and football
    27:57
    so when he first said hockey i was just
    27:59
    like jeez because literally i had only
    28:01
    been to one hockey game in my life and
    28:02
    had no idea what i was watching most of
    28:04
    the time
    28:05
    i mean it was fun but i didn't
    28:06
    understand much i still don't understand
    28:08
    much of it to be honest
    28:10
    but um the fact that he chose to be a
    28:13
    part of a sport where
    28:15
    we are sorely underrepresented you know
    28:18
    as a parent
    28:19
    particularly of a parent of four black
    28:21
    young men
    28:22
    i'm always concerned about how they're
    28:24
    perceived in the world
    28:26
    how um they navigate you know some of
    28:29
    these
    28:30
    sometimes difficult situations so i was
    28:33
    a little hesitant and nervous
    28:34
    but honestly we have had an enormously
    28:38
    amazing experience being part of the
    28:40
    hockey community when we had the fire
    28:42
    so many programs both locally and
    28:45
    nationally
    28:46
    reached out to our kids to make sure
    28:48
    they were okay
    28:49
    um we've had so much support from the
    28:52
    washington capitals and monumental
    28:54
    sports we have partnerships with
    28:57
    leveling the playing field and so many
    28:59
    others and i'm remiss to not mention
    29:01
    them all and i apologize
    29:03
    but we have had such an amazing
    29:05
    experience
    29:06
    and even though i was hesitant and a lot
    29:09
    of his friends would say
    29:10
    oh you play hockey kind of like that's a
    29:13
    white sport
    29:14
    but little did they know hockey um
    29:16
    started with
    29:17
    black people in nova scotia so we
    29:20
    actually started the sport of hockey
    29:21
    when you see
    29:23
    goalies go down into that butterfly
    29:24
    position down on their knees or you see
    29:27
    a player hit that slap shot
    29:30
    that emanated from black players in nova
    29:32
    scotia in the late 1800s
    29:35
    the fact that we don't participate at
    29:37
    that level now
    29:38
    is unfortunate but the nhl and usa
    29:41
    hockey and i think canadian hockey as
    29:43
    well
    29:44
    are making you know strides towards uh
    29:47
    their hashtag hockey is for everyone and
    29:50
    i appreciate the fact that we have
    29:52
    grassroots teams like the tucker road
    29:54
    ducks and the
    29:55
    fort dupont cannons which is the longest
    29:58
    serving historically
    30:00
    minority based hockey program that's
    30:02
    based right out of southeast dc
    30:04
    at fort dupont ice rink grassroots
    30:07
    programs like
    30:08
    that there's hockey in harlem there's a
    30:10
    hockey program in flint michigan
    30:13
    um that's trying to expose uh
    30:16
    minority players to the sport trying to
    30:19
    minimize the barriers to entry because
    30:21
    hockey can be very expensive
    30:24
    um but i'm really proud of the fact that
    30:26
    you know my son
    30:27
    and and the kids that play with us on
    30:29
    the ducks program we change the face of
    30:31
    hockey every time we step on the ice
    30:33
    the year that we had the fire we
    30:35
    actually went to york pennsylvania to
    30:37
    participate in an in-house rep
    30:38
    tournament
    30:39
    with a lot of other teams and we came
    30:42
    away
    30:43
    as the winners of that tournament and it
    30:45
    was an
    30:46
    amazing experience for our kids to have
    30:49
    you know knowing that
    30:50
    they they don't look like all the other
    30:52
    players but at the end of the day once
    30:53
    you step on the
    30:54
    ice it's the hockey that's important no
    30:56
    one really really cares and we were
    30:58
    fortunate that we haven't really
    31:00
    you know encountered personally any type
    31:02
    of racial slurs or anything but i know
    31:05
    that it happens and we have friends that
    31:06
    has happened to
    31:08
    but we we've really been fortunate that
    31:10
    we've kind of been isolated from a lot
    31:12
    of that
    31:12
    but i appreciate the opportunities and
    31:15
    the experiences that being a hockey
    31:17
    family
    31:18
    um has exposed us to it and i wouldn't
    31:20
    trade it for nothing so i'm so grateful
    31:22
    that he actually
    31:23
    chose this sport and and it became a
    31:25
    passion for him
    31:27
    thank you michelle thank you for sharing
    31:29
    i really appreciate that
    31:31
    yes it's very eye-opening especially
    31:32
    about hockey i think there's a lot of
    31:34
    misperceptions about that
    31:36
    so thank you for being so eye-opening uh
    31:39
    cecilia
    31:40
    thank you very much for joining us as
    31:42
    well um
    31:44
    you know if you could tell us about what
    31:46
    drew you to federal service
    31:48
    and i understand that you're you're also
    31:50
    a veteran and
    31:51
    so maybe you could tackle that as well
    31:54
    uh but first begin by telling us a
    31:55
    little bit about what you do for us of
    31:58
    course
    32:00
    well i am the director of travel
    32:02
    management division
    32:04
    and that's of course part of the osm
    32:06
    family so i'm so grateful that i've had
    32:08
    an opportunity
    32:09
    since uh 2014 to join the dlc family
    32:15
    and so you were asking go ahead
    32:19
    what drew you to federal service
    32:22
    what drew me to federal service was
    32:24
    first of all i wanted to serve my
    32:26
    country because my father
    32:28
    was in the army and so i i started off
    32:31
    in the army
    32:32
    and then from there i said okay
    32:36
    i have to transition now
    32:39
    i think i want to work for the federal
    32:42
    government
    32:43
    and then i started doing my research and
    32:45
    i found that they had internship
    32:47
    programs they had various special
    32:49
    emphasis
    32:50
    programs and i started looking around
    32:53
    in those internship programs and so the
    32:56
    one that piqued my interest the most
    32:58
    was the department of navy and so once i
    33:01
    graduated from
    33:02
    college guess who's out there um
    33:05
    recruiting it was the department of navy
    33:08
    and they were interviewing people for
    33:10
    their internship program
    33:12
    i didn't remember but i didn't think i
    33:14
    was gonna get selected because
    33:17
    it just seemed like the questions were
    33:18
    so hard but
    33:20
    in the end um they selected me and i was
    33:23
    very
    33:24
    appreciative that they did because it
    33:26
    helped me
    33:27
    to realize that the federal government
    33:30
    because
    33:31
    well i didn't know that the federal
    33:32
    government had various programs in the
    33:34
    first place because my parents worked
    33:35
    for general motors
    33:37
    and also xena so everything that i was
    33:39
    around was dealing with commercial so
    33:42
    dln actually helped me learn that the
    33:44
    federal government
    33:45
    had various options for us
    33:49
    wonderful um you know tell us a little
    33:52
    bit about your upbringing
    33:55
    wow wow that's
    33:59
    a good question my upbringing i actually
    34:02
    grew up
    34:03
    in a neighborhood that started off as a
    34:07
    multi-racial
    34:08
    neighborhood but by the time i was 10
    34:12
    it was an inner city ghetto and so
    34:16
    i transitioned from being in a
    34:19
    multicultural
    34:21
    a neighborhood to an inner city that had
    34:23
    problems with gangs and violence and
    34:25
    things of that sort
    34:27
    and so some of the things that i dealt
    34:29
    with
    34:30
    most people didn't or the ones that i've
    34:33
    talked to have it
    34:35
    um i actually had to fight to go to
    34:39
    school
    34:40
    i didn't just walk to school i had to
    34:42
    actually
    34:43
    fight to go to school a physical
    34:44
    altercation
    34:46
    in order to get to school and back from
    34:49
    school
    34:52
    and you know there's um there's more to
    34:54
    your story too
    34:55
    you know if you could share a little bit
    34:58
    as i understand you are your relative uh
    35:01
    maybe talk a little bit about your
    35:03
    relatives
    35:05
    oh yes um my cousin is immaterial
    35:09
    my grandmother and his mother uh rather
    35:13
    great grandmother were actually um
    35:16
    sisters
    35:17
    and so one of the things that we often
    35:20
    heard
    35:21
    at our family reunions was how emmett
    35:24
    hill died
    35:26
    and how our family had to be careful
    35:30
    with allowing our family members to go
    35:33
    and save the summer or the holidays
    35:36
    with other family members so in
    35:39
    actuality
    35:40
    in order for us to spend the night with
    35:42
    the relatives
    35:43
    you had to earn that trust
    35:46
    and that respect from that family member
    35:49
    but so did your neighborhood
    35:51
    so if your neighborhood was a
    35:53
    neighborhood that was known
    35:54
    for gangs of violence or even
    35:58
    racism or things of that sort our
    36:00
    families would actually
    36:01
    take us there so if my cousin wanted me
    36:05
    to come visit her
    36:06
    and she would have been in money
    36:08
    mississippi which i
    36:09
    wouldn't have been able to go in the
    36:10
    first place but say that i did my mother
    36:13
    would have taken me there
    36:15
    and she would have stayed there with me
    36:17
    um if
    36:19
    someone wanted me to visit them in
    36:20
    toledo or a different place
    36:22
    my father would have taken me there and
    36:25
    he would have spent the night
    36:27
    so as people um
    36:30
    learned about uh emmett hill
    36:33
    because the material was on our mother's
    36:35
    side they understood on our father's
    36:37
    side it wasn't my mother being funny
    36:40
    acting it was actually her being
    36:42
    protective of us
    36:43
    she was very protective of us because of
    36:45
    what happened to emmett hill
    36:47
    because remember when emmett till died
    36:49
    he had only been
    36:50
    14 for a month so he was born in july
    36:55
    but when he
    36:56
    was lynched that was in august and so he
    36:59
    had only been
    37:00
    uh like i said 14 four months so that
    37:02
    meant that now
    37:04
    at the family reunions that we have
    37:06
    which we have those
    37:07
    every year is usually the second
    37:08
    saturday and sunday
    37:10
    of the same month every year
    37:13
    that's uh that's some of the things
    37:14
    we'll talk about we'll talk about
    37:16
    historically how
    37:17
    um emmett hill died and how his mother
    37:20
    mamie
    37:22
    that i need for his casket to be open
    37:25
    because i need for the public to see
    37:26
    what was done to my baby
    37:28
    not just uh a black young man but a
    37:32
    teenager
    37:33
    and she wanted everyone to see it and
    37:35
    that's why in chicago now they have a
    37:36
    park
    37:38
    in remembrance of him i love and i mean
    37:41
    i really love
    37:42
    how the african-american museum actually
    37:44
    has a memorial to him
    37:46
    when i went there it was so emotional
    37:49
    for me
    37:51
    until i kept going in and out
    37:55
    to look at the various things because
    37:58
    all i could think of was this not only
    38:01
    as a relative but this was a 14 year
    38:04
    old young man who encountered
    38:07
    the very things that my father
    38:09
    encountered which caused him to join the
    38:11
    military my father actually had to leave
    38:13
    mississippi because of the
    38:15
    hatred and the racism that he was
    38:18
    dealing with
    38:19
    and so as we were taught this
    38:22
    when i went away to college one of the
    38:24
    things that amazed me was how
    38:27
    even in chicago they were still known
    38:30
    for having their problems with
    38:33
    the various hate crimes so i grew up
    38:37
    with that
    38:38
    being something that was always taught
    38:40
    to me be careful be careful
    38:42
    but then i had the inner city things
    38:43
    that i had to be careful for as well
    38:48
    you know obviously there's a lot to uh
    38:50
    hack there
    38:51
    um but you know i also want to uh you
    38:54
    know
    38:55
    hopefully you know some of our audience
    38:56
    members have questions for you
    38:58
    um but i also want to talk you mentioned
    39:01
    that you
    39:02
    served in the military right what was
    39:04
    that experience uh especially as a black
    39:06
    woman in service
    39:08
    and you know during the time that you
    39:09
    served
    39:13
    wow that was very interesting i actually
    39:16
    had a lot of duty assignments i went to
    39:19
    germany
    39:19
    korea colorado various different places
    39:24
    but i still had to deal with um
    39:28
    what they were calling leadership
    39:32
    issues that were sometimes a racist for
    39:35
    instance
    39:36
    when i went away to the war zone i dealt
    39:39
    with so much
    39:40
    racism in this one particular um
    39:43
    company that i was with that they had to
    39:46
    move me
    39:47
    now one of the things that i would like
    39:49
    to bring up that happened during that
    39:51
    time was
    39:52
    my mother called me in the war zone
    39:56
    people had never heard of that my mother
    39:59
    found a way because she felt in her
    40:01
    spirit that there was something wrong
    40:03
    she didn't know what was wrong but she
    40:05
    said i'm going to call
    40:06
    my daughter so i was on the
    40:09
    walkie-talkie
    40:10
    like um phone and she was on her phone
    40:13
    at the house and she was asking me
    40:15
    what's wrong
    40:17
    and i told her what was wrong and the
    40:20
    people that were responsible for
    40:22
    diversity of things in the military they
    40:24
    actually
    40:25
    checked into it and they saw that it was
    40:27
    genuine what i was dealing with
    40:29
    and then they moved me to another uh
    40:32
    company and i didn't have that same
    40:34
    issue but i can truly say that i did
    40:37
    deal with that
    40:38
    as a woman and i did deal with that as a
    40:40
    black loving
    40:41
    but what it did was it did not make me
    40:45
    want to do things
    40:46
    less it actually provoked me into
    40:49
    being an overcomer i was like you know
    40:52
    i'm going to get past this
    40:53
    i'm going to get past this oh no you're
    40:55
    not going to stop me
    40:56
    and i will find ways to
    41:00
    get motivated to get past whatever that
    41:02
    struggle was
    41:04
    or whatever that hinders and i'm still
    41:07
    that same way
    41:09
    cecilia thank you so much for sharing
    41:11
    your story i truly appreciate it
    41:14
    jacqueline hi um
    41:17
    very happy to talk to you today and
    41:19
    maybe you can tell us about yourself and
    41:21
    what you do
    41:23
    hi thank you so much derek it's a
    41:25
    pleasure to be here
    41:26
    uh today i am a business specialist
    41:29
    at the national institute of standards
    41:31
    and technology for a program called the
    41:33
    baldrige performance
    41:35
    excellence program and i get the
    41:38
    esteem opportunity to educate
    41:40
    organizations
    41:41
    on performance excellence management
    41:44
    using the baldrige framework
    41:46
    a lot of folks associate the
    41:49
    baldrige program with the malcolm
    41:51
    baldrige national
    41:52
    quality award which because we
    41:54
    administer that
    41:56
    and it is the highest presidential
    41:58
    recognition that any us-based
    42:00
    organization can achieve for
    42:02
    demonstrating role model practices
    42:05
    in their organization and any
    42:06
    organization any sector
    42:09
    i have been with that program
    42:12
    and at mist for 22 years so all of my
    42:16
    federal service has been
    42:17
    with myths and the baldrige program
    42:22
    so tell us a little bit about your
    42:23
    upbringing maybe share something about
    42:25
    your family
    42:27
    okay sure for these purposes here
    42:31
    uh like carrie i come from a family of
    42:34
    singers
    42:35
    uh in fact in my family we say you can't
    42:37
    sing you better be able to sing
    42:39
    there is a difference gary knows what
    42:41
    i'm talking about so
    42:42
    there is a difference you better be able
    42:44
    to sing and so
    42:46
    in uh singing in our culture has always
    42:50
    been
    42:50
    important um as we know you know singing
    42:53
    is a tradition
    42:54
    not just for entertainment it was also
    42:57
    used as a means of communication
    42:59
    uh with slaves and also singing provides
    43:02
    us
    43:03
    with you know a sustained us or faith
    43:06
    you know makes you think of a song or
    43:08
    melody and you just
    43:09
    you know you're up against the wall and
    43:11
    it just gives you this reassurance that
    43:13
    you can just go through anything
    43:15
    so on slave ships the slaves
    43:19
    they used to seem to try to identify if
    43:21
    there were other people from their
    43:23
    tribes
    43:24
    on the slave ship so they would sing out
    43:26
    in their tongue and if they got a
    43:28
    response back they knew there was
    43:29
    someone from their tribe that was there
    43:31
    harriet tubman used song and and singing
    43:34
    when you know uh having people on the
    43:37
    underground railroad
    43:38
    to convey messages so if you got a
    43:41
    message
    43:42
    uh you know that you know slow slaves
    43:45
    you know
    43:46
    uh what are they called the slave patrol
    43:48
    and their dogs were coming after you
    43:50
    you might hear a song um that
    43:53
    [Music]
    43:56
    [Applause]
    43:56
    [Music]
    44:04
    that meant that they were on your trail
    44:06
    okay and so head to the water head to
    44:07
    the river
    44:08
    so that the dogs could lose their scent
    44:11
    or
    44:11
    you could hear a song like swing long
    44:14
    sweet chariots coming for to carry me
    44:18
    home
    44:20
    swing low
    44:23
    coming forth to carry me home that was a
    44:26
    message that someone was about to escape
    44:29
    from the plantation
    44:30
    so while the slave owners thought that
    44:32
    we were entertaining them
    44:34
    or just trying to get through the days
    44:36
    plowing and working in the fields we
    44:38
    were actually sending
    44:39
    messages but as it pertains to my family
    44:43
    uh the singing started with my maternal
    44:45
    grandmother and both of my parents thing
    44:47
    and my grandmother had this
    44:48
    extraordinary singing voice
    44:51
    and she would always and she loved to
    44:53
    sing she's saying every
    44:55
    waking moment so going to my grandma's
    44:57
    house you just knew
    44:59
    you were going to hear her sing and
    45:00
    after a while you know
    45:02
    you get used to it you know it's just
    45:04
    the way things are
    45:05
    and my grandmother had a saying she said
    45:08
    she loves singing
    45:09
    so much that she'd rather sing
    45:12
    than eat and you know she was i mean she
    45:16
    was phenomenal
    45:17
    she was known in southwestern
    45:19
    pennsylvania
    45:20
    for her singing and that's where my
    45:22
    family
    45:23
    comes from she was invited to sing in
    45:25
    just about every church in southwestern
    45:27
    pennsylvania
    45:28
    and although she was not as famous as
    45:30
    say her contemporaries
    45:32
    of mahalia jackson rose thor dela reese
    45:36
    none of them but in that small area she
    45:39
    was the mahelia jackson she was the
    45:41
    delaries
    45:42
    she was the rosetta force um and people
    45:44
    would come to
    45:45
    hear her sing and you know we'd be going
    45:47
    with her uh
    45:48
    and people would come to hear her sing
    45:50
    and she would pack out the church
    45:51
    i mean just pack them out and it got to
    45:54
    the point where they had to put her
    45:56
    on the program's lap because after
    45:59
    people would hear her sing they would
    46:01
    leave
    46:02
    and so it wasn't fair to the other you
    46:04
    know performers you know that were there
    46:07
    um and so you know singing was just
    46:10
    something that's
    46:10
    always in our family every opportunity
    46:13
    whether it's a
    46:14
    family dinner reunion funeral whatever
    46:17
    it is
    46:18
    we you're going to hear songs in
    46:22
    my family my mother staying in the choir
    46:24
    in my family would say if you can't sing
    46:26
    there's no way you can be related to us
    46:28
    so that's what we say and my
    46:31
    father my mother singing the choir and
    46:33
    my father
    46:34
    uh came from the south and so he was
    46:38
    there's another story behind that um and
    46:40
    in the south there were quartet singers
    46:42
    but when he came to pennsylvania
    46:44
    there were no quartets not that style of
    46:46
    singing
    46:47
    and so my father was used to hearing you
    46:50
    know quartets from
    46:51
    groups like the dixie hummingbirds and
    46:53
    the sensational nightingales and
    46:56
    the five blind boys and so what he did
    46:58
    is that he formed
    46:59
    his own quartet and taught the gentleman
    47:02
    how to sing there's a certain sound
    47:05
    because quartets
    47:06
    have a certain sound and his acapella so
    47:08
    you gotta get that thing right
    47:10
    okay in order for it to sound right so
    47:13
    singing is
    47:13
    huge uh in my family one of the greatest
    47:17
    um in fact the greatest compliment i
    47:19
    ever got was when
    47:20
    a woman heard me sing a song my
    47:22
    grandmother used to sing
    47:24
    and she walked up to me afterwards and
    47:26
    said you know i've never heard that song
    47:27
    song like that since i was a little girl
    47:29
    and she went on to talk you know and she
    47:31
    was describing
    47:32
    this and i said well the woman you're
    47:34
    talking about you know
    47:36
    was my grandmother and she looked at me
    47:38
    and she paused and she said
    47:40
    of course you are you know and that was
    47:44
    the greatest compliment i have ever ever
    47:47
    received because
    47:48
    again my grandmother just gave back
    47:50
    through her singing and it just made
    47:52
    such a difference in people's lives
    47:56
    that's such a wonderful story um very
    47:59
    you know but you also have something
    48:00
    about your father that
    48:02
    that you could discuss and i know you
    48:04
    want to sing a song right as well is
    48:06
    that true you're going to sing something
    48:07
    for us or did we just receive those
    48:10
    songs um not really it's just going to
    48:12
    be just a line at the end so we're not
    48:15
    okay no
    48:18
    but um the story of my father and we're
    48:21
    talking about
    48:22
    one of the questions is towers
    48:24
    challenges as we've asked the other
    48:25
    panelists
    48:26
    and uh for my father he grew up at the
    48:28
    jim crow south in north carolina
    48:31
    he uh only has a sixth grade education
    48:34
    uh because he was forced to leave school
    48:36
    to help his family uh you know sustain
    48:39
    his family and work in the fields and
    48:40
    whatnot
    48:41
    but my father was falsely accused of
    48:43
    kissing a white woman
    48:45
    and you know that was a death sentence
    48:48
    back then
    48:48
    and so my uh paternal grandmother sent
    48:51
    him away
    48:52
    and for you know can't get into all the
    48:54
    details but he ended up in pennsylvania
    48:57
    in a place where he didn't know one
    48:58
    he had very little money and um
    49:02
    just you know very limited education
    49:06
    my father took on any
    49:09
    work that he could find which would be
    49:13
    whether it was mowing people's lawns or
    49:16
    you know washing cars whatever because
    49:18
    he had to survive
    49:20
    and he learned the skill and indeed
    49:22
    there is a skill
    49:23
    walking walls and scrubbing floors and
    49:26
    what he did
    49:28
    was he would go to wealthy communities
    49:32
    and he would do this perform the service
    49:34
    in their homes
    49:35
    and my father had a great personality
    49:37
    and
    49:38
    you know he did his job exceptionally
    49:40
    well my father always did whatever he
    49:42
    did exceptionally well
    49:44
    and so they would you know tell their
    49:45
    friends and he would get more work and
    49:47
    so on and so forth
    49:48
    well he befriended one of the business
    49:51
    um owners in the town who
    49:54
    knew someone who's needed uh stores
    49:57
    there
    49:58
    it's like big box stores we call big box
    50:00
    boards now
    50:01
    an appliance chain of stores and they
    50:03
    needed their floors
    50:05
    um you know maintained and so he asked
    50:08
    my father you know would he be
    50:09
    interested my father of course said yes
    50:11
    he went in he performed his work and he
    50:14
    did it very well and so
    50:16
    he got one store then the next door to
    50:18
    the next door and
    50:20
    before he knew it over time my father
    50:23
    was able to contrast for 17
    50:26
    of these 30 stores and these stores were
    50:30
    in
    50:30
    pennsylvania west virginia and ohio
    50:33
    and you know he's not bad for a man with
    50:36
    a sixth grade education he built a very
    50:38
    successful business doing
    50:40
    this uh and it was something to sustain
    50:43
    our family
    50:44
    my mother was also an entrepreneur she
    50:47
    was a
    50:48
    beautician a licensed beautician and she
    50:50
    said do hair as you say
    50:52
    do hair and uh both of my parents always
    50:55
    gave back into community that was
    50:57
    huge and that was something that they
    50:58
    always instilled in us
    51:01
    wonderful thank you jacqueline i really
    51:03
    appreciate your story
    51:04
    we're running a tad bit behind for my
    51:07
    fault but
    51:10
    do you have anything else you want to
    51:11
    add before you go before we go um
    51:13
    i just want to say that you know family
    51:15
    is
    51:16
    so important particularly now with coded
    51:19
    and so many of us can't be with our
    51:20
    families
    51:21
    and we really learned or nothing else
    51:23
    how important family
    51:24
    is um you know to us um you know and
    51:28
    family can be whatever you want it to be
    51:30
    like larry said it could be whoever or
    51:31
    whatever you want it to be whether it's
    51:33
    biological or not
    51:35
    but um i am just pleased with my
    51:37
    particular family to see our traditions
    51:39
    carry on to our next generation
    51:42
    and um just so very thankful for the
    51:45
    gift of song
    51:46
    that my grandmother gave to all of us
    51:49
    and to the generations to come
    51:51
    and wanted to say a line and one of her
    51:53
    favorite songs that she used to sing
    51:55
    um is why should i feel discouraged
    52:00
    why the shadow falls
    52:03
    should my heart feel lonely
    52:06
    and long for heaven and home
    52:10
    and then it was i sing because i'm happy
    52:14
    i sing because i hurry
    52:18
    and that's what my family means to me
    52:21
    thank you
    52:22
    thank you jacqueline very beautiful
    52:25
    voice thank you so much
    52:27
    um laura do we still have time for a
    52:30
    question or two
    52:32
    if there's i don't know if there's any
    52:33
    um before we get the closing remarks
    52:37
    hi derek this is monique and yes we do
    52:40
    have like about two minutes
    52:42
    so i can quickly we have about two
    52:44
    questions that we're going to ask
    52:46
    and again because it's so short when i
    52:47
    ask the question please
    52:49
    just give us the concise answers in one
    52:51
    minute or less and we can get them in
    52:53
    okay so we have one question for
    52:56
    michelle
    52:57
    michelle first of all everybody i want
    52:59
    to tell you great presentations you got
    53:01
    phenomenal comments in the pan over
    53:03
    there in the chat so definitely check
    53:05
    your chat
    53:06
    great presentation people keep saying
    53:07
    that left and right we're very fortunate
    53:09
    to have this diversity and the stories
    53:11
    and the respected experiences
    53:13
    representing the department so again
    53:16
    thank you so much so one of the
    53:17
    questions
    53:18
    um was for michelle and then and the
    53:21
    person said
    53:22
    did your son or his team face any type
    53:24
    of mistreatment
    53:26
    with hockey being uh being that they
    53:28
    have uh majority
    53:30
    uh a minority players of color how do
    53:33
    you
    53:33
    how did you get over the fear you have
    53:36
    for your son so basically two part
    53:37
    questions
    53:38
    um two different questions so that's for
    53:40
    michelle
    53:42
    got you um fortunately um the ducks
    53:45
    program
    53:46
    in and of itself we've never really
    53:48
    encountered
    53:49
    uh much talk about that type of stuff we
    53:53
    haven't really had racial slurs uh
    53:56
    hurled at us fortunately and that was
    53:59
    always a concern and actually when we
    54:01
    went to york pennsylvania
    54:02
    our coaching team um kind of gave us the
    54:05
    warning you may experience some of these
    54:07
    things as we didn't really experience
    54:09
    them here
    54:10
    but we do have friends who play with
    54:12
    other teams who have
    54:14
    you know encountered that type of
    54:15
    treatment um
    54:17
    and it's unfortunate that in in this day
    54:19
    and time there's still people who feel
    54:21
    they're the gatekeepers to where black
    54:23
    people should
    54:24
    and should not be but um we've we've
    54:27
    fortunately encountered so many positive
    54:30
    experiences
    54:31
    from all walks of life as i said hockey
    54:34
    is a very expensive sport
    54:36
    so most people who most people who play
    54:39
    hockey have a little bit of money y'all
    54:40
    know i'm a government employee so we
    54:42
    don't have a whole lot of money
    54:43
    so i've been grateful to be a part of a
    54:45
    program where
    54:46
    you know to make the support the sport
    54:48
    accessible to those who may not be able
    54:50
    to afford it
    54:52
    and i'll tell you two quick stories one
    54:53
    of the great things that has happened to
    54:55
    our program now i wouldn't wish a fire
    54:57
    on anyone
    54:58
    but one of the great things that
    54:59
    happened as a result of the fire
    55:02
    is um we got connected with the nhl
    55:04
    players association through
    55:06
    uh now retired capital brooks orpik who
    55:09
    i call friend of the ducks
    55:11
    so i'm the facebook administrator for
    55:12
    the ducks page and he
    55:14
    uh liked something or commented on
    55:17
    something i was like that can't be the
    55:18
    real books or pic
    55:19
    surely someone's trolling and i reached
    55:22
    out and said thank you and then he
    55:24
    responded i reached out in the in the
    55:26
    instant message or the dms as the kids
    55:28
    say
    55:28
    and i was like you know thank you so
    55:30
    much for thinking of my program i can't
    55:31
    wait to tell the kids that you know the
    55:33
    capitals
    55:34
    have them on their radar and he reached
    55:37
    back and was trying to figure out ways
    55:38
    that he could help
    55:39
    you know our program so he connected us
    55:41
    with the nhl players association
    55:44
    and we applied for a grant under their
    55:45
    goals and dreams program
    55:47
    and received um 25 full sets of
    55:50
    equipment
    55:51
    that we are using as a loaner program to
    55:54
    help eliminate the barriers so that
    55:56
    people
    55:57
    who may not be able to afford the
    55:58
    equipment their their kids can still
    56:00
    learn how to play
    56:01
    and then the best i want to say of all
    56:03
    time hockey moment that i've ever had in
    56:06
    addition to that
    56:07
    and winning that um trophy at that
    56:09
    tournament was
    56:10
    drew and i and some of our other ducks
    56:12
    family
    56:14
    were invited by capital's youth hockey
    56:16
    pro development program
    56:18
    to attend a private screening of a
    56:20
    documentary called willie
    56:22
    which follows um the first black nhl
    56:25
    player willie o'ree
    56:26
    in his run up to uh being inducted into
    56:29
    the hockey hall
    56:30
    of fame and it followed following the
    56:33
    screening of the film
    56:35
    there was a panel discussion and willie
    56:36
    o'reilly himself was there so
    56:39
    we actually had a chance to meet willie
    56:41
    to thank him
    56:42
    you know it's not often you get to thank
    56:44
    the people upon whose shoulders you
    56:46
    stand
    56:47
    so to have that moment with myself i'm
    56:48
    getting emotional just thinking about it
    56:50
    but to have that moment with my son
    56:52
    to be able to thank someone who's opened
    56:54
    the doors
    56:55
    for so many players of color and the
    56:57
    fact that at 85 years old he is still
    57:00
    involved as a nhl diversity ambassador
    57:03
    and making the program accessible to
    57:06
    other
    57:07
    children of color and normalizing our
    57:10
    our
    57:10
    presence in the sport has just been
    57:13
    amazing and drew's had the opportunity
    57:15
    to be
    57:15
    a hockey coach he'll be going this
    57:17
    summer to work with sports international
    57:19
    hockey academy
    57:21
    all across the northeast so he'll be
    57:23
    going to pennsylvania um
    57:27
    new hampshire upstate new york as a
    57:30
    hockey coach for
    57:31
    summer camp sessions and so he's
    57:33
    normalizing his
    57:34
    appearance you know normalizing the fact
    57:36
    that you know we're there it helps
    57:38
    people of color but it also helps
    57:40
    people that are not of color to realize
    57:43
    that
    57:44
    you know it's normal for a player of
    57:46
    color to be there so i'm so appreciative
    57:48
    of the experience and been fortunate
    57:49
    that we haven't had any problems
    57:51
    thankfully oh thank you so much and we
    57:55
    and we hate to have to cut you short
    57:56
    you guys have told such wonderful
    57:58
    stories and unfortunately because of the
    58:00
    time and we have to give
    58:02
    make sure we have time for uh for our
    58:05
    acting debt sect to be able to um speak
    58:07
    we
    58:08
    we're gonna have to cut this short and
    58:10
    we we really would love to have another
    58:12
    hour i think we could take another hour
    58:13
    and hear so much more
    58:15
    you guys have been so awesome but look i
    58:18
    guarantee you will be getting email
    58:20
    messages again we've gotten so many
    58:22
    comments um in the chat people are just
    58:25
    really appreciative of your story
    58:27
    cecilia
    58:28
    they wanted to tell you thank you um
    58:30
    they're surprised
    58:31
    uh that a member of emmett till's family
    58:34
    is on his panel
    58:35
    they're happy to learn about the museum
    58:37
    the space dedicated to emmett till
    58:40
    um and so there are others who have had
    58:42
    similar experiences someone
    58:44
    mentioned that they their son was killed
    58:46
    in a car accident
    58:47
    he was only 16 so they know the
    58:49
    heartbreak of your family
    58:51
    and they wanted to know about you know
    58:53
    how you deal with the emotional trauma
    58:54
    but again because of the time we're
    58:56
    going to have to cut it short but again
    58:58
    please feel free to reach out to the
    59:00
    panelists this is just a small
    59:02
    representation of our department
    59:04
    reach out to them individually hear
    59:06
    their stories talk to us i'm sure
    59:07
    they'll be glad to share with you these
    59:09
    amazing
    59:10
    amazing stories so i'm going to without
    59:12
    further ado
    59:13
    turn this over to our acting depth set
    59:17
    miss wynn coggins and
    59:20
    uh with when are you on the line i am
    59:23
    can you hear me
    59:24
    i sure can thank you so much for being
    59:27
    here this afternoon
    59:28
    and i'm going to turn this over to you
    59:30
    for closing remarks thank you well
    59:32
    well thank you very much and i want to
    59:34
    personally thank the panelists
    59:35
    jacqueline deschamps cecilia kaiser
    59:37
    michelle robinson carrie ann turner and
    59:39
    moderator derek small
    59:41
    just for your amazing amazing
    59:43
    participation in today's events and for
    59:45
    sharing your personal and inspirational
    59:47
    stories with us today it was incredible
    59:48
    and listening to you saying it was just
    59:50
    it was amazing it just uh it just it
    59:54
    it was incredible to hear you um all of
    59:57
    you on the panel today provided
    59:59
    us with such important and thoughtful
    60:00
    opportunity to really explore
    60:03
    and reflect on the many meanings of the
    60:04
    world family you know through your
    60:06
    perspectives your experiences
    60:08
    and the histories of your families and i
    60:10
    just i can't thank you enough for
    60:12
    trusting us with your stories
    60:14
    i also want to thank the department
    60:15
    supervisors and bureau leadership for
    60:17
    supporting this event and for
    60:18
    encouraging all of your employees to
    60:20
    participate
    60:21
    and a very special thank you to each one
    60:24
    of you in the audience today
    60:26
    for taking time out of your busy this
    60:28
    very busy schedule
    60:29
    to be here with us and for supporting
    60:31
    your colleagues in recognition of
    60:32
    african-american history law
    60:34
    and lastly this event could not have
    60:36
    been made possible
    60:37
    without the vision and dedication of the
    60:39
    office of civil rights acting director
    60:41
    jerry beat
    60:42
    and without all the amazing hard work
    60:44
    and creativity creativity from the
    60:45
    entire office of civil rights i want to
    60:47
    thank you all personally i i so
    60:49
    appreciate all the
    60:50
    all the efforts time and dedication that
    60:52
    went into this event today
    60:54
    and just know that the department of
    60:55
    commerce is dedicated to creating a
    60:58
    welcoming inclusive and engaged work
    60:59
    environment where everyone feels valued
    61:01
    and plays a critical and important role
    61:03
    and it's events like today that
    61:04
    really that really expand on that and
    61:07
    and really bring that home
    61:09
    and today's event was really designed to
    61:10
    promote these values by educating and
    61:12
    raising awareness of the achievements
    61:14
    the sacrifices and the challenges of our
    61:16
    african-american colleagues
    61:18
    jerry asked me to mention that next
    61:19
    month the department will celebrate and
    61:21
    reflect upon the remarkable role of
    61:22
    women in our nation's history during
    61:24
    national women's history month
    61:26
    and that that theme for the department
    61:28
    uh for 2021 is 100 years later women
    61:31
    shattering the glass ceilings which i
    61:32
    think you know we heard a little bit
    61:33
    about that today as well
    61:35
    and this theme was chosen to highlight
    61:36
    and honor those who fought for the
    61:38
    woman's right to vote and to spotlight
    61:40
    those who today embrace and embody those
    61:42
    principles
    61:42
    blazing a path and breaking down
    61:44
    barriers for others coming behind them i
    61:45
    hope you can join us again
    61:47
    thank you everyone for for the
    61:49
    incredible panel today
    61:50
    and this event has just been so
    61:52
    impactful and i i can't i can't
    61:54
    tell you how much i appreciate it thank
    61:56
    you all back to you
    61:59
    well thank you so much lynn and thank
    62:02
    you
    62:02
    again everyone for your participation
    62:04
    and for staying with us even a couple of
    62:06
    minutes over i know you could have
    62:07
    stayed all day and listened to these
    62:08
    stories but
    62:09
    again we want to wrap this up and and
    62:11
    thank you so much and this will
    62:13
    end our webex thank you and have a great
    62:16
    rest of your
    62:19
    and this day today's conference thank
    62:21
    you for participating you may disconnect
    62:22
    at this time
    62:23
    speakers please stand by
    64:20
    you

Video Description: In recognition of African American/Black History Month, the Office of Civil Rights and Office of the Secretary, hosted a special event that showcased a diverse group of DOC employees representing a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and voices, who shared stories from their unique historical lens, related to this year’s theme, “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity”. This special event was held on February 17, 2021.

Presidential Proclamation for National African American History Month

“This February, during Black History Month, I call on the American people to honor the history and achievements of Black Americans and to reflect on the centuries of struggle that have brought us to this time of reckoning, redemption, and hope. I am proud to celebrate Black History Month with an Administration that looks like America –- one that reflects the full talents and diversity of the American people and that heralds many firsts, including the first Black Vice President of the United States and the first Black Secretary of Defense, among other firsts in a cabinet that is comprised of more Americans of color than any other in our history.”--  President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

Read more at the following link: Presidential Proclamation - 2021 National Black History Month.

Guidance and Regulation

·         Executive Order 13583, Establishing a Coordinated Government-wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce, August 18, 2011

·         Executive Order 11478, Equal employment opportunity in the Federal Government

·         29 Code of Federal Regulation, Part 1614.102(b)(4), Federal implementation of the Civil Rights Act