February is Black History Month, and this year’s theme is “Black Migrations.” Per the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), this year’s theme emphasizes “the movement of people of African descent to new destinations and subsequently to new social realities.” In announcing the theme, ASALH not only recognized those historical migrations, but the new diverse societies resulting from these migrations.
According to historian Nicholas Lemann, “The Great Migration was one of the largest and most rapid mass internal movements in history—perhaps the greatest not caused by the immediate threat of execution or starvation. In sheer numbers it outranks the migration of any other ethnic group—Italians or Irish or Jews or Poles—to [the United States]. For blacks, the migration meant leaving what had always been their economic and social base in America, and finding a new one.”
Historically, cultures leaving difficult and problematic situations in search of opportunities, advancement and the betterment of life is the human condition which continues to this day, not only in this country but throughout the world. We should always be mindful that, throughout history, such migrations are a function of people either running away from something and/or running toward something. There is inherent hope in these efforts.
This is especially relevant for us at PCG, where our focus is on working with government agencies and programs which have as their missions to help and advance the lives of their constituents who are from among these diverse societies, through increased access and efficiencies in the areas of health, education, human services, and technology. As we go about doing our work this month, let us remember these migrations, as well as the current ones among other diverse cultures, and how they are a part of the context of the communities and people we help to serve.
Besides bringing our best work to our clients, there are a few other ways PCG plans to celebrate with colleagues (and beyond) this month.
- The internal Diversity & Inclusion discussion group will be sharing ideas on building a more inclusive work force, as well as listening to a podcast independently and then discussing it together at the end of month.
- For more of a private study, or one to do with your family, We Are Teachers has a great list of resources. For those who pick one to do with their family or home community, we encourage employees to post about it on our internal communication channel, Yammer.
Thanks to Camellia Falcon and Alvin Crawford for contributing to this piece.