The Sound of Activism – Black History Month 2022
The Sound of Activism: past, present, and future” was the theme for this year’s Black History Month celebrations at Qualtrics. This theme, identified by MosaiQ, an ERG dedicated to advancing the careers, goals, and well-being of communities of color, felt especially right to us this year because of its dual meaning - the power that music has to influence culture, as well as the importance of listening to stories, feedback, and calls to action.
Throughout the month, MosaiQ highlighted how the Black community and allies have used their voices through speech, actions, music, and writing to share their stories and make a difference.
Here are a couple of our favorite highlights:
DP Brightful, President of Worldwide Field Operations and Executive Chair of MosaiQ, hosted a Listening Lunch with our Black community. They had a candid conversation about how we can make Qualtrics the destination workplace for all and we gained insight on what issues are important to folks, and how we can proactively live out our anti-racist commitment.
Sharon, from our Technical Account management team, presented in our all-hands meeting about the importance of a company’s role in anti-racism efforts. (Sharon also shared her experience, which reflects our efforts in action in this blog post.)
In addition to listening to our employees, The “Sound of Activism” theme prompted conversations around how Black people have told their stories and advocated for a more just world whether it’s through the spoken word or through music. In an email series, we discussed artists like Billie Holiday and John Legend and the influence they have had, not only on the music industry, but key issues facing the black community. John Legend used his platform to speak out about mass incarceration, Billie Holiday sang “Strange Fruit” to protest the lynching of Black Americans, and “Lift Every Voice and Sing” became a rallying cry for the Civil Rights Movement.
In the spirit of sounds, the flagship BHM event was hosted by MOSAIQ and included singer, songwriter, artist, and TedX speaker Royce Lovett. Royce talked about how he uses music to share stories about his life as a Black man in America and shared songs inspired by the love he’s seen in the Black community and the challenges he has faced. At this event, attendees discussed topics like colorism, the importance of allyship, and learning from the people who came before us. It inspired a meaningful discussion about how music has been a tool to drive change over the years and how it can be a powerful way to amplify voices, speak truth to power, and uplift a community. The group then immersed themselves in the love of his music and shared insights on how we can bring more of it into our world. It was a perfect combination of emotion and celebration, marking the moment with uplifting music and love.
We ended the month on a high note (and a downbeat) with an uplifting DJ Dance Party with MosaiQ and Julius Tucker. It was an epic celebration highlighting the music that MosaiQ shared throughout the month and was a fun space for folks to come together to hang out, be in community and celebrate Black history.
We leave the month refreshed on the power of listening, and how it can move people forward. The power of providing space for listening, and the power of acknowledging and acting on what we’ve learned.
Listening is a vital step in activating our mission to be an actively anti-racist company and to be a destination workplace for all. While the month of February may be ending, the sound of activism continues. We’re better for listening.
May 23, 2022
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