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Black Renaissance: Celebrating Black History Month

3 minute read | March 2023

Nielsen’s Black History Month celebration was full of community building, engagement and learning opportunities. The 2023 theme was Black Renaissance wedded with Black Excellence, chosen by Nielsen’s Black employee Business Resource Group (BRG) — SABLE (Sustaining Active Black Leadership and Empowerment).

“Renaissance is a time of rebirth — reinvention, empowerment, and acknowledgement,” said Torri Kendrick, SABLE co-leader. “We wanted to create a space of recognition and exploration of various topics of interest or challenge for the Black community.” 

Nielsen employees had the chance to volunteer, explore Black history and challenges that the Black community faces today. Through roundtable discussion, book and podcast discussions, events gave voice to Black employees’ lived experiences, provided learning opportunities and were also open to all Nielsen employees.

Financial literacy was a new focus for this year. SABLE hosted a financial workshop with a goal of using financial education to closing the racial wealth gap. The BRG also hosted a new Fidelity webinar: How to manage money, deal with debt, and create a financial legacy. “So often financial literacy can fall through the cracks for anyone, not just members of the Black community,” Kendrick said. “Making sure that we provide this education to our employees can be instrumental in the fight against racial inequity, and we’re doing our part in closing the financial gap for all communities.” 

SABLE took inspiration from the Renaissance to explore the arts and community well-being. Other programs celebrated Black music, provided volunteer opportunities and taught new approaches to self-care and family wellbeing. 

As Black History Month transitioned into Women’s History Month in March, Nielsen employees also participated in a virtual volunteer event with Project DIVA International—an organization dedicated to offering Black girls’ needs a space to express themselves, find themselves, and learn how to be financially successful. Nielsen employees created informative fact cards highlighting the achievements of Black women from all backgrounds who have been successful. 

“It’s important for employees to demonstrate our values by working with external organizations. Working with Project DIVA International allowed us to be more active allies, not only for Black History Month, but for women as well,” said George Callard, Chief Legal & Corporate Affairs Officer and SABLE executive sponsor.

To wrap up the month, a Spotify playlist was curated and shared, including the music that was used throughout the month in various events. The playlist takes true Renaissance inspiration,  featuring Black music throughout the eras and cultures, from African diaspora-inspired music to hip hop, jazz, R&B and a few pieces transcending culture. “Music has always been a source of expression and inspiration; and it brings people together, creating new connections,” commented Shanell Fountain, Training Manager and SABLE leader. 

Black History Month is a reminder of what still needs to be done for and alongside the Black community. Nielsen’s celebration is a source of inspiration and empowerment — making sure that  we keep moving forward to create a more inclusive world inside our company and our communities.

“The use of art has always been a catapult for change. It stimulates discourse of new ideas and can remind us of a time laid to rest…We must move forward with our eyes wide open because to know one’s past is an essential part of the arsenal in the fight for one’s future.”

A Break for Freedom, Dwayne D Conrad