To honor the heroes, the doers, and the inspirers of the Black and African American communities, we’re doing something a little different to celebrate Black History Month. Throughout the month of February, we’re sharing the stories and perspectives of this amazing community as they see it at work and at home.
If you’re a member of this powerful community and want to share a bit about yourself, or your pains, or experience, we want to paint an accurate depiction of today’s Black workforce.
If you’re interested in participating just fill our survey for a chance to be featured.
We’re so excited to share these stories and wish you all a Happy Black History Month!
Introducing Tracey Kennedy ✨
Tracey is one of Birmingham’s black creators. Owner and purveyor at California Country Organics, Tracey gives back to the black community in a much-needed way — through beauty and wellness. Tracey has a contagious personality and makes friends with anyone she meets. As a core member of Birmingham’s local and creative communities, Tracey is a role model for so many in the black and African American communities. Check out our Q&A with Tracey on all things work and Black History.
How many years have you been in America’s Workforce?
How old were you when you first started working?
What was your first job?
Where do you work now? What’s your job title?
Owner and creator of California Country Organics Body Care
What industry or field do you work in?
Beauty and wellness
What is your favorite thing about the work you do?
Meeting people from all walks of life and encouraging them to live their most authentic lives.
What motivates you to get up in the morning?
Knowing I can make a positive impact on the lives I come in contact with each day.
Where do you see yourself in your career in the next 5 years?
Scaling my brand to reach global recognition.
Who are the most influential black leaders or allies in your life?
Bell A. Hooks because she taught me how to be a woman of content and genuine character. Josephine Baker because she taught me to embrace my power, my body, and my sexuality. Madam CJ Walker because she taught me the value of edges.
Can you name a moment in history that made you most proud of your background?
Performing in front of 600 Black women to share my story of childhood molestation and receiving a standing ovation!
Which black icon(s) do you respect the most and why?
I have genuine respect for all Black Icons. They overcame the obstacles and achieved greatness.
How do you feel America represents the black community in today’s workforce?
Laughable. America fills the bottom of the barrel, low wage paying jobs with Black folks, then brags about unemployment in the Black community being low. Meanwhile, we struggle to pay rent and bills, while still being able to put a decent healthy meal on the table for our children.
Do you see progress or change being made for black representation in today’s workforce?
Have you ever felt singled out or discriminated against on the basis of your background while at work?
I have definitely lost jobs because I wasn’t what they assumed I was on the phone.
Care to tell the story?
I could write you a novel!
What’s one thing you wish you could change for younger generations as they enter the workforce?
The ability for little Black children to see past the crumbles they are tossed. We have so much power and magic inside to let it waste away on feeling inadequate to other cultures and races.
What advice would you give them?
Living your most authentic self is always the right choice. Don’t allow anyone to dim your light. You have a world to keep out of the dark.
How are you celebrating Black History Month this year?
Launching the second quarter of my Change a Heart Change a Life campaign! I will be raising money for the Pink Topps, which is the first Black breast cancer awareness center in Alabama! Also, I enjoy talking to my children about famous Blacks in history to let them know we come from greatness.
Celebrating Black History Month is something we should all take pride in. Sharing these stories and opening up about the perspectives of this community creates the opportunity to break barriers. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this story and stay tuned for more on the way!
To learn more about how we can help your organization reach its D&I goals, visit www.joonko.co or send an email to email@example.com.