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3 Employees Remind Me Why I Celebrate Black History Month

Black History Month. African American History. Celebrated annual. In February in United States and Canada. In October in Great Britain. Poster, card, banner, background. Vector illustration

In the U.S. where I’m located, February is Black History Month, and it’s set aside to inspire, honor and celebrate African-American achievement.

This month is also a time for me to reflect about the people who, through their courage, passion and dedication, have helped to create a corporate culture that allows me to thrive in my job.

I encourage you during this month to learn more about the people and the culture it is designed to honor – their traditions, values and perspectives.

Our organization is focused on diversity, or the mix; and inclusion, making the mix work; and engagement, bringing energy to the mix. Highly diverse groups are proven to produce more innovative ideas and make better decisions – and in our company, this diversity creates a place where we can and want to bring our best selves to work.

Inside of our company we are featuring three employees whose work reflects our heart and soul. I could not be prouder to call them my colleagues, and to acknowledge what their work means to our company, our communities, our customers and our world.

Shari Briggs

Shari Briggs

Shari Briggs is the first recipient of our African American Professional Network (AAPN) Volunteer of the Year award. It’s a fitting tribute to a woman dedicated to service.

“I am a black woman with an engineering degree so that makes me part of a small group, yet as soon as I walked in the door of our company, I had a group of people ready to expand my network personally and professionally, and help me succeed,” Shari said. “That genuine concern and effort confirmed what I suspected: this is a place where I would have a thriving career.”

Shari’s path toward an engineering degree is uncommon for many underrepresented groups – something she wants to change.

“Many young people lack confidence in their math and science skills, and don’t have STEM role models so they don’t envision the career for themselves,” she said. “I am working to remove those barriers so they see a way forward.”

Marcus Taylor

Marcus Taylor

Marcus Taylor’s work is changing lives.

Marcus is passionate about making a difference in the lives of Milwaukee Public School (MPS) youth through volunteering with Lead2Change.

Through Lead2Change, MPS students exposed to the skills and tools needed to be successful after high school, whether they choose an apprentice program, technical school or university. As a mentor for Lead2Change, Marcus works with high school-aged students interested in STEM, helping students understand their potential and become better equipped for engineering careers.

His mentorship has helped place students at engineering internships, including at Rockwell Automation, and two of his students recently earned full-ride scholarships to top-tier universities.

“For me, the biggest honor is these outcomes,” said Marcus. “These students feel better about themselves and what they offer to the world. My message to them is, you have infinite potential. If you keep your minds and hearts open, and choose a company like Rockwell Automation, you will have infinite opportunities.”

Marzell Brown

Marzell Brown

There’s no job title that precisely explains what Marzell Brown does, and few words capture who he is.

He’s eager to introduce young people to STEM, and make manufacturing a place people want to be – especially women and underrepresented youth.

“My passion is in developing our next generation of engineers and giving back to our communities,” said Marzell. “And through my work and the support of our company, I can do both.”

Dedicated and focused on student success, Marzell participates in a vast array of community, collegiate, advisory and professional boards to influence education and prepare students for a successful future.

Candace Barnes
Candace Barnes
Manager, Global Diversity Programs, Global Talent Organization & Culture of Inclusion, Rockwell Automation
Candace Barnes

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