What does Black History Month mean to you?
The meaning of Black History Month was unanimous amongst the group: it’s about remembering who you are and where you came from. SmartSpaces Operations Manager, Reggie Wilson, reinforced the need to celebrate the sacrifices people made to allow for equality today.
In similar fashion, Project Lighting Executive, DeNorris Dotson, explained how he honors said sacrifices made for today’s generation of Black individuals.
Black History Month means recognizing what African Americans fought for in the past. When an opportunity arises to do something we previously couldn't, I take full advantage of it.
Simply put, DeNorris and Reggie agree: Black History Month means ensuring that their ancestor’s efforts don’t go unnoticed.
Who inspires you during Black History Month?
Stephanie Morge, Director of Learning & Development, discussed the importance of maintaining an open mind and remaining curious about others’ upbringings. She invites others to find meaning from those who helped shape Black History — and as it so happens, she shares a birthday with the one who inspires her the most.
My biggest inspiration would have to be Martin Luther King Jr. The courage he showed to come forward and stand for what is right is something I am very thankful for and do not take lightly.
A similar message from a different source of inspiration can be heard from Reggie, DeNorris, and Lighting Project Executive, Demetrius Dotson; they quickly each responded with the same source of inspiration — their fathers.
DeNorris proudly shared how both his and twin brother, Demetrius’ father helped inspire their futures. “My dad was born and raised in the deep south in Birmingham, Alabama. There wasn’t a lot of diversity and there was even less money, but he was able to get through it with determination and a strong work ethic. He ensured we always had what we needed.”
Who do you contribute your career success to and why?
The family narrative continued in light of career success — a narrative that came to life with an anecdote from Reggie’s upbringing. Reggie worked for his dad’s tire shop growing up; during the summer of his senior year, Reggie’s dad (“Big East”) pulled him aside and instilled a powerful message that helped shape his future.
My dad handed me a check, only to fire me and tell me to never come back. He told me my new job was to go to college and make the next generation better than the one before.
By the same token, Demetrius reflected on how learning from his parents’ lessons made him a better person, a better father, more empathetic towards those around him, and ultimately successful in his career. “I do my best, in large part, due to my parent’s sacrifices for me.”
What advice would you give to young Black professionals joining the construction industry?
The advice echoed during the interviews: Don’t give up and do your best.
Don't get discouraged — make yourself indispensable, and when you reach your goals, don't stop there.
A diverse workplace is one of the many things that makes Power Design great — join us in celebrating Black History not only this month, but every month! Thank you to Stephanie, Reggie, Demetrius, and DeNorris for sharing and celebrating Black History Month at Power Design.