Black History Month

Black History Month is celebrated in the US throughout the month of February (and in October in the UK).

It’s a significant event for those involved in our Beyond the Lines programme and diversity, inclusion and belonging agenda – and particularly so for our team of employee volunteers, who make up our D&I race equality affinity group.

Currently 11 members strong, the group represents a wide range of functions, departments, locations and racial backgrounds. Their purpose is to work together to generate and implement ideas which they believe will foster more awareness and understanding of the issues faced by black and ethnic minorities at work and in society generally.

To get a better insight into what drives them – and to put in extra hours beyond their day jobs – we asked what Black History means to them and what impact they hope their actions will have on the wider employee community at Genius Sports.

Here’s what they had to say.

Learning from the past

When we asked the group what Black History Month meant to them, they all agreed it was a good opportunity to reflect, but most importantly learn by celebrating the achievements and talents of the black community, both past and present, close and far.

Josh, a Senior Talent Acquisition Partner based in South Carolina, said “I think it’s an event that helps make people reflect on American history and particularly how divisive our past has been. It’s important that we learn from it, so we don’t repeat it.”

Iliya, who works in our legal team in Sofia, Bulgaria, described it as a special month for acknowledgement and appreciation. “I think it’s a good reminder for why diversity is good.”

Each of them talked about the importance of being more aware of key moments in black history and why they are so significant. “It’s amazing how many people are still so unaware of important historical events related to Blacks in America – and around the world for that matter.” added Josh.

Harriet, from our Talent Acquisition team based in London, England, thinks “to be an ally for black people in today’s world, you have to understand the history first. It’s only then that you can help shift the narrative.”

Be part of the change you want to see

What motivates our affinity group members to go beyond the lines of their day-to-day roles to help Genius become a more inclusive place to work? Josh summed it up nicely by explaining he just wants to be part of the change he’d like to see happen.

For people like Iliya, who’s inspired by Black leaders like Dr Martin Luther King Jr, he sees it as a great opportunity to help fulfil his own personal mission of “fighting against racism and all forms of discrimination.”

For Nathalie, who works in our People Business Partnering team based in London, England, she talks about wanting to help others who share similar experiences to herself. “Being black, I have experienced my own difficulties and struggles, and I want to be part of a group where I feel comfortable sharing these – and learning from others.”

Harriet added “I want to ensure Genius is a genuinely inclusive place to work. I’d love to see everyone feel comfortable with bringing their true selves to the office – not just the parts they feel they should.”

Hopes and dreams

Reflecting on the changes they would love to see in the workplace, the group all agreed that progress would be measured by seeing better representation, particularly at a senior level. However, in the short-term, they’d love to see the wider employee community improve their own awareness and understanding.

“I hope my fellow colleagues will use this month to be more curious and more aware of unconscious bias, which we can all be guilty of. I’d urge everyone to be more vulnerable, ask questions and really listen to others, even if they think and look different to you.” Said Josh.

Iliya hopes colleagues will use this month to find time to read and educate themselves more. “Even taking 15-20 minutes out of your usual day to participate in the events and activities groups like us are organising will help. I hope in the longer term we can help increase people’s confidence in discussing such topics, so they don’t feel scared about hurting others’ feelings or saying the wrong thing.”

Nathalie agrees that she’d love to see colleagues take more time to do some learning on the subject. “There are so many ways to learn which can be really fun – there are several great books, videos, films and podcasts out there!” she also hopes that by accessing resources like this, people will not just think about the topic every February or October, but every month.



How is your workplace tackling issues around race equality and representation? Have you been celebrating Black History Month at work? Is racial equality a part of your Diversity & Inclusion programme?

We’d love to hear from other organisations on similar journeys to Genius Sports. Let us know by leaving us a comment on our social media platforms such as LinkedIn.

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