As part of our celebration of Black History Month, OpenSesame is empowering black voices and featuring stories from our colleagues. Read on to hear from Roo Gatimu, Sales Development Representative and co-leader of the Black Folx ERG (Employee Resource Group) at OpenSesame.
On behalf of Black Folx ERG, it is an honor to be featured this month. As one of the leaders and founding members of Black Folx ERG, it has been beneficial to have a space where black people can come together to talk about our experiences in life. We meet as a group every two weeks, have a private online Slack channel, and often feature guest speakers along with coordinating a virtual monthly cookout.
The ERG gives me the opportunity to build positive relationships with colleagues in my community, but in some cases provides a safe space to talk about our true feelings of hurt and pain.
I believe that America experienced a turning point on May 25, 2020—the day George Floyd was murdered. Ever since, I have seen more Americans try to understand the black experience through mediums like spoken word, movies, art, as well as having deeper conversations. Black History Month is one of the many ways that we can continue the conversation. By reflecting on our past (even one as recent as May 2020) we can come together to hopefully create a better future.
Black History Month is not only a time to recognize the experience of black people, but also to reflect on the achievements of trailblazers who have forged a path of excellence before us. Recently, on Dr. Martin Luther King Day, I got an opportunity to volunteer at Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity (a historically black fraternity) by mentoring black boys on the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics careers. I was often asked if there are any people who look like me in those fields. I proudly tell them, “yes” and that they too can achieve their dream with hard work and dedication. Dedication, discipline, and determination are what are required.
To me, OpenSesame has been a blessing where any employee can be their authentic selves. Having resources like the ERGs truly helps to build a culture of an inclusive workplace. I believe that great companies have not only great products but also great people that work there. I take great pride in working at OpenSesame where I am given the opportunity to succeed and while doing so, be my own authentic black self.
My favorite quote by Dr. King is: “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice”. Change takes a long time, but it does happen.
At OpenSesame we proudly promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion