Havas Culture


Senior Writer and Editor
Hannah Lindley joined Havas Group in October 2021 as a Senior Writer and Editor. She has a background in corporate reputation management, journalism, and creative writing.
Black History Month is commemorated in February in the United States, and while it is critical to honor and critically engage with the history and contributions of Black individuals across the world throughout the year, we wanted to highlight some of the activations happening across Health, Creative, and Media through the course of the month. Read more from Lisa Rodriguez, Chief Diversity Officer, Havas Media; Kenya Germain, Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Havas Health & You; and Necko L. Fanning, NA Director of DEIB, Havas Creative in this edition of Dare!.

Throughout Havas agencies in the US, Black History Month has arrived with programming being offered at the local and NA level. A special thanks goes out to Michael Houston and Kaelyn Vincent-Harris (Arnold Boston), Wyatt Smith and Melissa Tifrere (Havas New York), and Eric Harlan, Angela Wells, and Deandre Washington (Havas Chicago) for their outstanding commitments and work making Black History Month this year meaningful and engaging. A snapshot of some of the events include:

February 16th: Amplify Black Voices: A Session of Stories and Performances

Featuring three Black artists who shed light on the social issues confronting the African-American/Black communities. An immersive conversation surrounding social issues that the Black community faces through vivid monologues, poems, stories, songs and dances from three Black artists. This is happening virtually and registration is here.

(Boston) February 22nd : LTA: The Weight on our Minds

A conversation welcoming Niesha Deed, founder of PureSpark, a wellness directory focused on providing and connecting the Black community to mental health specialists. Topics included will cover supporting Black employees at work, better understanding their lived experiences and mental health journeys as individuals, and the lived experiences that the non-Black community needs to better understand while addressing our ignorance.

Martin Luther King Jr. Book Club 02/23

In honor of Black History Month, we will be reading and discussing excerpts from A Testament of Hope: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Essential Writings and Speeches. The conversation will focus on select excerpts from specific readings and will be led by the Havas Health & You team at the link here.

Lisa Rodriquez, Chief Diversity Officer, Havas Media:

“Black history is American History. In fact, it’s World History. Havas’s focus on Black History Month is a reminder of Black influence globally.  Throughout the year it’s rare that people are educated on the history of Black contributions that have shaped our country. It’s important we don’t narrow our awareness by disregarding the struggles and triumphs of the Black/African American community. Celebrating and learning about Black History Month ensures we never forget.  

As racialized violence continues in the US, we hope that heightened awareness during this month will continue to move the needle on issues of racialized systemic inequality, prejudice, racism, and access.  That isn’t work that can be accomplished in a single month. In order to achieve our unified goals we must celebrate Black History every day, all year. “

Kenya Germain, Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Havas Health & You:

“The commemoration of Black History Month is vital as it serves as a reminder to continually pay tribute to the countless generations of African Americans and other Black individuals who fought against adversity while still making significant contributions to the United States’ cultural fabric and history. 

This month also serves as time to show support to our fellow Black and Brown brothers and sisters, promote diversity, practice inclusion and most importantly educate ourselves on the different experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives that exist within the Black community.

But it’s important to remember that it’s not possible to summarize the entire history of a person or group into a span of just one month. We are whole beings, each with unique life stories and a collection of experiences that, when considered collectively, would extend far beyond the confines of a single month.”               

Necko L. Fanning, NA Director of DEIB, Havas Creative:

The national theme for Black History Month 2023 is “Black Resistance”; a theme I find apropos and timely. Between a seeming lack of progress curbing instances of police violence against Black folks and attacks on Critical Race Theory and recruitment efforts of BIPOC individuals in businesses and schools, existing as a Black or Brown person in the US can feel like an exercise in constant anxiety, instability, and fear.

Which is why Black History Month, and in particular this year’s theme, resonates so deeply with me. Black Resistance is a reminder of the capacity of Black / African American folks to endure, flourish, and shift the entire nation. It’s a reminder of all that Black and Brown folks have done—and still do—to carve out spaces of safety and identity within systems that are often leveraged against them. Black History shouldn’t be confined to a single month; it should be integral to our identities as Americans.

Yet, February serves as an important reminder of the work that we need to do in preserving, upholding, and restructuring our fundamental understanding of US history to include the oft disregarded and lost stories, contributions, and experiences of the Black/African American community.

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