At AT&T, we understand the rich history of the Black community, and this understanding is at the root of our commitment to Stand for Equality. Black History Month has always been more than just a moment of celebration. But, especially this year, it’s a turning point in how we listen, understand and act.
Over the past year, our country and world have experienced a major shift in how we live and work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This historic shift, while widespread, has proven to be particularly hard on the Black community. The pandemic, along with the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, only further revealed the urgent need to address the racial and social injustices that are still prevalent in our country.
However, much like many other times in our history, Black people continue to prevail, and new voices have risen to carry the torch of Black icons like John Lewis and Maya Angelou. This Black History Month, we are passing the mic to these new voices: The Black Future Makers. Let's, together, celebrate Black people who are pushing culture forward and making an impact on the future of the Black community and our world.
Black Future Makers is AT&T’s celebration of the dreams and the future made possible by more than 400 years of Black history, culture and contributions. Throughout the year, we’re excited to honor 28 inspirational figures. In addition to the high-profile Black Future Makers, honorees will include entrepreneurs, activists and everyday heroes, who serve on the frontlines during this global pandemic.
We also understand that it’s not enough to only celebrate the Black Future Makers of today. We must also play a part in fostering the next generation of Black Future Makers in and outside of AT&T. Within our own walls, we recognize Black employees who are pushing technology forward in all areas of business, 36 of which will be honored at this year’s Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA). AT&T is proud to support these and all employees in an inclusive environment and we’ve introduced several programs to help encourage growth and leadership support, such as AT&T’s Women of Color (WOC) Program and WOC Workshop Experience.
Outside our walls, AT&T continues to find ways to support the next generation of Black leaders with initiatives designed to close the gaps that divide us.
In July 2020, we made a $10 million commitment to create economic opportunities and foster upward mobility for Black communities that have been impacted by COVID-19 and systemic inequities. This February, AT&T University will continue that commitment with the launch of the HBCU Future Leaders Program, a multi-year mentoring and workforce readiness program for HBCU students to enable them to achieve long term success during their college experience and beyond.
We spent $3.1 billion with Black-owned suppliers, surpassing a $3 billion two-year commitment to drive diversity and inclusion across our business and communities where we live and work. We look forward to continuing to drive economic impact for Black-owned businesses and communities beyond 2021.
While we’re making strides, AT&T is looking towards the future. A future that includes continuing our commitment and responsibility to speak up for change in the communities where we live and work. We ask you to Stand for Equality with us and push for a more equitable society for all.
To learn about our efforts, you can visit our Stand of Equality site.
To learn more about AT&T’s Black Future Makers, please visit http://www.attdreaminblack.com.