Black History Month: It’s Not What We Can Do, But Rather What We Are Doing

Black History Month is a time to celebrate and honor the past, present and future impact of the Black experience. It also gives us the time to challenge ourselves on what we are doing to address systemic racism, inequities, and injustices in our society.

Black History Month is a time to celebrate and honor the past, present and future impact of the Black experience. It also gives us the time to challenge ourselves on what we are doing to address systemic racism, inequities, and injustices in our society. Note, I didn’t say what we can do but rather what we are doing.

Last month at DuPont, we were privileged to have Martin Luther King III deliver the keynote address for our annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Celebration event. For more than 30 years DuPont has celebrated Dr. King’s life and legacy by bringing our employees together for a day of learning, inspiration and service. This year was no different.

We were invigorated by Mr. King’s words and insights, and they came at a time when we are so sensitized to the need for racial healing and social justice. Mr. King serves as an ambassador to his parents’ legacy of nonviolent social change. His unique, front-row perspectives on the effect “a few good women and men” can have on making change resonated among the thousands of DuPont colleagues attending the virtual event. He reminded us that fundamentally the same work remains to create a world where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.

As we think about and contribute to the Black experience now and for years to come, we at DuPont are becoming more invested in the communities we call home. As part of our commitment to helping empower people everywhere to achieve a more just and equitable world for all, we have signed on to initiatives such as the Catalyst CEO Champions for Change, pledging to advance more women, particularly women of color, into senior leadership positions and onto our board, and the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion pledge, which commits DuPont leaders to take measurable action in advancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We have also committed to invest $10 million over the next ten years to help build thriving communities. I feel deep gratitude that in my role as Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, I have a leadership voice in determining how these funds will be directed.

At DuPont our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Community Impact strategies are tightly linked.  In fact, both play a key role in reaching our 2030 Sustainability Goals which include the aspirations to:

  • Become one of the world’s most inclusive companies, with diversity well ahead of industry benchmarks
  • Create a workplace where employees thrive and report high levels of well-being and fulfillment
  • Improve more than 100 million lives through targeted social impact programs

The work we do in our communities and through volunteerism efforts globally, help advance all three of these goals.

As a Black, female, cis-gender, abled, executive leader trained as an engineer, I’m reminded everyday of both privileges and challenges on a personal and professional front. I know I have the ability to open doors, hold them open for others to walk inside and demonstrate possibilities that some may not have considered.  Personally, I’m committed to find concrete ways to help create a better Black future while building on what Black history has taught us. Better days will come by acting now.

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Author(s) Information

  • Black History Month: It's Not <i>What We Can Do</i>, But Rather <i>What We Are Doing</i> Black History Month

    Kimberly Y. Markiewicz

    Kim Markiewicz is Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at DuPont. Kim is trained as a chemical engineer and started her career in the regulatory arena as an employee of the environmental regulatory agency in Texas. She has been with DuPont for 25 years having started her career as an environmental consultant in the remediation organization. She has held a variety of roles during her DuPont career including assignments in engineering consulting, capital project management, supply chain, operations, and human resources. Over the course of her career she has been involved in several industry trade groups and also actively involved in community outreach. She has been an active participant and leader in DuPont employee resources groups at both the local and corporate level. Prior to her current role, Kim was the Vice President – Environmental, Health and Safety for the company. Kim continues to maintain professional relationships with several diversity and professional organizations with special emphasis on efforts to advance programs and policies designed to attract underrepresented populations to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields as well as advance the roles of women and minorities in the workplace. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin where she currently serves on the external advisory board for the Department of Chemical Engineering.

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