As part of Black History Month, Elements is featuring members of the Lab’s African American Employee Resource Group (AAERG). One of those members is Stacy Curry, a Program Operations Analyst in the Energy Technologies Area. She has been at the Lab for 7.5 years.
Why do you think it’s important to recognize Black History Month?
Recognizing Black History Month helps us to feel a sense of pride, brings to light some of the overlooked or under-recognized contributions of our people, and offers a counter-narrative to the negative images and viewpoints promoted about Black people in society and in the media. Everyday we experience micro- and macro-aggressions that can damage our spirit and outlook on life. Celebrating Black History affirms that we do matters, we are valued, and we are valuable.
When you think about the African American experience in our country, who are some of the pioneers or heroes that stand out for you and why?
My junior high African-American history teacher, Ms. Jeffries, had such high standards for us and taught us to know and love our culture as Black people and as Americans. We had to learn 100 facts about Black pioneers and we also had to memorize the preamble to the United States Constitution, verbatim. She did not allow us to believe that we could not do something, she showed us that we could.
What are some of the ways you help support, enrich, or connect with African American culture?
I love supporting Black businesses. Growing up, we shopped for bargains because we believed that’s what we could afford, without seeing how damaging it was. We unknowingly put Black businesses out of business. Since then, I’ve learned that communities thrive when money circulates in the community, rather than going out of the community or overseas. I now support Black entrepreneurs by buying their products or soliciting their services before spending money elsewhere.
Consider joining the African American Employee Resource Group. Go here to learn more.