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 Kristen McIntosh (aka KMc, pronounced Kay-mac), a User Program Administrator at the Molecular Foundry. She has been at the Lab for almost 10 years this December.
Why do you think it’s important to recognize Black History Month?
It’s important to recognize Black History Month because it gives people of color a chance to celebrate all of our historical accomplishments and provides an opportunity to educate the newer generation on how far our culture has evolved.
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?
- Madam CJ walker: The first black millionaire and entrepreneur, she put the black hair care industry on the map through her inventions and creativity.
- The Obamas: The first black POTUS and FLOTUS. Educated, elegant, and graceful, Mrs. Obama is a role model for all women.
- Colin Kaepernick: Sacrificing his football career to protest racial inequality, he truly is the face of courage.
They have done what most would fear or deem impossible, blazing a trail for future generations.
What are some of the ways you help support, enrich, or connect with African American culture?
I absolutely love supporting black-owned businesses, especially if they’re locally operated. I have friends with their own businesses. I help promote their businesses by word of mouth or sharing my experience. It’s essential to give back to the community, but it is especially important to support underrepresent businesses and entrepreneurs. I also connect with the African American culture via continuing conversations among friends, family, and peers to help promote an appreciation for cultural differences.