2021 Q1

Honoring Black History Month

During the month of February, the Black Employee Network Employee Resource Group launched a remarkable campaign in celebration of Black History Month. As we learned about the many incredible women and men, past and present, who have impacted our American history and continued to advance our nation, we also recognized our colleagues who shared their inspirations and experiences.

Black History Month Employee Spotlights

The contributions of our employees drive our success and continually serve to inspire us all. Read stories from team members from across our organization who share what Black History Month means to them and the people who have influenced them along the way.

Please see the below message from the Chesapeake Utilities Black Employee Network (BEN) Resource Group regarding Black History Month.

Black History Month must be more than just a month of remembrance; it should be a tribute to our history and reminder of the work that lies in the months and years ahead.” — Marty Meehan, President of the University of Massachusetts

Black History Month is a time to commemorate and reflect on our country’s rich African-American heritage, while recognizing the African-American trailblazers’ central roles in history. Many of these individuals’ legacies continue to ignite hope and change throughout society.

In February of 1926, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) — an organization founded by Carter G. Woodson, dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by Black Americans and other peoples of African descent —  sponsored a “National Negro History Week.” The informational week was celebrated during the second week of February which purposely coincided with the birth dates of Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass.

By the late 1960s, the celebratory week gained recognition in several cities across the country. With the Civil Rights Movement in full swing, National Negro History Week soon progressed to monthly celebrations on many college campuses. In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month while calling upon the public to “…seize the opportunity to honor the too often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

Black History Month highlights a rich, integral part of the American experience and spotlights its African-American trailblazers. By celebrating Black History’s social visionaries, creators, and innovators, we aspire to break glass ceilings and make the dreams of an African-American President, and female African-American Vice-President not only a possibility, but a reality for generations to come.

If you have questions or an interest in joining the Black Employee Network Resource Group, please email Michele Piper at [email protected] and Michelle Napier at [email protected].


Black Employee Network Resource Group
Chairs: Michele Piper and Michelle Napier
EDI Liaison: Tamara Wimberly
Executive Sponsor: Jeff Sylvester


As a Company, we commemorated these successes but also reflected upon the struggles and ongoing challenges that many folks endure. In honor of Black History Month, February emphasized the perspectives and responsiveness that we need to embrace year-round to improve equal opportunities and acceptance for everyone while eliminating intolerance, prejudice and racism.