As part of our Life at Immersive Labs series, we catch up with Steph McCrary, Sales Development Representative, to discover just what Black History Month means to her – and why we should be celebrating it every month.
I’ve never been a big history buff, but Black History Month? That has always been a different story. Back in elementary, middle, and high school, we would sing the black national anthem every morning for the entire month and create projects/book reports focusing on African American heroes and icons.
I remember my very first black history project in Kindergarten. My teacher wanted us to choose a biography from our classroom bookcase and create a posterboard recap of the person’s life. Who did I choose? Fannie Lou Hamer. Why did I choose her? Her birthday is 4 days after mine – the wonders of a Kindergartener’s mind. Even as a child, I remember reading segments of that book with my mother and figuring out how I wanted to decorate my posterboard to represent Fannie Lou Hamer’s story. I had so much fun doing that project that I made it my mission to pick a different person that I hadn’t heard of every year.
When I progressed to college, the only thing that was certain was that I wanted Black History Month to be every month. I revolved my college career around learning more about my culture’s history and finding inventive ways to display that history through my creativity. For my English major, I gravitated to the courses where I would read books by black writers. For my studio art minor, every creation reflected my black identity and/or my people’s history. I even took a step further and took a concentration in Africana Studies just to get that extra black presence.
Somewhere in between high school and college, I realized that I am not just fascinated by black history, I want to be a part of it. I want to become one of the black leaders, artists, and writers Kindergarteners make posterboard presentations about. I want to be remembered for my passion for diversity and inclusion and my goal to promote equal representation of all genders, races, and sexualities in my organization.
One of the reasons why I joined the Immersive Labs community was because of a #BlackLivesMatter post they made on their Instagram page. Simple, I know but I remember thinking: a growing company that openly promotes an important movement to my community is worth looking into. To this day, I never felt like I wasn’t wanted here. The community is amazing, and I am thankful to begin my career here. Some work needs to be done to diversify our voice, but if I play my cards right, I’m hoping to one day lead that initiative.
Happy Black History Month!