For the past two years, Shokz has been intentionally furthering our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion with both our #ShokzSquad community and our team members. These efforts include monthly small group meetings, hands-on programming, and activities focused on social justice or cultural issues we want to learn more about and support further. Our team has been engaged in some exciting learnings these last six months, and we want to share them with you! Read on to get more information about what we’ve been up to so far this year.
In observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Shokz participated in a collective service project to benefit Community First! Village. The focus of the project was to help provide for the village residents, who are people who have experienced chronic homelessness and are getting back on their feet by becoming newly-housed neighbours in the community. Small staff groups gathered and donated cleaning supplies and kitchen supplies to help furnish residents’ new homes.
Additionally, the team celebrated MLK Jr. Day with a full agenda of celebrations, learnings, and community activities. Programming for the day included a virtual concert viewing and participating in the MLK Community Festival and Food Drive hosted at Huston-Tillotson University.
For Black History Month, the Shokz team hosted Sugar, owner of local Austin bakery, Pink Sugar Treats & Eats ATX for our first Lunch 'n Learn session of 2022. Sugar discussed the importance of generating Black and generational wealth, shared her experience as a Black female entrepreneur, and offered baking industry insights.
The Shokz team also took part in a self-guided walking tour through the historically-Black East Austin neighbourhood to learn more about Black Austinites and the Black-owned businesses that helped shape one of the city’s most bustling and historically-rich corridors.
During Women’s History Month, the Shokz team hosted local business owner Grace Stone, who owns boutique fitness studio Peach Bum. Stone spoke during our monthly Lunch n’ Learn session and she shared insights as a business owner and some of her experiences as a woman in the fitness industry.
Additionally, the entire Shokz team underwent and completed a Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion 1.0 training workshop moderated by Shannon Communications! This training is a part of our ongoing work around DEI within the organization, and to help all employees better understand the different experiences, stories, and hardships of each other, as well as our customer base. The 3 key learning objectives covered during this half-day training were:
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion explained
- Unconscious bias
In continued observance of International Women’s Month, we visited Austin’s Carver Museum and Cultural Center for their featured art exhibit, Peace to the Queen by photographer Jamel Shabazz. The museum itself seeks to create a space where the global contributions of all Black people are celebrated. At a moment when Black and Brown women are more visibly leading the charge around movements for racial and economic justice, the exhibit covers four decades of work by the artist and features portraits of women of colour that are candid, artful, and often intimate.
In honour of International Earth Day, we participated in a clean-up of one of our local East Austin trails. Team members split into small groups to help remove debris from some of the city’s most beautiful greenways and natural areas.
Shokz welcomed Yve-Car Momperousse, CEO & Co-founder of hair care brand Kreyol Essence, to speak to our group. This Lunch n’ Learn conversation was organized in celebration of Haitian Heritage Month. Our team received an in-depth understanding of the background of Momperousse’s natural and ethical beauty business and was able to ask her questions about everything from business insights to beauty rituals.
For Pride Month, we welcomed Lunch 'n Learn guest Ariel Servadio. Servadio is a leader in the LGBTQ community in Syracuse NY. She has founded and developed two groups that offer a safe space for community members to relax, have fun, and feel accepted. She spoke to our group about her community organizing efforts and her experience as a queer person.
The Shokz team also observed Juneteenth as a company holiday and were given resources on ways to respectfully celebrate and learn more about the day’s importance.
Get more information about our continued learnings and DEI activities when you connect with us on LinkedIn.