Black Heritage Month Celebrates Culture, Contributions of African Americans

Feature

Our commitment to a robust Inclusion and Diversity agenda is critical to the success of our business. It is core to achieving our ambition of becoming the best, most trusted and respected consumer products companin the world. Our own community must reflect the communities in which we live, work, source and sell if we are to succeed. One way we are working toward this goal is through our Business Resource Groups.

Our nine active Business Resource Groups (BRGs) represenvarious ethnic and identity communities and social functions. Each BRG generates thought-provoking work to enhance our business and workplacesThey deliver activities that are open and relevant to all employees, often in concert with a network of allies outside of the groups. This past monthour African Heritage Employees at Diageo BRG (A.H.E.A.D. ) led the annual Black History Month (aka, Black Heritage Month) celebration across North America with a suite of culture-rich showcases, inspiring conversations and events and impactful community service. Partnering with the Crown Royal and Guinness brands, A.H.E.A.D. hosted a number of events celebrated under the hashtag #BlackRoyalty.

““Black Heritage Month is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate what’s important to our community and to set the tone for that celebration to continue all year round. This year captured many memories in our new homes here in Stamford, CT and 3 World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. Thanks to all AHEAD members who stepped in to make this a great event.””

Naomi Chapman Taylor

Customer Logistics Senior Analyst, Stamford, CT

Right in the middle of the month, during a time billed as “Representation Week,” Crown Royal and A.H.E.A.D. hosted an all-star panel discussion with Brandice Daniel, Founder & CEO, Harlem’s [New York] Fashion Row, Jamilah Lemieux, Writer, Cultural Critic, Communications Strategist and Liliahn Majeed, SVP Diversity & Inclusion, National Basketball Association. The discussion explored the impact Black culture has had on our work, our brands, the stories we tell our community and the world.
Other activities included partnering with the Atlanta Hawks NBA franchise to pack more than 300 Crown Royal bags with basic toiletries and other helpful items to supportThe Gateway Center, an Atlanta-based charity designed to serve as the “gateway” to the community continuum of care that helps individuals move out of homelessness. A pop-up art exhibit,‘Royalty Row,’ featuring paintings curated by Harlem-based artistQuennina Wright, was featured in our 3 World Trade Center offices and helped welcome employees to the brand new Corporate HQ offices for North America. Employees took advantage of “Hip Hop Yoga” classes and our office bars filled with music from the“Black History is Happening Now” playlist from Spotify.
The month finished on an inspirational note, as A.H.E.A.D. partnered with Ketel One Botanicals to host Diageo’s first-ever book club to discuss the memoir, “Becoming” by former First Lady Michelle Obama. The engaging conversation was broadcast live from our NYC offices via ZOOM and connected more than 250 employees from several offices/sites in the United States and Canada.

““We look forward to Diageo continuing to recognize the impact of African heritage employees in our company and persons throughout the communities where we live, work, source and sell who are making bold and meaningful contributions to our society that benefit us all.””

Kimberly Williams and Malcolm Ellis

A.H.E.A.D. Co-Chairs

The mission of A.H.E.A.D. is four-fold:

  • To acknowledge, value and highlight the contributions of African heritage employees at Diageo.
  • To provide a community structure and support system that promotes the recruitment, retention and development of African heritage employees at Diageo.
  • To nurture a culture of diversity and inclusiveness, valuing authenticity and rooted in respect for differences in ethnicity, background or style.
  • To serve as business partners and brand ambassadors in providing a competitive advantage in the marketplace and unlocking additional growth for Diageo’s total beverage alcohol portfolio.