The Importance of Belonging: Celebrating Black History Month at Gray
At Gray, we live by our core values. Included in that foundational set of beliefs is we treat others the way we want to be treated, where everyone is welcome and respected. Welcoming others and creating a place where people belong, is the primary factor that transforms Gray from a regular workplace into a family. Every day we strive to make sure that every person who walks through the doors at Gray feels like they belong to our family just as much as the next person.
This year, to celebrate Black History Month, we asked some of our team members what belonging means to them.
Donovan Riley, Assistant Project Manager, Gray – “To me, belonging is a natural and genuine sense of security, familiarity, and inclusion. It’s knowing someone has your back, with respect and good intentions. Belonging is a place where you meet people for the first time, and it feels like you’ve known them forever. Belonging is also being included not because someone has to but because as a person you are valued and highly regarded. Belonging should feel like family because, in a family, no one is left behind.”
Jada Jamison, Application Engineer, Spec Engineering, A Gray Company – “Belonging to me means that I am comfortable being unapologetically myself. Also, it’s the feeling that differences between others and myself strengthen our relationship, rather than weaken it.”
Leo Abraham, Metal Finisher, Anderson Dahlen, Inc., A Gray Company – “For me, belonging is something I’m a part of and where I feel comfortable.”
Reginald Krow, Mechanical Engineer, Spencer Bristol Engineering, A Gray Company – “Belonging is feeling accepted regardless of race, ethnicity, or cultural background. Belonging is an inclusive work culture. Belonging means you feel safe to be yourself in a professional manner. Belonging means you feel at home with the people you are surrounded by.”
Siakpah Nyanseor, Metal Finisher, Anderson Dahlen, Inc., A Gray Company – “Belonging is having responsibilities. In a family, I am a part and others look up to me as a role model.”
Lachelle Parks, Administrative Assistant, Gray – “Belonging, to me, is having the ability to be my most authentic self without concern about the judgment of others in whatever space. As I’ve gotten older, I have realized that the idea of whether I belong is more of an internal issue. It has become less about how I look and the clothes I wear, and more about the things I have to offer. In a work setting, belonging is about choosing an employer who allows me to put my education and job skills to use. In my friendships, it is about choosing people with whom my morals and values align. In both settings, it is important that I can grow and learn from the people I’m around. Belonging is truly about having a strong sense of self. When you know who you are, what you want, and what you value, you will naturally be where you belong.”