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A Look at What Black History Means to DOMA Employees

For Black History Month, we would like to share some of DOMA's employees' thoughts

February 24, 2023

In the past, we have written blogs on people who have paved the way in the tech industry, charities, and other exciting facts, but this year we wanted to hear from our DOMA family. So we sent out a survey to our employees to ask questions about who is important to them and who they wanted us to talk about.

The first question we asked everyone was:

What does Black History & Black History Month mean to you?
We received many answers, but most of our employees agreed that Black History month gave everyone a chance to learn more about the history of black Americans that they may not have been exposed to before saying that Black History Month was:
 
“A chance to remember and celebrate all the great achievements by Black Americans that are often overlooked.”
 
“Celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black people of the past, present, and future.”
 
Beyond learning about black history, other employees highlighted the need to bring more light to the achievements of black people:
 
“In the past year, I’ve learned a lot about what Black people have endured and how they have overcome so much they need to be recognized.”
 
Some of our employees are a part of that history and are celebrating their community:
 
“The history of my ancestors.”
 
Black History Month is a great starting point to learn about the incredible contributions of Black people to the world around us, but it shouldn’t stop there. We should learn about Black History all year:
 
“Black History is United States History. We should celebrate Black History all year long, not just in February.”
Here are a few of the people employees asked us to highlight:
Rev. Dr. Joseph Green Jr.
“A local man who passed away recently and I knew personally, is an example of someone who worked for the Black community and did it through love, The Rev Joseph N. Green, Jr.”
 
Black History Month isn’t just about history but also about recognizing local heroes in the community, and for many, that’s what Rev. Dr. Joseph Green Jr. was, a hero. He was on the Norfolk School Board, was the first African American since Reconstruction elected to the Norfolk City Council, served as Vice Mayor, and was a transformational civil rights leader and fighter for equal rights.
 
We had several requests to highlight a tech-related figure of our choice, so we went with Marian Croak
Marian Croak is an engineer who went to Princeton University for her undergraduate studies and the University of Southern California for her doctorate, focusing on statistical analysis and social psychology. She started her career at Bell Labs and now works at Google as the Vice President of Engineering, where she works on racial justice efforts.
 
Marian Croak has worked on advancing Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technologies, the process by which we transmit sound as data over the internet. She has over 100 patents on VoIP, which are vital for remote work, conferencing, and personal communications.
 
 
You can read about more Black Inventors and Entrepreneurs in Tech in our blog “A Look at Black History in Tech.
Several of our employees asked us to highlight Malcolm X
Malcolm X is one of the most influential Black figures in American history.  Malcolm X was a leading voice of the civil rights movement in the 1960s alongside Martin Luther King Jr. Though they were both powerful speakers working towards civil rights and equality, they differed greatly in their approach.  However, after his pilgrimage to Mecca just before his assassination in 1965, he was said to have changed his approach saying, “The true brotherhood I had seen had influenced me to recognize that anger can blind human vision.”
 
Mark Dean
Mark Dean
Mark E. Dean is an American inventor and computer engineer with a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. He had a distinguished career at IBM, holding 3 of their original 9 PC patents and more than 40 patents in total. He and his co-inventor Dennis Moeller created a microcomputer system with bus control means for peripheral processing devices. This invention paved the way for the growth of the IT industry. It allowed plug-in subsystems and peripherals such as disk drives, video gear, speakers, and scanners to be used. For all his contributions to engineering, he received the Black Engineer of the Year President’s Award in 1997.
 
We asked a few questions about how we can get involved in the local community in the future:
Is there a local Black-owned business (including your own) that everyone should know about and support all year?
Here are some local black-owned businesses that our employees suggested we highlight*:
 
Several people suggested “First Date Boutique owned & operated by former DOMA employee Sequoyah Van.” It’s a small business in Virginia Beach that provides a wide range of fashion from everyday wear to that one statement piece for a special occasion.  Learn more on their website.
 
“Kickz Dripp” is a fashion and apparel brand that supports all shapes and sizes. Learn more on their Facebook Kickz Dripp.
 
“Nailss by Destini” is a self taught nail tech specializing in nail art & creative designs who is local to Virginia Beach. Learn more on their website.
 
“Buttaree Trays” is catering by Chef ButtaLove who caters small parties and makes breakfast, lunch, and dinner trays. Learn more on their Instagram @buttareetrays
Are there any charities you would like to share with everyone that people can support all year?

Several employees mentioned the “NAACP,” a non-profit that works in classrooms and courtrooms, to city halls and Congress; their network of members across the country work to secure the social and political power that will end race-based discrimination. Learn More.

“Black Girls Code” sponsors programs in computer programming and coding, as well as website, robot, and mobile application-building, that help build marketable skills and prepare young women to be leaders in the workforce. Learn More.

“Blakely Weaver Counseling Center” was founded by Dr. Kawanna Ward to address the mental health and substance abuse needs of uninsured and underinsured individuals in Western Tidewater, VA. Learn More.

EduStar Performing Arts Society” is the non-profit fundraising wing of Hampton Academy of Music, Dance, and Drama, Inc. Its mission has been to teach the performing arts to the youth in the community and allow them to showcase their skills. Learn More.

For more charities to support, check out our blog “Organizations Helping Black People Get a Better Start in Technology

Thank you to all our employees who answered our survey and made this blog possible!

In corporate America, we can write a blog about Black History Month, but what really matters is what it means to our company. We want to take the chance to start a dialogue with our employees and listen to what they have to say, connect with one another, and learn from each other. There is an increasing demand to make workplaces more representative of the diverse communities they reside in. Every department has a role to play in ensuring everyone on our team feels celebrated, included, and safe. 

For Marketing and Communications, including more of our team in shaping our cultural content and the language we use is a small step in better representing how dynamic our diverse community is. We always say our team is our most important asset. So, moving forward, we want to continue to help you get to know our team through surveys, contributing writers, and employee spotlights. Whether you’re already a DOMA employee, a prospective hire, or a reader passing through, we hope a more intimate look at our culture and the people who drive it will help you see what sets DOMA apart. 

About DOMA- Powered by Tech, Driven by People

DOMA Technologies (DOMA) is a software development and digital transformation company whose mission is to change customer lives by lightening their workload through faster and more targeted access to their data. Since 2000, our team of 200+ experts has helped businesses navigate all aspects of the digital world. We are a dedicated strategic partner for the federal government and private sector clients at every stage of their unique digital transformation journey.

Director of Communication

Author:

Danielle Wethington
Director of Communications
DMT@DOMAonline.com

*DOMA is not associated with any of these businesses

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