The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Committee is climbing to new heights and chartering new territory in 2023 with three goals in mind—Educate. Enlighten. Acknowledge.
BH’s DE&I Committee, consisting of employees from an array of departments and teams, started their educate series in January. The committee members selected ten diversity-related topics to facilitate learning opportunities and engaging discussion for everyone at BH.
Each month, two committee members volunteer as peer educators, and they gather information and learn about the selected topic. From there, they educate the larger group, and then share those resources with BH in the monthly DE&I update. At the end of each quarter, the DE&I Committee will host a company-wide meeting with a guided conversation about the topics.
Mental Health was the topic for January, with Shae Hamm and Taryn Lewis as the peer educators for the month. Shae is a regional coach, and a DE&I Committee co-chair, alongside Taryn, BH’s Director of Compliance.
“Of all the topics we have selected for the year, we thought it was important to start with mental health,” Shae said. “Mental health impacts all of us in some kind of way. It is more common than we all want to admit, and we feel it’s important to start having conversations and normalizing it. There are a lot of resources out there, and for those of us who work at BH, we have a wonderful employee assistance program.”
Shae and Taryn gave a presentation to the DE&I Committee on what mental health is, who it impacts, and the difference between mental health and mental illness. The duo also shed light on BH’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
“I want other employees to know EAP is help,” Shae said. “It helps with all things. Our internal EAP platform is a good starting point to gain more knowledge about specific areas. Sometimes people are nervous to talk about certain things, but EAP allows self-guidance and the opportunity to be in contact with someone.”
BH’s EAP has countless benefits, assisting with wellness, relationships, financial, legal, home, auto, and much more. The information is presented in multiple formats including articles, on-demand trainings, quizzes, eBooks, slideshows, and even mobile apps. You can also speak with a professional.
“I’ve used the EAP resource twice, and both times the process has been seamless,” a BH Community Manager said. “I have taken advantage of the free legal help and the therapy sessions. Before speaking with an attorney for advice, I was able to read some articles to help determine what questions I needed to ask and what to expect before speaking with them.”
The DE&I committee will also acknowledge and observe several holidays, heritage awareness months, and social awareness causes in 2023. On Monday, January 16, 2023, BH offices were closed in observance of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
The DE&I Committee presented information about King and the importance of MLK, Jr. Day through videos and also shared an opportunity to take a virtual tour of the National Civil Rights Museum located in Memphis, Tennessee, home of the Lorraine Motel, where King was assassinated.
MLK, Jr. Day is the only federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service, which is meant to encourage volunteering and service to improve local communities. The committee encouraged BH’ers to set aside some time in January to learn more about Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and get involved in their local communities to honor his legacy.
Our upcoming education topics are microaggressions in February and stereotypes in March. The upcoming acknowledgements and observations are Black History Month in February, and National Women’s History Month in March.