Dallas — “Black. Engaged. Empowered.” That’s the motto of Harambee, Jacobs’ black employee network, now celebrating their 9th Black History Month with a series of social and professional development events.
The term “Harambee” comes from the African Swahili word meaning “working together in unity” — and that’s exactly what the network of black professionals and allies is here to do: attract, retain and develop exceptional black talent to help drive better and more innovative solutions for Jacob’s clients and projects.
With black men and women making up 12 percent of the workforce in the U.S. but only 5 percent of STEM industries (U.S. National Science Foundation, 2017), Harambee is committed to increasing the number of black professionals in the STEM industries and increasing minority representation in Jacobs leadership positions.
Since 2010, Harambee has grown from a local chapter to over 700 members across five continents. Supported by members of Jacobs’ Executive Leadership Team, Jacobs partners with organizations such as NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers) and COMTO (Conference of Minority Transportation Officials) with one of the firm’s leaders, Freddie Fuller II, recently elected National Chair of the latter’s board of directors and Jasmine Narcisse named COMTO’s 2018 Emerging Leader of the Year. Jacobs also has a number of strategic relationships with colleges and universities across America, organizing and attending STEM events as well as partnering with both the firm’s clients and organizations like INROADS to develop young black talent.
Celebrations for this year’s Black History Month range from community outreach events right through to happy hours and soul food potlucks. Also central to this year’s program is a series of “Courageous Conversations” — webinar discussions with black Jacobs leaders and members of its Executive Leadership team aimed at empowering people to advocate for themselves in the workplace.
Black History Month is one of the highlights of the Jacobs calendar, allowing the opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments of black men and women not only in the industries that served but across the spectrum of science, humanities and the arts.