February Membership Spotlight by Renita Griskel

February Membership Spotlight by Renita Griskel


Why is this celebration important to you?
The celebration of Black History Month is important to me because it is an intentional opportunity to dedicate time and effort to learn about the history of black culture and those who shaped the foundation of our country. It also provides a spotlight on people who are making changes right now and demanding inclusion and equity. It’s inspirational to see people of all ages, backgrounds and geographic locations working toward peace, unity and love in big and small ways. There’s always an opportunity to learn, not just during the month of February. Black History Month shifts the focus for black people, allies, and those who aren’t quite ready to be allies, to expand their cultural knowledge.

How do you identify with it?
As a Black woman, I identify with the Black History Month celebration as a participant, student of the black culture and an advocate. As a participant, like all black people, I have my own story, whether it’s my career path or personal successes and challenges. I may share my history during a panel discussion, with a mentee, or a conversation with a friend. My history, just like every other black person’s history is part of Black History month. As a student of the culture, I look forward to learning through attending events, reading and watching new content that becomes available during the month. As an advocate, I support Black History Month initiatives and programs. I take time to have conversations, even the tough ones with friends and allies.

What do you do to support this group?
I simply love The WICT Network and the Southeast chapter! I enjoy supporting the organization by participating in chapter and global events. I let colleagues and friends know about the amazing and talented women in this organization and the hard work The WICT Network does to empower and support women. I had the pleasure of serving on the board in programming, that role allowed me to create innovative and engaging programs for our members. I had the honor to lead the chapter as Vice President and President and serve on the WICT Network Global Board as the Chapter Leader Designee. I am sometimes a sounding board, a source for historical knowledge or a friend with a listening ear, all roles I’m honored to have, in support of The WICT Network.

How has your involvement in WICTSE helped to educate and or advocate for this Holiday/Celebration?
I was honored to represent WICTSE in a global capacity by participating in the WICT Network Europe chapter’s event on systemic racism. The conversation included Black Lives Matter and how the movement was different for black people in Europe versus in the United States. This was a great opportunity to help educate those attending the program about the experiences of black people in America currently and historically.