The Myers-Briggs Company celebrates Black History Month
4 min. read
February is Black History Month in the US, which is an annual celebration of achievements of African Americans and their contribution to US history and society.1 In this blog post, we’ll look at three areas:
- Black people who’ve contributed to, and are active in, the field of psychology
- Activities that we, The Myers-Briggs Company, are doing to celebrate Black History Month
- Jeri Bingham on inclusivity for Black Introverts
Black contributions to psychology
In a Psychology Today article in 2021, Anton Bizzell M.D. wrote, “Just as the World Health Organization (WHO) points out that ‘there is no health without mental health,’ there is no United States history without Black history. The presence, contributions, and accomplishments of generations of Americans of African descent, first brought here as enslaved people, are deeply woven into the story of our nation.”
His article also mentions some of the many contributions that Black people have made in the field of psychology.
- Herman George Canady, Ph.D.—the first psychologist to study how IQ testing can be biased by the race of the test proctor.
- Mamie Phipps Clark—the first Black woman to earn a doctorate in psychology from Columbia University. Her research showed that segregation was psychologically harmful to Black children.
- Jennifer Eberhardt, Ph.D.—Stanford University psychology professor and MacArthur "Genius Grant" fellow. Expert on the psychological relationship between race and crime.
- Maxie Clarence Maultsby, Jr., M.D.—established the rational behavioral therapy psychotherapeutic method.
Another key name is Inez Prosser, PhD., America's first Black female psychologist. She conducted important research on segregation, reaching controversial conclusions in the decades leading to the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision in 1954.
“Too often throughout American history, Black voices, stories, triumphs, and achievements have been suppressed,” writes Camille Spivey at the California Institute for Integral Studies. “Yet, it’s critical that we honor the contributions made in the past that have shaped the field of psychology today.”
How is The Myers-Briggs Company celebrating Black History Month?
As a Certified B Corp™, we strive to build an inclusive and more purposeful business. Our goal is to create an organizational culture and climate that fosters a sense of belonging and connection between colleagues. Through our Global DEI Committee, we have Inclusive Support groups (BIPOC, LGTBQIA+, Women in the Workplace, and White Allyship group) to share and lead in initiatives that directly involve their group. For Black History Month, our BIPOC Support group has worked with the Global DEI and B Corp Committees to coordinate the below activities.
Celebrating the achievements of the Black community
We sent out short bios and resources of Black achievers, innovators, and change makers. We want to educate our colleagues in the historical achievements that Black people have contributed to society. Some examples are Carter G. Woodson (the father of Black history), Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett (viral immunologist and leader in Covid-19 vaccine development), and Dr. Mae Jemison (former NASA astronaut, the first African American woman in space).
Promoting Black-owned businesses
The BIPOC support group also hosted an internal event sharing our favorite Black-owned business or nonprofit to support. Supporting Black business owners may be one of the keys to closing the racial wealth gap. Doing so maintains a positive cycle of allowing businesses to grow, and thus, creates the need and capability to hire new employees. This cycle supports the surrounding community through opening new jobs and boosting the local economy.
Additionally, seeing representation may encourage young children or other BIPOC aspiring business owners to begin businesses of their own. This will further diversify the economy and allow for more Black representation in the market.
A couple of the Black owned businesses that were highlighted are:
- Sienna Sauce – Family-based business established in Sienna, Texas
- Corner 103 – Winery in Sonoma, California
- Dee Lee Cakes – Bakery in San Jose, California
Looking for something in particular but don’t know if the business is Black owned? Click the below resources and find businesses and services that are Black owned!
- SBO (Support Black Owned) – browse Black-owned businesses nationwide such as bars, restaurants, and activities.
- Miiriya –check out Miiriya where you can browse a variety of products from fashion, interior decoration, beauty, and art.
Inclusivity for Black Introverts
Jeri Bingham, the creator and host of the Hush Loudly Podcast, founded Black Introvert Week in 2021, celebrated in the second week of February for Black History Month. How do Black Introverts have to adjust to a biased world on race and personality preference?
“In the current racial pandemic, some Black executives have reported that in addition to presenting a more extraverted side of themselves at the office, they must maintain a delicate balance between comforting the majority (non-Black colleagues), while educating and working towards an anti-racist movement.
“The added pressure to appease feelings and alleviate fears feels very much like an additional part-time job to help the majority understand us in a way that’s most comfortable for them. This additional role—which does not add true value or impact the organization’s bottom line but is merely to soothe the fears of others—is exhausting.
“In the ongoing conversation about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), the rallying cry is to meet people where they are, and to accept and include those who choose to be acknowledged differently.
Inclusivity must extend beyond race, sexual orientation, and gender identity, and must also extend to personality type. Inclusivity includes introverts. Inclusivity includes Black introverts.”
Read more in Jeri’s full article here and hear more on the Leading While Black and Introverted panel.
We hope you’ve found this information useful. If you have any resources or information to share with us for Black History Month, reach out to us at email@example.com or get in touch with us on social media via Facebook or LinkedIn.
Want to read more? Take a look at some of these recent blogs:
Leading while Black and Introverted
How to develop high potential people using MBTI personality insights
What’s stopping leaders being inclusive? (infographic)
What are the best tools and training materials for DEI initiatives?