Q2 Team Members Share Their Experiences During Black History Month

Q2 Team Members Share Their Experiences During Black History Month

By Q2

15 Feb, 2023

Humility, Integrity, and Respect for Community
Merisha Scott
Project Manager

How has Q2 changed since you joined the team?
Q2 incorporating DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) created a progressive change. I love it! Change is good. Our Senior DEI Strategist Mikal Anderson and the initiatives he has introduced promote a multicultural workplace and encourage diverse representation amongst various groups. The general body meetings, AfroTech Conference, and workplace diversity training are a few initiatives that educate and support an alliance for minorities in the technology field.

Who is a key Black figure you admire in your personal history? 
My parents because they model humility, integrity and respect for community. Their principles and our humble beginnings created a foundation for my siblings and me, grounded in love. There is a saying, "Train a child up in the way he/she should go." My mother always encouraged us to be intentional with everything we do. She emphasized establishing a good work ethic, education with a willingness always to learn, and, most importantly, walking selflessly in kindness. To say the least, I'm beyond grateful for my parents and the core values they instilled in me. They are my life manual!

What does Black History mean to you? 
Black History is an opportunity to reflect on the impact of past and present contributions of notable figures. Black History is American History. Understanding the historical facts and celebrating inclusion means so much to me. It also empowers me to reflect on how I can personally contribute to the community.

How do you celebrate Black History Month?  
I enjoy reading books that honor Black History or a notable author. I'm currently reading "Can't Hurt Me" by David Goggins. I enjoy participating in interactive activities and community events, such as the Black History Month parade or general volunteer work.

Positivity, Light, and Resilience
Beny Collins
Regional Sales Manager

How has Q2 changed since you joined the team?
In my short time at Q2, I’ve seen the DEI program rolling out new programs and initiatives. Each month, we have recognized topics that raise awareness of diverse groups and subjects, such as race, gender, and sexual orientation. These conversations have been vibrant, insightful, and rejuvenating.

Who is a key Black figure you admire in your personal history? 
I quickly think of my twin sister, Dr. Mali Collins, professor of African-American Studies at American University in Washington D.C. Her creativity and relentlessness in supporting people of color, specifically those of African heritage, is nurturing and inspiring. She's an educator, a podcast host and an author, but most importantly, someone who gives back to the Black community.

What does Black History mean to you?
Black History is as diverse as the people who it memorializes. I feel sadness, frustration, and fatigue when thinking about the harm Black people have endured throughout our history. At the same time, I also feel so much positivity, light, and resilience. I think about all the people who have dedicated their lives to improving those of future generations, knowing full well that the effects wouldn't be felt until after they were gone.

I also think about the small, likely unnoticed moments of our history when words of encouragement were shared, and lessons were taught behind closed doors. I have a great deal of pride in being Black and I recognize my existence with gratitude. Without those before me, I wouldn't be here, and I honor them by remembering them and acting in ways that support their visions.

How do you celebrate Black History Month?
To me, celebrating Black History isn't seasonal, but in February, I make sure to devote more time to enjoying Black art and entertainment, usually in the form of documentaries like "13TH" and "Summer of Soul," and Black music (Robert Glasper; Herbie Hancock; Prince; Earth, Wind & Fire; Rufus and Chaka Khan; Marcus Miller;and many more). I also seek out some good soul food! 

The Power of Legacy
Jasmine Joyner
Product Support Analyst

How has Q2 changed since you joined the team?
I have seen such growth in DEI participation. During the pandemic, I was 100% remote. I was missing out on the richness of meeting new people in a global company. As the investment in Q2's DEI efforts grew, I noticed networks converging and global relationships being bridged. I hear the excitement in our employee resource group (ERG) meetings when folks describe their developing friendships and connections made across different hemispheres.

Who is a key Black figure you admire in your personal history? 
I admire and honor my great grandmother, Pearl. I grew up on 144 acres of land in North Carolina that she owned, cultivated, and beautified. I understood from a young age the importance of agricultural contributions to our country and community because I was taught by my great grandmother. I still have many letters from past North Carolina governors thanking her for contributing to our state's agriculture.

She was also a lender in our community, with families coming to her for loans to buy homes and land. To this day, people tell me stories of how her generosity and business savviness changed their lives. My great grandmother was also a midwife and birthed many of our community members. What a lady!

What does Black History mean to you? 
Black History is an action to me.
It's learning the facts of the past to, hopefully, avoid repeating the mistakes made. It is also honoring the wisdom above all.​​​​​​​ It was an honor to sit at my elder's feet as a child and listen to their stories of old. Black History can sound like a slow, black-and-blue song heavy with pain and hatred. But I've memorized the stories of great love and mind-blowing achievement in Black History – in my family, community, and around the world. I am both proud and humbled and always inspired by Black History.

What do you teach your children about Black History?
I teach my oldest son that he is Black History in the making. I impart that he comes from greatness and that his responsibility is to multiply what I've taught him with his own experiences to maximize his positive impact on the world. I pass on the stories I learned from my elders to my son and try to encourage his curiosity and interest in Black History.  

How do you celebrate Black History Month?  
I celebrate Black History Month with documentary marathons and by buying stacks of books by Black authors. 

Relevant Resources
  • Read more about Q2's culture and its mission to build strong and diverse communities. 
  • Q2 is a proud founding sponsor of Austin’s African American Leadership Institute (AALI), which is designed to enhance civic awareness and leadership opportunities to make an innovative community impact on Central Texas. Click here to learn more. 


Written by Q2