As we embrace the vibrant and significant month of October, HCL proudly joins the celebration of Black History Month. This annual celebration provides us with a valuable opportunity to reflect, learn, and honour the incredible contributions of Black individuals throughout history. This year, under the theme "Saluting Our Sisters," we took a moment to spotlight the achievements and inspiration brought forth by three remarkable women – Calypso Rose, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Djamila Batista.
Black History Month is not just a calendar event at HCL, it’s a time to recognise and celebrate the rich tapestry of Black culture, heritage, and accomplishments. It allows us to delve into history, acknowledging the struggles, triumphs, and determined spirit of the Black community and to demonstrate that we truly believe the importance of how understanding and appreciating this history is integral to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment.
Calypso Rose: The Queen of Calypso
Calypso Rose, born McCartha Linda Sandy-Lewis, hails from Trinidad and Tobago and is a living legend in the world of music. Her groundbreaking contributions to Calypso and Soca music have not only entertained millions but have also paved the way for future generations of female artists. We saluted Calypso Rose for her continued dedication to her craft and her role in breaking gender barriers in the music industry.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf: Africa's First Female President
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf made history as the first female head of state in Africa, serving as the President of Liberia from 2006 to 2018. A Nobel Peace Prize recipient, she demonstrated exemplary leadership in rebuilding her war-torn nation. We honoured Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for her resilience, leadership, and commitment to positive change.
Djamila Batista: The Afro-Brazilian Advocate
Djamila Batista, an Afro-Brazilian feminist and human rights activist, has been a powerful voice against racial and gender inequality. Her work focuses on dismantling systemic racism and empowering Black women. We paid tribute to Djamila Batista for her tireless efforts in advocating for justice, equality, and the rights of marginalised communities.
Over the course of the month, we adorned our partner schools with visually captivating displays that depicted the remarkable lives of the three women we selected for special recognition. Our kitchen teams, brimming with creativity, crafted an enticing 3-week themed menu featuring flavours and dishes rooted in the rich culinary traditions of the black community. Among the delectable offerings were delights like Jollof Rice with Suya-Spiced Chicken, Traditional Macaroni Pie, and Zesty Chicken Empanadas, to name just a few.
As we saluted our sisters during Black History Month, we are confident our efforts reaffirm our commitment to promoting diversity and inclusivity and through acknowledging the contributions of remarkable women like Calypso Rose, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Djamila Batista, we aim to inspire our team members and communities.