Dear Lighting Community,
As we celebrate Black History Month, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the contributions of Black individuals who have shaped our industry. One such person is Lewis Latimer, an inventor and draftsman who helped improve the design of the light bulb and made it more accessible for everyone.
Latimer, who was born into slavery in 1848, rose to become a prominent figure in the field of electrical engineering. He worked with Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison, and his inventions and innovations helped pave the way for the widespread use of electric lighting.
It is important for us to acknowledge the continued need for diversity and representation in our industry. Organizations like WILD prove the benefits of these efforts with the amazing work it has done for women in the lighting industry. Support and promotion of organizations who are committed to diversity as well as Black affinity groups, such as BUILD Up are critical to the advancement of DEIR (Diversity Equity Inclusion and Respect).
BUILD Up is an affinity space for Black professionals to connect, network, and support each other in their careers and on an ongoing basis, not just during Black History Month. Like Lewis Latimer we strive to improve the lighting industry and make it more accessible for everyone. As Co-Chair for BUILD Up we are excited for the growth of the group and more programs in 2023.
These groups play a crucial role in promoting diversity and inclusivity in the workplace, and they serve as a reminder that we must continue to strive for a more equitable and inclusive society. By coming together, we can help to ensure that Black voices and perspectives are respected, heard and valued, and that future generations of Black individuals are able to achieve their full potential in the lighting community and beyond.
In conclusion, I hope that this Black History Month, we can all come together to celebrate the achievements of Lewis Latimer and other Black trailblazers, and to continue to recommit ourselves to creating a more diverse and inclusive industry for everyone. Over the last couple of years there has been a focus on DEIR, and we should use what we have learned and be able to apply it to our daily lives and our careers.
Lets Light the Way to a more Diverse Equitable Inclusive and Respectful Industry and continue to brighten the future for generations to come.
CEO of Light or Dark Consulting and Emerging Lighting Professional IES
Co-Chair BUILD Up