TRG Spotlight: The Black Experience

Posted May 30, 2023 under:

Providing Resources

At SCA Health, we showcase and support our teammates in unique ways. Through our Teammate Resource Groups (TRGs), we aim to provide a space for inclusion, discussion, and education.

The Black Experience TRG from SCA Health

Highlighting Experiences

SCA Health is proud to offer all teammates the ability to join our Teammate Resource Groups (TRGs) to discuss issues relevant to those of varying religions, races, and backgrounds.

SCA Health is proud to support our mission of inclusion and diversity through our Teammate Resource Groups (TRGs). Our TRGs provide spaces for our teammates to discuss shared experiences impacting their personal lives, both inside and outside of work.

SCA Health teammates Marylin Hall and Crystal Gay are both members of The Black Experience Teammate Resource Group. Ms. Hall provides answers represented as MH, while Ms. Gay provides answers represented as CG.

Some answers have been slightly modified for clarity and brevity.

Q: What is The Black Experience Teammate Resource Group?

CG: The Black Experience TRG is a group that aims to provide information not only to members of the Black community but also to other minorities and cultures. It is a space to talk and express ideas and pass along information. We have members from across the United States, so we talk about what we see in different areas of the country and better understand what’s happening in our local communities.

MH: This TRG was made shortly after the George Floyd incident. Its main idea was to raise awareness and drive racial inclusion within SCA. We also wanted to use it to raise awareness of some of the things Black teammates are going through and help eliminate any racial injustices or prejudices.

Q: How has participating in this group influenced your work life?

CG: It’s been a great learning experience. We can get together and share our thoughts on materials, authors, and what is happening with our community. We also get to bring our history into the discussion and talk about today’s work environment and how that affects our current society. This TRG has a diverse group of members, so it’s interesting to hear about events and activities in each other’s states and locations.

MH: I believe an important thing to recognize was that this group wasn’t meant to discuss the struggles of being Black, but to celebrate, hear people’s stories, and hear how they have progressed through their journeys.

After we started meeting, I thought about how this was the first time I felt my Blackness wasn’t a taboo subject. As a Black professional, I don’t talk the same at work, I don’t dress the same, and for a while, I was self-conscious about wearing my hair in braids because I wasn’t sure if it would be accepted. However, after the creation of this TRG, I felt I didn’t need to mask myself.

This group has provided me with many resources regarding figuring out what I want to do with my career, finding mentorship, and similar topics like that. Another cool piece is that SCA isn’t made up of just one group of people, but you may be the only Black professional on your team or in your department. After we began meeting, I really started to understand just how diverse we are as a company.

Q: Why do you believe it’s important for companies to offer outlets and resource groups?

CG: Being in a work environment, you have people from different backgrounds, races, and religions. Groups like these allow us to share our experiences, our cultures, and our similarities. We can understand each other better and create an improved work environment. It also lets us share our viewpoints and provide insight to others who may not share our same point of view. It opens the door for further discussions.

MH: I think that many companies prioritize subjects that are of concern to the majority and disregard those that are not, regardless of whether they are good or bad. I feel that it’s critical to give those who may not fit in with the majority a place to meet and discuss topics and events that are relevant to them. From my experience, I know that in the future, in my career, I won’t feel the need to mask who I am. I can unveil and be my true self. I’m hoping that TRG’s as a whole will continue to grow and expand within SCA. I hate to think that there are members within our organization that don’t have a group yet that represents them. Personally, I believe it’s all about inclusion, diversity, and equity. That’s what this all truly means.

Q: Does The Black Experience TRG host events within SCA Health and outside of the workplace in your local communities?

CG: We do. Having members from across the U.S. allows us to be active everywhere. We post events internally and try to hold events that have a positive impact. One month we had an event where we encouraged our members and other teammates to go out and support local Black-owned restaurants. We also want to plan meetups for each region where members go to a museum and learn about Black culture and history, like in Birmingham (Alabama) where our corporate offices are. Our TRG also works to provide educational learning opportunities as well.

MH: We have had some events. One that sticks out to me is that The Black Experience sponsored a book by an author named Carice Anderson. We sponsored her book, read it, and had her speak to us virtually. She discussed her thoughts behind the book and pointed out that in the professional world, you need more than just technical skills to succeed. I really enjoyed attending that event. Around Juneteenth last year, we also had an event where we encouraged everyone to go out and support Black-owned restaurants or shops in majority Black communities. The goal was to promote diversity in our spending habits.

Q: What are some hopes and goals you have for the future of The Black Experience?

CG: My main hope and goal is to continue expanding and adding more members. As we add more members, we can have more viewpoints and ideas. It will help us raise awareness and disperse information to a wider group of people.

MH: I’d like to see our groups grow. Not just our TRG but the others as well. I also want to help develop a program around unconscious biases in the workplace for our leaders and other teammates. I think that there are programs similar to this, but it’d be great to have a collaborative initiative created with the involvement of each of the TRGs. That’s one of my main goals. I want to go beyond just having these TRG’s as a place to talk. I want to take it outside of that and really drive growth and change from inside the organization.

To learn more about SCA Health and our Teammate Resource Groups, click here.

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