Life at Dataminr

Dataminr is proud to have a diverse employee base, in which every community is celebrated, honored and supported so that all individuals can flourish and thrive in their professional and personal lives. This February, we’re excited to commemorate Black History Month and highlight the various achievements and contributions of our Black employees.

I sat down with Michaela Tummings—Dataminr Customer Success Manager for the U.S. Department of Defense and this year’s global co-lead of the Black@Dataminr employee resource group (ERG)—to discuss what Black resistance means to her and how she plans to celebrate this special month.

Here’s what Michaela had to say.

This year’s theme is Black Resistance. Black Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression, in all forms, for hundreds of years. Who and/or what events would you say best exemplify this theme in recent years?

Resistance is not a new concept for Black Americans; we’ve been fighting for equal rights and against oppression for hundreds of years. Much of which has occurred in the last 60 to 70 years.

But many of us forget that it wasn’t too long ago that our parents and grandparents, mine included, grew up in segregation and had to fight to exercise their right to vote. They witnessed the end of segregated schools, the passing of the Voting Rights Act and the positive impact the Civil Rights movement had—on not just Black communities, but all Americans.

While resistance is very familiar to me and other Black Americans, my generation is experiencing it very differently thanks to our interconnected world. Messages and voices of resistance are now easily amplified and images are shared around the globe so quickly that we’re often able to tune in live from our TVs, phones or other mobile devices.

What does Black History Month mean to you? How do you usually celebrate it in and outside of the workplace?

I have a lot of mixed emotions. To me, Black history is American history, and it should be taught as such. I’m grateful there’s a space for us to highlight our accomplishments, but I believe all Americans should be more familiar with the history and contributions of Blacks in the U.S. There are some facts that I’ve known for as long as I can remember, like how Lewis Latimer improved Thomas Edison’s lightbulb by using a more durable filament made of carbon. Some I found out about over the years, like the history of the Buffalo Soldiers who, in the face of extreme discrimination, helped protect our nation’s westward expansion and participated in significant military actions.

As I live in Washington D.C., I’m going to celebrate by going to the National Museum of African American History & Culture with my parents. There are also a couple of events at the Kennedy Center that I’d love to check out, such as its Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performance.

At work, I really enjoy planning events for Black History Month with my co-leads. This is my second time leading the ERG at the global capacity, and I’d love to host a game where people compete to see who remembers the most Black history facts. Through this event, I hope to share cool information with my coworkers and community here at Dataminr, including things that are lesser-known but still incredibly impactful to the world we live in today.

What are some ways a company’s employees and leadership can be allies to their Black colleagues?

I would love for as many of my colleagues as possible to celebrate, honor and commemorate this month with our ERG. Everyone is welcome. For both those in and outside of Dataminr, I encourage you to learn something new about Black history and culture. And, if someone is aware of a particular injustice or societal issue, that person can help make a change. They too can resist, whether that means writing to a congressman or supporting Black businesses. Another way to be an ally is to participate in local community events. That includes fun stuff like festivals,  community theater performances and art gallery showings.

I’m happy to see Dataminr continue to support our Black employees and organizations committed to the advancement of Black professionals. I also wholeheartedly appreciate the company’s acknowledgement of holidays that celebrate us, such as Juneteenth; we now get the day off.

What is the Black@Dataminr ERG doing to celebrate this month?

We’re planning a series of activities and events:

  • A conversation about Black resistance with external and internal speakers to reflect on and commemorate the successful resistance
  • Events to spotlight Black-owned businesses and provide African-American food for lunch in our U.S. offices
  • A happy hour trivia game to share and learn about Black history and facts

Overall, I’m so proud of the work that we are doing and the people who continue to stand with us as a community. Our ERG is very near and dear to my heart because of the high level of participation—and how we have shown up for ourselves and how our allies have shown up for us. It cannot be understated.

I’m looking forward to seeing our ERG ally community grow even bigger, stronger and louder. I’m also incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be a member of the ERG’s leadership team for the third year.

Author
Robin Strup
Vice President,
DEI & Internal Communications
February 6, 2023
  • Life at Dataminr
  • Blog

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