To help commemorate Black History Month, we will be sharing profiles featuring the founding members of our soon-to-launch EmbRACE employee network throughout February. Today, get to know network co-chair, Crystal Conover, from our Corporate IT team. We invite you to learn how Black history has influenced her life and why she is building our EmbRACE network for our BIPOC community and their allies.


Why is Black History Month important to you?
I say frequently, “You cannot appreciate where you are going, until you understand where you come from.” Black History Month provides a time of reflection and awareness of the sacrifices made for our culture. It took “revolution for evolution” for us to see change. We have seen trailblazers, pioneers and martyrs pave the way for liberty, equality, and justice for the Black American community. It is important for me to take this time to honor my ancestors and continue the legacy in which they set forth for us.

Tell us about someone from the Black community who influenced or inspired you, and why?
Condoleezza Rice has been an inspiration to me for many years. I have admired her accomplishments as the first Black American Secretary of State and national security advisor. I find her professionalism and tenacity an encouragement to me to continue to pursue opportunities within my community.

Soledad O’Brien is also one of my favorite influencers. As an American journalist, she has been an unapologetic force in the broadcast community. Some of my favorite works of Soledad was her show, “Being Black in America” which aired on CNN in 2007. In 2022, she created a documentary film titled, “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks.” I personally connect with Soledad’s candor in telling a story, sharing facts, and exposing elusive conclusions with professionalism and grace.

What are you hoping EmbRACE brings to our community?
I am hoping EmbRACE provides a unique forum for our colleagues to share their current roadblocks and challenges, while providing collaborative support for one another. I would like to see EmbRACE be a “safe place” for everyone to let their guard down and feel confident in knowing they are not, in any peril, alone.

Why should our BIPOC colleagues and allies consider joining EmbRACE?
One of our shared values is “respect: be kind, be inclusive and collaborate, and see diversity as a strength.” As we continue to operate in a hybrid work environment, it is vital for us to EmbRACE one another, check on one another, and engage one another when the opportunity presents itself. Joining our network is one of the ways we can contribute to creating an inclusive world.