Reflections On Inclusivity And Black History At Bird

“We are not our brother’s keeper. We are our brother and we are our sister. We must look past complexion and see community.”

—Maya Angelou

At Bird, February has been an opportunity not only to celebrate Black History, but to reinforce our commitment to inclusivity and community outreach. Led by our Bird Noire employee resource group, we’ve used this month to engage in a variety of activities, from film discussions and lunches hosted at black-owned restaurants to the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) Awards and LA’s Black History Month Festival.

We’re also taking the time to feature stories from our employees, listening to and learning from their perspectives on work, family and the importance of Black History Month. You’ll find a selection of these conversations below.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

“I’m passionate about making meaningful products at the intersection of digital and physical products. At Bird, I’m on the  Product team. My work is inspired by my African American and Nigerian cultures.” – Iyore O.

“I am the Director of Government Partnerships at Bird. Before joining Bird, I worked both domestically and internationally in the public and private sectors as well as on a number of political and advocacy campaigns across the US. First and foremost, before my professional life and relationships, the most important people to me are my family and friends.” – Maurice H.

When did you join the flock and what inspired you to join Bird?

“I joined the flock almost a year and a half ago where I started in Mechanic Operations and then moved to onboarding. The reason I love Bird is that it allows me to be part of the greater good and every day I come in knowing I am helping the environment.”- Magdalene N. 

“I was fortunate to join Bird over one year ago and I have learned so much! Being driven to enhance the legacy I leave behind and the opportunity to immerse myself in work that aligns with my personal ethos was very convincing. I believe we’re igniting a micromobility movement that will ultimately change the world for the better.” – Doyin A.

I joined Bird in October 2018. What inspired me to join Bird and continues to inspire me is Bird’s commitment to solving the last mile transportation problem while fostering a spirit of inclusion and innovation.  – Shai P.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

“I prefer to acknowledge black history and accomplishments 356 days a year. It is who I am and I would be nothing without the strong individuals that came before me and sacrificed.” – Magdalene N.

Black History Month is an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the continued contributions of the African Diaspora to global culture. Because of the efforts of those who came before me, I have been afforded an opportunity to continue a legacy that was built on perseverance, hard work, fierceness, and the courage to not settle for less.  – Shai P.

“Black history month to me is a time to reflect on all of the greats that came before me. Black history is power, strength, and courage. It embodies inspiration and freedom. It is my mind, body and soul, it lives within me.” – Tremaine T.

“Black History Month makes me feel extremely thankful. I have privileges and a way of life that my ancestors didn’t have in their own time, and that many people of color still don’t have today. I can’t take this for granted. Daily and especially during BHM I feel an essence of resilience, the same resilience my ancestors had in them. This gives me the courage to persevere, achieve,  and to build the future alongside other black innovators.” – Iyore O.

 As a direct line descendant of both people that likely came to America in 1619 on the first ships bringing Africans to Jamestown, VA and of indiginous people (my maternal great grandmother was full Creek Indian), I feel profound gratitude and even greater responsibility to those that came before me to create opportunities for me in ways I still do not completely understand. Making sure that I continue that legacy of using my position to create opportunities for others is core to who I am and what Black History Month exists for today. So supporting Dr. Woodson’s vision of ensuring that history and contributions of Black people and frankly all peoples need to be recognized, remembered, celebrated, and acted upon.” – Maurice H.

Is there a specific person from history that inspires you? Why?

“I look up to is Fewweini Mebrahtu. She’s an Ethiopian engineer that received the CNN Hero of the Year Award in 2019.  She received the award for her selfless acts that ensured access to education for all women.” – Magdalene N.

“My mother, my grandmother, black mothers and grandmothers, black women across the globe who continue to overcome, defy odds, and thrive. I am inspired by their beauty and strength despite living in a world that doesn’t always celebrate our presence.” – Iyore O.

“Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the ’Father of Black History Month’, proposed and launched in 1926 the annual February observance of ‘Negro History Week,’ which became ‘Black History Month’ in 1976. Commonly held belief is that he selected February for the observance because February 12th was Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and February 14th was the accepted birthday of Frederick Douglass. Why? Nuff Said.” – Maurice H.