Medtronic African Descent Network highlights black history

Medtronic African Descent Network highlights black history

 February 03, 2021

"Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble" are the words that inspired Medtronic employees around the country to take action to help advance racial equity during Black History Month.

Striving to build a strong future for employees and communities

These words were said by civil rights activist and Georgia Congressman John Lewis who was a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and helped organize the 1963 March on Washington with Martin Luther King Jr.  

Throughout Black History Month, a number of Medtronic African Descent Network (ADN) hubs around the U.S. are embracing Lewis’ call to “make good trouble” and build a stronger future for employees and communities. 

The Medtronic ADN is a resource group open to all employees. Its goal is to raise awareness about racial equity issues and provide recruitment and retention tools to help develop and advance Black employees in their careers. ADN is intended to not only give employees a voice, but a pathway to success. 

Raising voices against social injustice

In Atlanta, Medtronic's ADN is embracing the opportunity to give back to their community this Black History Month, and throughout the year. ADN Atlanta hub members are raising their voices against social injustice, fundraising for youth, and ensuring those in the community have nutritious meals. 

Educating employees about workplace racial equality

Following the George Floyd protests, and a 310% increase in hub membership, ADN in Bay Area, California, focused on educating employees about racial equity in the workplace by watching the PBS documentary Boss: The Black Experience in Business, conducting a series of “Courageous Conversations” with Medtronic leaders, and organizing virtual volunteering events.

Creating more understanding of diverse experiences

Medtronic's ADN in Colorado is hosting a variety of virtual events to highlight Black history and continue important discussions about race, with topics such as financial wellness and equity and the role Black Americans played in Western settlements. The goal is to encourage honest, open conversations to create more understanding of the experience that many Black minorities face today.

Connecting parents and children across the nation

The Dallas/Fort Worth ADN is using “Brain Pop” YouTube videos to organize “Story Time on MLK Day,” an event that connects more than 40 parents and children across the nation to reflect on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The group is hosting an annual “Season of Service” initiative and raised funds for “Heart for Hunger" to feed 100 families in the community. 

Hosting a presentation by Black surgeons 

ADN Memphis is hosting a series of virtual activities, including a presentation by Black surgeons and discussions about the significance of Memphis in Black history. Employees are also posting personal family stories to celebrate their ancestry and their pursuit for equality.

Volunteering at a school for international students

The Minneapolis ADN and Medtronic Muslims and Friends are volunteering at Ubah Medical Academy, a public charter school that caters to international students and their families. The program provides career options and tips for success and the opportunity to see working professionals who look like them and could offer advice and experience.

Helping students explore different careers at Medronic

In North Haven, employees are working with a local high school to build a three-phase program that allowed more than 400 students to explore different careers, technologies and paths at Medtronic. Hub members are also volunteering with Sunrise Café, which welcomes homeless and food insecure people with home-cooked meals every weekday morning.

Organising a virtual movie club

In Northridge, quarterly “Virtual Movie Clubs” show movies that spark deep, thoughtful discussions about racism in our lives and communities. The group also hosted a virtual experience for participants to learn about Black Broadway in Washington D.C., an area where many jazz and hip-hop musical artists were born.

Mentoring future engineers

ADN Tempe is working to strengthen their community by mentoring engineers of the future. ADN Tempe teamed up with the Syrian American Medical Society and USAID to support underserved populations in Africa and the Middle East.


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