Last month, we celebrated National HBCU Week (Sept. 5-11). SDG&E’s Black Employee Business Resource Group (BEBRG) and SDG&E Staffing continue to celebrate and engage with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) on an ongoing basis.
The mission of BEBRG is to enhance networking, increase career advancement, support business outreach, and prepare members for leadership opportunities with a focus on the recruitment, retention and continued education of Black employees at our company. In support of that mission, the BEBRG’s Recruitment Committee is focused on partnering with our staffing teams to continue building and expanding connections between our recruitment/internship programs and HBCUs. The committee is actively forming partnerships with various HBCUs, such as Alabama State University, Florida A&M University, Howard University, Morehouse College, Norfolk State University, Prairie View A&M University and Spelman College. Our staffing team also reaches HBCU talent through a partnership with HBCUConnect. HBCUConnect is one of the largest portals connecting employers with HBCUs and more. Currently, we advertise select openings on the HBCUConnect job board and are seeking other opportunities to expand our partnership.
Most recently, our BEBRG, Staffing, and Diversity & Inclusion team collaborated to provide SDG&E branded items to Prairie View A&M University for their annual “Swag Day” event that was held on campus on Sept. 7. A key contributor to this event was Sherise Blackwood, Customer Generation Manager, who donated to support the purchase of items to send in support of this event.
Last month, the BEBRG Recruitment Committee also collaborated with our staffing teams to participate in two events:
- The 2022 National HBCU Week Virtual Career and Recruitment Fair which occurred on Thursday, Sept. 22. The career fair was hosted by the White House Initiative on HBCUs, which is dedicated to helping HBCU students successfully compete for top opportunities in national and global markets while providing education and economic experiences for the students and communities HBCUs primarily serve.
- Prairie View's virtual career fair which recently occurred on Sept. 27 and 28.
HBCU Alumni at SDG&E
Several of our BEBRG members attended HBCUs, including Alana Norman, business analyst II in Financial and Business Planning, and Jude Awiylika, engineer I in Customer Field Operations. They shared what the experience means to them below:
“Attending Spelman College, an all-women’s HBCU, was an all-encompassing experience for me. I was able to get an education and also cultivate a sense of self. Spelman instilled in me a sense of confidence that has allowed me to use my voice to speak up and speak out. Spelman also inspired me to pursue Economics because the subject matter was presented in a way that I connected with personally; there was a focus on Black women and the Economy – our spending power as well as the challenges we face. Through an extensive and powerful network of students and alumnae, I have been able to share experiences and learn from the professional and life lessons of inspiring Spelman women.”
- Alana Norman, BEBRG Director of Recruitment and Scholarship
“Graduating from Howard University made me very proud to have attended such a historical institution that had contributed so much to this country and the world while having a great record of preparing students of color for society. The education I received adequately prepared me for transitioning to corporate world. They walked me through the experience, calibrated my expectations, informed me of potential challenges and how to work through them to succeed.”
- Jude Awiylika, BEBRG Parliamentarian
Jude also shared a few quotes from his school days that kept him motivated when he first started at the company:
- “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe
- “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin
History of HBCU Week
In 1980, President Jimmy Carter designated the second week of September as National HBCU Week, with the purpose of celebrating all HBCUs and paying tribute to their legacy of promoting equal opportunities for high-quality education. Today, there are over 100 HBCUs in the United States, with roughly 300,000 enrolled students.
If you have a graduating senior or a student preparing to transfer, this link provides a complete list of all HBCUs to learn more about them: https://hbcuconnect.com/colleges/.