Community Investment | Inclusion & Diversity

Pembina celebrates second annual Black History Month

In February, Pembina celebrates the vibrant history, culture and achievements of the Black community with festive and educational events designed to further inclusivity in the workplace.
Members of the Black History Month planning committee, a group comprised of Pembina’s Black employees and allies, curated an unforgettable line up of guest speakers for staff to gain insight into the Black experience. This included poetry readings and reflections from Calgary and Edmonton’s poet Laureates Wakefield Brewster and Titilope Sonuga, and a riveting rendition of the Inclusive Leadership and Learner Mindset by world renowned equity, diversity and inclusion leader Aiko Bethea.
Debb Hurlock interviews Musa Musa, Bim Asala and Kevin Patrick on the Conversations for Change panel.

Debb Hurlock interviews Musa Musa, Bim Asala and Kevin Patrick on the Conversations for Change panel.

Several of Pembina’s Black employees from Canada and the U.S. joined as panelists on the Conversations for Change series, (pictured above) a Pembina-exclusive production featuring employees who share personal accounts of how inequality has impacted their lives, both at home and in the workplace. 

“Black History Month is an opportunity for us to tell our own story and to dismantle stereotypes, and an opportunity for unlearning, and re-learning,” says Sandra Ryan-Robinson, Senior Manager, BU Controller and head of the Black History Month planning committee. “Stereotypes drive exclusionary behaviours, and re-learning drives inclusivity. We each have a responsibility to promote belonging.”

Pembina’s Black History Month draws hundreds of participants per event, and attendees report an increase in empathy towards fellow colleagues and engagement, and an inclination towards allyship. Members on the Black History Month planning committee also report an increased feeling of empowerment and pride, and are heartened that Pembina is a place where one can show up as their authentic self. “We aim to be the place where people are proud to be a part of the team, are committed to the future vision, have professional growth opportunities and see themselves represented at all levels in the organization,” says Ian Balfour, Vice President, Conventional Pipelines.

The month wrapped up with an event that included the Calgary Black Chambers – an organization dedicated to forging opportunities for Black professionals to further their professional development and ability to give back to their community. Pembina announced a $225,000 investment over three years which directly supports scholarships, mentorship programs, internship opportunities, and capacity building initiatives. “Our partnership with the Calgary Black Chambers will help to give Black youth equal access to opportunities in our city and in the long-term, help to build out our diverse talent pipeline,” adds Ian.

Black History Month activities also featured volunteer opportunities and a donation drive where employee donations were matched by 200% in support of Black charities in Canada and the U.S.

Watch: Pembina celebrates #BlackHistoryMonth. Hear our employees share their thoughts on what it means to them. Post | Feed | LinkedIn.