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Blacks In Government: An Overview

Blacks In Government (BIG), NIH Chapter, Region XI

Blacks In Government® (BIG®) is a national non-profit organization that was organized in 1975 and incorporated in 1976 under the jurisdiction of the District of Columbia.1 Recognized by NIH as an affinity group, the mission and goals of BIG® can be found on their Goals & Objectives webpage.

What BIG® Means to NIH Chapter President, Alexis L. Braxton, MSN, RN, CEN

When I first joined the federal government as a civil servant in 2017, a family friend informed me about this organization, Blacks In Government®. He passionately described what membership in BIG® meant for him both personally and professionally. In 2018, I joined the BIG® NIH Chapter. Since joining, I have experienced many rewarding leadership opportunities, culminating with being elected Chapter President for the 2021-2022 calendar years. Through the BIG® NIH Chapter, I network, build relationships, and cultivate fellowship with other federal professionals from across the nation at numerous agencies. I enjoy the learning, the leadership training, the ability to advocate for federal colleagues, and the unique chance to contribute to advancing the goals of the organization and my agency. Serving as a member has also afforded me the opportunity and the voice to speak on important equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives at the NIH.

I tell everyone: When you join BIG®, you will gain access to a Nationwide network of professional people with diverse backgrounds. The opportunities for growth and development are numerous. Being a part of BIG® is what you make of it. If a person invests in BIG®, BIG® will invest in that person.

BIG® NIH Chapter History

Between 1977 and 1981, 11 regional councils were formed across the country. Each regional council is made of numerous chapters representing members of various federal, state, and local government.2 BIG® National Institutes of Health Chapter is a member of the Region XI council.3

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Chapter has diligently served the interests of Black federal employees at the National Institutes of Health since 1982. As an approved private organization, the Chapter functions under the principle to maintain professionalism, skills, and knowledge, as well as sustaining honor for cultural heritage. The membership of the Chapter recognizes this governing principle; that the individual needs or aspiration of one can become the "common" toward the betterment of all. Achieving chapter principles, the NIH Chapter of BIG provides support to facilitate individuals' success thus collectively strengthening the whole in integrity, equality in the workplace, and community investments.4

To learn more about the history of BIG®, you can visit their history webpage.

BIG® Resources

How to Join

To join a chapter of BIG®, please visit the BIG® membership page or email the BIG® NIH Chapter President at for more information.



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