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From the EDI Director: 2021 Black History Month

Treava Hopkins-Laboy

Dear NIH,

The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) is pleased to celebrate Black History Month. This year marks the 45th anniversary of commemorating African Americans' achievements and recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated February as Black History Month.

It seems only appropriate to celebrate this anniversary by witnessing history in the making as we watched The Honorable Kamala D. Harris become the Vice President of the United States of America. Vice President Harris is the first Black and first South Asian-American woman to hold a nationally elected office.

EDI is using this year’s campaign to promote inclusion and enhance the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) culture. Our online campaign focuses on the theme: “Small actions, Big impact: Using allyship to strengthen our culture.” We recognize that to enhance our organizational culture, we must first learn about the areas that need improvement. Increasing the representation of Black women in leadership positions and Black men across the agency are two areas in urgent need of improvement. We believe that allyship is the cornerstone of true diversity and inclusion, and it is crucial to enhancing inclusion across the agency. So, as we recognize game changers and change agents who have contributed to inclusion at the NIH, we also recognize the importance of allies and those who have advocated for inclusion and supported their colleagues.

In celebration of Black History Month, I encourage us to take small actions as allies to invoke big change across the agency. Visit EDI's website, Twitter, Instagram, and Blog pages to view our online campaign, learn more about allyship, the small actions you can take as an ally, and how you can help enhance the culture of inclusion at NIH.


Treava Hopkins-Laboy
Acting Director

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