ICT Executive Director Message
Black History Month
This month, we celebrate and honor Black History Month, but we should all remember that black history is an inseparable part of American history, and black history should be embraced, recognized, and discussed for more than 28 days. Over the last nearly 225 years, a multitude of races, nationalities, cultures, and peoples have created our country’s mosaic, our stories, and our shared history. The story of America is its promise, as spelled out in the Declaration of Independence and its Constitution, and its ongoing and continuing struggle to live up to those historic and meaningful documents.
It is important to take time this month, and always, to commemorate the rich history of Black Americans in shaping our national landscape. Black history, while indelibly shaped by slavery, the failure of Reconstruction, Jim Crow and legalized segregation and discrimination, is so much more. It is a history rich in achievements, perseverance, and faith in the American ideal.
For a variety of reasons, the past several months have provided ample opportunity to reflect, celebrate and contemplate who we are and what it means to be Americans. In 2020, African-Americans, joined by others of all races, ethnicities, and religions, banded together to protest against racism and hatred. For some, this was a reminder of the civil rights marches of the 1960s. For others, it was a stark reminder that despite many changes and shifts in this country, there was still much work to do to move beyond our past.
In addition, during the last few months, the insurance industry has engaged in broader discussions on race and diversity within the industry. We should applaud those within the industry who are having these sometimes-uncomfortable conversations in an effort to increase understanding and open opportunities for meaningful dialogue for the betterment of our industry.
In closing, our appreciation for black history should not be limited to a single day or month of the year. Therefore, treat this Black History Month as an opportunity to explore beyond this February. This is an excellent opportunity as a national community to recognize and appreciate those who have come before us to achieve the mission and vision of protecting humanity no matter the gender, skin color, educational or socio-economic beginnings from which we come.
Albert Betts, Jr.