Celebrating Black History Month with Extu

Celebrating Black History Month with Extu

Savannah Bobo

Celebrating Black History Month with Extu

Black History Month isn’t just corporate lip-service to us here at Extu. We want to take time to challenge our assumptions. We want to see how we can do better. Most importantly, we want to elevate Black voices and celebrate the corporate culture and success that results from having a diverse, inclusive workforce.

Diversity Equals Growth

Did you know that, since 2003, studies have consistently found that greater company diversity leads to greater company results?

Diverse businesses are


more profitable.

Celebrating Black History Month with Extu
  • A 2003 peer-reviewed study published in Corporate Governance found that “board diversity is positively associated with [return on asset and investment] indicators of firm performance.”
  • The effect of shared ethnicity reduces an investment’s comparative success rate by 26.4% – 32.2%, according to a study published in Harvard Business Review.
  • A McKinsey analysis found that companies in the top-quartile of racial and cultural diversity are 36% more profitable than those in the next-highest category.

The numbers don’t lie. At Extu, we’ve directly experienced the benefits of diversity in terms of performance, collaboration, and innovation. We want to keep up this kind of company culture by talking about Black History Month and what it means to us.

Extu on Black History Month

Let’s hear from Kaira Harris, our HR Coordinator and Office Assistant:

Hello everyone, my name is Kaira Harris and, to me, Black History Month means change and opportunity.

I am a member of the largest African-American sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is an organization of college-educated women committed to the constructive development of its members and to public service with a primary focus on the Black community. Ever since our founding back in 1913, we have been all about volunteering, giving back, and actively making a change in our communities.

This Black History Month, I challenge you to get out there and make a change, no matter how big or small.

Our Chief Marketing Officer, Nichole Gunn, tells us about supporting local Black-owned vegan restaurants:

Hey, everyone! It’s Nichole Gunn, Chief Marketer over at Extu. We are pumped this month because it is Black History Month and today I’m here to share with you some of my favorite, delicious, Black-owned businesses.

Food is a huge expression of culture. A lot of people don’t realize this, but we have a lot of Black-owned, vegan food businesses here in Atlanta. As a 15-year vegan and my husband a 30+ year vegan, this becomes incredibly important to us and to our lifestyle. Not to mention, it is absolutely delicious.

Today, I want to share with you a couple of my top faves in no particular order, starting with Slutty Vegan.

We all know Slutty Vegan’s owner Pinky Cole. If you live in Atlanta and if you’re in the vegan community, you’ve most certainly heard of this restaurant. A lot of people talk about the experience. But, just so we’re all on the same page—even for you meat-eaters—the burgers are delicious. Most importantly, the burger sauce—absolutely delicious!

The next business I’d like to talk to you about is Tassili’s Raw Reality. It’s a little healthier, but it’s absolutely fantastic. It’s over in the west end. The best kale wraps—with a twist! Go check them out, you’ll see what I mean. It’s all in the name.

A third is Soul Vegan [now Planted Soul]. Soul Vegan has beautiful people with beautiful food. You should certainly go and visit. Try some of their recipes; can’t go wrong there.

And next I’d like to talk about some of the Atlanta vegan food trucks, as well as some of the vendors who show up to the food truck parks and different vegan events that take place in Atlanta.

The first: Oh Yeah, It’s Vegan. Best lasagna and greens in Atlanta.

Next, Avant Garde’n. [Chef Aja] is a dear, dear soul. She’s absolutely wonderful, just like her banana pudding. The best I’ve ever had!

Gas Food Truck: burgers, burgers, burgers! They’re stacked high, they’ve got all kinds of delicious toppings. You should certainly look into them.

Sunni Speaks Vegan is another great business. She has a really interesting story. What I love about her is she cooks a lot of traditional Black recipes. Things I had never had before, like pig’s feet. Not something I typically saw on the dinner table. However, her food is really, really good. Phenomenal vegetables.

And the last, Grass VBQ. You’re gonna see, if you go to their website, it says that they’re shut down. But the owner pops up at some of the different events downtown. Hands down, best vegan wings and barbeque I’ve ever had.

So I highly recommend you check out these locally Black-owned businesses. I promise you, they’re worth every calorie! Thank you, and happy Black History Month!

Our Human Resources Generalist, Shea Simmons, had this to say:

Black History Month is an opportunity to reclaim the narrative. For one month, there is a keen focus on the historical understanding of challenges, accomplishments, and resiliency of African Americans. It’s a time to educate, celebrate, and walk in your authenticity as we are reminded that our freedom was paid for with the bloodshed of our ancestors and, for them, I persevere—pushing onward and upward.

Did You Know…?

Ready to take a moment to learn about the accomplishments of Black Americans? Check out these facts:

  • Sarah Boone, who was born a slave in 1892, expanded upon the original ironing board, which was initially just a wooden block. Boone, who was one of the first Black women in U.S. history to get a patent, improved the ironing board by adding a narrowed and curved design, making it easier to use.
  • Garrett Morgan, with only an elementary school education, was a prolific Black inventor. Morgan’s most impactful idea was what we know today as the common traffic signal. After witnessing a horrible car accident, Morgan came up with the idea to add a “yield” or “caution” light. After Morgan’s three-light system was first used in the 1920s, it was quickly adopted across the nation.
  • The invention of the lightbulb is attributed to Thomas Edison, but did you know a Black man named Lewis Latimer invented carbon filaments for lightbulbs? This resulted in longer-lasting lightbulbs. Until this point, combustible materials like bamboo were used and lightbulbs could last only a few days. Latimer went on to work with Thomas Edison at Edison Electric Light Company.
  • Extu is headquartered in Atlanta, birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s especially important to us to honor the achievements of our local Black leaders and influencers. One of Atlanta’s most influential people was James Tate, who opened the first Black-owned business in Atlanta. Tate is known as the Father of Black Business in Atlanta.

What Does Black History Month Mean to You?

This month, we encourage you to reflect on what Black History Month means to you, both professionally and in your personal life. Take this time to listen to Black stories and perspectives. We’d love to hear from you on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram!