Representation, education, and celebration were abundant as we culminated Black History Month 2024. On the last day of the February, our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee hosted a reception at our main office on Washington Avenue Extension. We took the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of Black Americans throughout history, and also those of our Living Resources family.

The event began with socializing and connecting with each other over juice and cookies, catching up with old friends, getting to know new ones, and rejoicing in each other’s accomplishments. Then Michelle Bynoe, a member of the DEI Committee, illuminated the final months of Dr. Martin Luther King’s life and his impact on our country through the reading of select poems from the book, “Martin Rising: Requiem for a King,” written by Andrea Davis Pinkney.

Finally, we were thrilled to host the Elite Barbetts, a team of extremely talented young dancers aged 13 and over. According to Stacey Porter, the operations manager of the Barbetts, as well as a Residential QIDP / Residential Habilitation Coordinator at Living Resources, the Barbetts were established in Albany in 2017. She said, “Our girls have gained a variety of life building skills while being a part of this team. We are more a family/safe place of unity than a dance team. We have advocated for families, tutored children with education needs, redirected behaviors, and helped with life skill building and job advocacy.”

A special thank you to our DEI Committee for their enthusiasm and commitment to fostering a workplace that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion. Not only did they adorn our main office with inspirational posters, banners, hand-outs, and books in honor of #BlackHistoryMonth, they created and distributed online trivia quizzes to all our employees, inviting them to participate and giving them the opportunity to win prizes of books, gift cards to local Black-owned businesses, and tickets to area events.