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ELC Honored Black History Month with Slate of Inspiring Events

The company recently celebrated Black History Month with an exciting lineup of programming


A nationwide celebration of myriad accomplishments, contributions and cultural influences by African-Americans across the United States. Inspired by these achievements, and in keeping with the company’s commitment to foster a community of inclusion both inside and outside of the office, The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) celebrated Black History Month with an exciting lineup of programming for US-based employees.

Black, Brown and Beyond: The Beauty of our Diaspora

At the heart of the month’s programming was a capstone event, entitled “Black, Brown and Beyond: The Beauty of our Diaspora.” The event was hosted by the company’s Network of Black Leaders and Executives (NOBLE) Employee Resource Group in partnership with the Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) and North America Local and Cultural COE’s.  Both the programming and the discussion followed themes of identity, culture, beauty and change and featured a diasporic menu, cocktails sponsored by Crown Royal, experiential programming, and a live panel discussion.

The panel was moderated by the Global Beauty Director at Essence, Julee Wilson, featuring SVP of Global Marketing at MAC Cosmetics, Ukonwa Ojo; actress and recording artist Naturi Naughton; model, film maker and activist Gelila Bekele; Miss Universe, Zozibini Tunzi; and photographer, creative director and co-founder of TONL and Street Etiquette, Joshua Kissi. Panelists spoke about the diversity of Black people, the driving force of Black culture, and driving change in the community globally.

Attendees navigated experiences that celebrated Black culture including the Culture Creators museum, the Change Agents wall in partnership with Global Citizen, and an ELC Beauty Bar featuring ELC products that are top sellers in Black communities globally.

A Conversation with Minda Harts

In addition to the capstone event, ELC’s I&D COE hosted an intimate keynote address from the inspiring Minda Harts, author of the book The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table. Harts spoke about managing talent; creating equitable, inclusive work environments; developing pathways for professional development and championing intersectional inclusion and diversity.

The Beauty of our Diaspora: Black, Brown and Beyond

Take a look at ELC’s Black History Month capstone event, a celebration of identity, culture, beauty and change

Just Mercy Movie Screening

ELC and NOBLE also hosted a theater buyout for employees to view the film “Just Mercy,” a legal drama based on civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson’s work to free a wrongly condemned death row prisoner. Opening remarks were given Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Dierdre Stanley. The film screening was followed by an engaging discussion with actor Rob Morgan, who portrays Herbert Richardson in the film; Jacqueline Jones Peace, Senior Attorney and Development Director for the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI); and moderated by De’Ara Balenger, a disruptor, creative, and strategist for brands and organizations on social impact, partnerships, philanthropy, and community engagement.  Employees were gifted Stevenson’s memoir “Just Mercy” in an effort to continue the conversation and to learn more about criminal justice reform. 

Beauty Beyond Boundaries

To close the month, M∙A∙C Cosmetics hosted “Beauty Beyond Boundaries, M∙A∙C Beyond February.” The program featured a product experience and a live panel discussion that explored the key drivers of Black culture and beauty, how Black creatives are engaging with their audiences, and what stories are resonating most within the Black community. Moderated by Jasmin Courtney, Executive Director, Marketing Consumer Insights, M∙A∙C., panelists included: Ashley Rudder, Director, Digital Content & Artistry, M∙A∙C; Danielle Cadet, VP, Content Strategy and Development and Managing Editor, Refinery29 Unbothered; Imani Ellis, Founder, The Creative Collective NYC and CultureCon; and Maya Allen, Digital Beauty Editor, Marie Claire.

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