Exactly three years ago this month, I recorded a video for Life at CGI where I talked about being excited to be labeled a Black professional—about how Black History Month, for me, was about celebrating being myself, other Black coworkers and Black excellence.
I remember feeling that I was bringing more of my full self to the workplace and that I was excited to be called a Black professional. It also led me to think about the growth we still needed and the future we wanted to leave for the next generation, including my children.
I’m a Black professional, doing what I do
When I filmed the video in 2021, I had stopped worrying about whether I should cut my hair and decided to grow dreadlocks—which felt like an act of freedom. I put down the weight of asking myself what people thought of my hair. As my hair grew, I felt better and more confident in myself.
Since then, I’ve been promoted to Director and continued to have rewarding professional experiences in my eight years at CGI. In the meantime, my family has grown, leading me to think even more about the kind of society and workplaces I want our children to have.
Growing as a leader and mentor at CGI
I support the Nashville office by providing oversight to existing projects while helping our leadership team prepare for client engagements we're pursuing. I have become much more comfortable in my role as a leader and am still working to pursue mentorship opportunities with our teams any chance I get.
There are two things about my job that I love. First, I love that I get to invest in the people I work with. I am excited to mentor, coach, counsel and care for our members. I make space to be available and am excited to make mentoring a bigger part of what I do.
Second, I am grateful that I work for a company that gives me space to invest in my community. I love to serve different organizations with my time and talents. One group that I've been able to work with is From Your Father, an organization that provides support for single mothers and their families. They are doing amazing work, and I'm proud that I've had the opportunity to support them using my gifts as a consultant. I’ve been able to help create an operational guide to serve the team and leaders to understand their business and better plan for the future.
A culture of trust at CGI
My proudest achievement at CGI was delivering a multimillion-dollar project while overseeing a team of more than 40 people. I was able to lead the team to deliver on time and on budget. It was an enormous undertaking, and I grinned from ear to ear when we had our successful deployment.
However, success wasn't just the delivery, but also the growth of everyone on the team. I was most proud to see that everyone on the team grew exponentially from the time they started the project to the time they moved on to different and exciting opportunities to lead and help develop new teams.
I love the people I work with and the trust that is given. I'm able to work with amazing people who are brilliant and fun to be around while knowing that I am trusted to do the right thing every day. A lot of people can’t say that, and it's a reminder of how thankful I am for the people and leaders at CGI.
Family, faith and the future
Any time I'm not at work, I am with my family and my church. I love to spend time with my wife and two daughters, building with MAGNA-TILES, reading books, watching movies and playing games. At church, I serve as an elder, where I work with a team to pray for the needs and direction of the church. My greatest passion is Jesus. My faith drives everything that I do, and I'm always down to talk about my faith with other people at any time.
Otherwise, I am a nerd at heart. I love playing video games and reading manga. My wife and I also spend time getting tattoos, which is a new "hobby" of mine. I enjoy singing all the time, as my wife can attest. I mostly sing at home, but every so often, I get the opportunity to revisit the fun of musical theatre.
As my family has grown, I continue to envision a future where my daughters can be accepted and be who they are in every circle they run in. We still have work to do in the world, and there will be setbacks that slow down our pursuit of equity and inclusive working environments, but I'm happy to see the continued effort CGI has made and will continue making.
I want my work to be marked by excellence, and I’m focused on making a path for anyone—regardless of background, culture or diverse affiliation—to bring their best self to work and have an opportunity to grow and flourish.