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Hear From Our Knowsters In Honor Of Black History Month

March 28, 2022

Every February, the United States celebrates Black History Month to honor the history, triumphs, adversities, and contributions of Black Americans. At KnowBe4, we continue to build a diverse workplace culture where all Knowsters can be their authentic selves, including our Black and African American communities. In today’s blog, we hear from some of our Black Knowsters Network Employee Resource Group on what this month means to them.Screen Shot 2022-02-01 at 1.12.23 PM

Meet Crystal, Snr. People Operations Specialist

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What has your career journey at KnowBe4 looked like? My journey at KnowBe4 so far has been exciting, fascinating, and informative.

What does Black History Month mean to you? Black History Month means recognition and appreciation; a time to recognize the contributors to Black history and be thankful for everyone who paved the way for the freedoms I have today.

This year, our theme at KnowBe4 is Black History Music. Is there any genre or artist that has made an impact on your life? Gospel music has always impacted my life growing up. I remember as a child listening to Clark Sisters, Bebe and Cece Winans, and many others. Gospel music opened the door for me to learn about many other genres of music that I love and enjoy, such as jazz, r&b, rock and roll, and pop.

During Black History Month, we are highlighting our Knowsters' favorite Black-owned businesses. Do you have one that you would like to share? One of my favorite Black-owned businesses is Kingston 11 Cuisine in Oakland, California.

 

Meet Larry, Regional Enterprise Account Manager

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What has your career journey at KnowBe4 looked like?

In my career journey, there have been unbelievable amounts of training to understand and appreciate the process at KnowBe4.  It was definitely a "crawl, walk, and run fast" process. Being in sales at KnowBe4 is different from any place I've sold before. It has been a good fit for me because I've always been a technical salesperson. KnowBe4 has allowed me to use my experience in sales and sales engineering every day. It was a struggle initially to choose where to be creative and where to replicate what has been successful. Once I found that balance, I was able to become highly successful in SMB and was eventually promoted to enterprise sales.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black History Month is really important in reminding people how far we've come, but also how far we have to go. It's particularly important now, in my opinion, because we are finally able to hear more accurate, alternative accounts of the things people of color have overcome. We can now do this without blame or hatred of the descendants of those that perpetrated these atrocities. Black History Month is a celebration of the success of Black people in spite of our roadblocks placed by institutions and individuals. We are not there yet, but as long as we keep getting up, I believe there will be a day when we don't need one month a year to celebrate and remind others.

This year, our theme at KnowBe4 is Black History Music. Is there any genre or artist that has made an impact on your life?

I have lived with R&B as the soundtrack of my life. As a brass musician, I particularly like horn sections, lyrics you can understand, that encourage and inspire. For me, that's Earth, Wind and Fire, Kool & the Gang, Tower of Power...I love great ballads... Luther, Whitney, John Legend, Anita Baker, Isley Brothers, Aicia, Gladys Knight, Sade... And when I want to jam, nobody does it better than Prince, Michael, and more recently, Bruno and Beyonce. My playlist also includes blue-eyed soul music from Adele, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, John Mayer, Sting, and others.

During Black History Month, we are highlighting our Knowsters' favorite Black-owned businesses. Do you have one that you would like to share?

I have a story about a neighborhood elementary-aged kid who is always running in the street with his brothers and sisters. He came up after watching me sweating through my weekly lawn ritual during the summer and asked if he could help. Little did I know his father owned a lawn business. He borrows his dad's equipment and now does in 20 minutes what used to take me 2 hours.  All for a reasonable price. The bonus for me is I'm helping a young Black kid understand how to run his own little business.  We can all look for opportunities to give a hand up to our brothers and sisters. It's a small thing for me, but it's a big opportunity for them.

 

Meet Tanisha, Tech Support Tier 1

Image from iOS (113)What has your career journey at KnowBe4 looked like? I recently began my journey here, so I'm a newbie! My new role has been challenging at times while adjusting, but I am learning a lot!

What does Black History Month mean to you? It’s great that Black history in America is recognized and celebrated! We have made strides which is an amazing thing.

This year, our theme at KnowBe4 is Black History Music. Is there any genre or artist that has made an impact on your life? I am a Black Latina. My entire family is made up of beautiful immigrants from Latin America, specifically the Dominican Republic and Panama, so a genre that has been a part of me my whole life is bachata and salsa. Check out Joe Veras, Celia Cruz, Sech, and Antony Santos for amazingly talented Black artists from Latin America.

 

Meet Durant, VP of KCM Sales

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What has your career journey at KnowBe4 looked like?

My time at KnowBe4 has been at a super fast pace with a ton of growth. I started as an SMB Regional Account Manager and in less than a year moved over to the KCM team. When I began with KCM in late 2018, there were three total reps selling KCM. Today, there are 11 sales reps with plans for growth. In four short years, I’ve seen KnowBe4 grow rapidly and my ascension followed suit. 

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black History Month is an important time to give recognition and thanks to an entire culture that has given so much to society yet tends to be the last to be rewarded or recognized for those contributions. Whether it be agriculture, technology, entertainment, etc., there are Black people at the core of innovation and success. This is a moment in time to highlight the contributions of an incredible group of people but also a reminder to be more intentional about the importance of inclusion and equity.

This year, our theme at KnowBe4 is Black History Music. Is there any genre or artist that has made an impact on your life?

I’m all about soulful sounds when it comes to music. Recently, I’ve been into a lot of future-soul which is essentially a subgenre of R&B; artists like Smino, Xavier Omar, Elhae, and Dimitri Moore to name a few. From an impact standpoint, I believe that the mood and temperature of music can contribute to your energy so the smooth and soulful tones support the mind state I choose to maintain.

During Black History Month, we are highlighting our Knowsters' favorite Black-owned businesses. Do you have one that you would like to share?

A Black-owned business very close to my heart is called Noite Rose. This is a luxury loungewear line that my wife and I launched in October 2021. The whole purpose of the line is to provide women with a house dress/moo-moo/ big shirt they can wear in the home but still be stylish and more importantly they all have pockets! We’ve sold out once already so things are going very well! You can check our company on Instagram @noite.rose.

 

Meet Camisia, QA Content Review Specialist

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What has your career journey at KnowBe4 looked like?
My career journey has only begun! I feel fortunate that I was onboarded prior to our amazing holiday party at Universal Studios. Shortly after I joined, I attended the Courseware Innovation Summit, where I was able to meet my team in person which was awesome!

What does Black History Month mean to you?

To me, Black History Month means a time of recognizing our ancestors and our peers, inspiring and reinvigorating ourselves for the journeys of our lifetimes. It means acknowledging the uncomfortable aspects of our present and it gives us an opportunity to newly devote ourselves to the practice of justice.

This year, our theme at KnowBe4 is Black History Music. Is there any genre or artist that has made an impact on your life?
Absolutely! Reggae has made an impact on my life, hands down. Reggae music was the lifeblood of my upbringing. It has poeticized the protests of generations. It has traveled continents, made a powerful contribution to many genres, and has been a unique interlocutor. I have always loved the classics, such as Bob Marley and the Wailers, Peter Tosh, and Third World. I've also loved the contemporaries, such as Chronixx, Protoje, as well as Latin reggae, Akila!

During Black History Month, we are highlighting our Knowsters' favorite Black-owned businesses. Do you have one that you would like to share?

Yes, thank you for asking. I’d like to recommend two! Firstly, Kweli.tv is a start-up streaming service specializing in global indie Black content founded by a Black woman, Deshuna Spencer. Next, BlackandGreen is an all-natural marketplace by Black artisans. This business is of special interest to our EarthBe4 group which focuses on our sustainability efforts at KnowBe4.

 

Meet Quinton, Tech Support Coordinator

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What has your career journey at KnowBe4 looked like?
My career journey has been great! I started off in the Jumpstart Program and was hired in another position within the company which allowed me to learn something new. Throughout my time at KnowBe4, I've met new people that have helped me become better and have paved a way for me to go to college to further my career.

What does Black History Month mean to you?
Black History Month is a constant reminder of how far African Americans have come, and how you can achieve anything that you put your mind to no matter what your circumstances are.

This year, our theme at KnowBe4 is Black History Music. Is there any genre or artist that has made an impact on your life?
Tupac Shakur has made an impact on my life because he always stayed true to himself and to what he believed in. No matter what he was going through at the time he stood on his morales which he learned from his mother who was a part of the Black Panthers. Also, he was more than just a rapper to people. He talked about real-life problems within the world and was trying to make a change.

During Black History Month, we are highlighting our Knowsters' favorite Black-owned businesses. Do you have one that you would like to share?
Jenesis Naturals is a Black-owned business that helps people boost their immune systems. There is an ingredient in the drink called sea moss which contains 92 out of 102 minerals that the human body needs. It also is a natural detox for your body with a lot of health benefits. Perfect Piece Studio is a Black-owned, female-owned local business in Clearwater, Florida. It is a full-service salon that specializes in natural hair care, make-up, and photography.

Stay tuned throughout the month of February on @KB4People, where we will continue to amplify the voices of our Black Knowsters and community to our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 


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