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New Traditions and Timeless Celebrations Mark P&W's Black History Month

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Connecticut and Georgia African American Forums hosted a variety of events and activities throughout February in recognition and celebration of Black History Month.

"Black history is American history, and as a Pratt & Whitney employee, we celebrate our history every day. There are examples all around us of individuals who are doing innovative things and changing the face of aviation as an industry," said Shangari Meleschi, senior director, Supply Management. "It is a great time to be a part of Pratt & Whitney and celebrate Black History Month. I think as a corporation we really champion it and make it a celebratory experience for all."

Martha Toler, welder, Rolled Ring Assemblies, is one of many Pratt & Whitney employees who put in the extra time and effort to celebrate Black History Month. Toler, who has worked at Pratt & Whitney for more than 50 years, was inspired to create a Black History Month Display on the shop floor after attending the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

"And when I was able to attend the inauguration of the first African, black president, I was standing in the gap for my grandparents and my mother and father," said Toler. "From that day forward, I do more and more over the years to make this joyful for people."

"A lot of it is from Kenya or Ghana. The Kente cloths are from Ghana. I like to share what I have learned with my coworkers and others. So Black History Month means an awful lot to me," said Betty Wright, senior analyst, Financial Planning & Analysis.

"Black History Month represents to me all the things that our forefathers and mothers did prior to this date," said Henry Blade, mechanist/fabricator, Rolled Wing Assemblies.

"Black History Month at Pratt & Whitney for the time that I have been here has been such an exhilarating experience," said Saeed Jackson, supervisor, Combustor Admin. "It brings all the people together to come and see what the culture brings from Africa and from African Americans … and just like I said to see all the innovation and the work that people have done. It's good to see people get around and come and look at the display, grab candy, read the books, and look at the pictures. Just to see what people have done around here."

"Our company is very good about inclusion, and it means the recognition of the accomplishments of all our people that represent our company," said Ray Lindsay, senior director, F135 Sustainment. "As a Pratt & Whitney employee, the fact that we have taken our time to come forth and say thanks to the accomplishments of any group of people means a lot. And this is just one representation of that that talks about the inclusion of our company."

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