SER National Celebrates the Work of Hands and Hearts Transforming Our World

SER National Celebrates the Work of Hands and Hearts Transforming Our World

SER National proudly joins the nation in celebrating Black History Month. This month-long observance is a testament to the creative and artistic contributions made by African Americans that enrich the cultural fabric of our nation.

Ignacio Salazar, President and CEO of SER National, expressed his appreciation for the profound impact of African Americans on the United States, stating, “SER National and the SER Network of Affiliates proudly join in the month-long acknowledgment and appreciation for the creative and artistic contributions made to our nation by African Americans.” Salazar continued, “In every aspect of our society and every walk of life, our experience as a country savors foods, music, and pop culture inspired by the Black experience. Indeed, our nation is more beautiful because of the God-given talent, love, and labor expressed for centuries through the works of Blacks in the United States.”

From Harlem to Hollywood, Black artists have played a pivotal role in shaping the cultural landscape. Their creative expressions harmonize with the beats of progress, uplifting the race, speaking truth to power, and inspiring a nation. As we pay homage to Black History Month, let us celebrate the achievements of the past and acknowledge the work that lies ahead.

Salazar emphasized the diversity reflected within SER affiliates, stating, “SER affiliates reflect this same grace from their richly diverse leadership and staffs that warmly welcome all who walk through our doors daily irrespective of race, more than one million people annually.”

As we delve into the significance of Black History Month, it is essential to recognize its historical roots. Originating in the 1920s, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) founded a national Negro History Week. This week was strategically placed in the second week of February, aligning with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Over time, the celebration evolved, and by the late 60s, it transitioned into Black History Month. In 1976, President Ford officially designated February as Black History Month, solidifying a tradition that endures to this day.

Beyond the festivities, Black History Month serves as a reminder of the ongoing challenges related to race-related harassment and discrimination. Businesses celebrating Black History Month present a unique opportunity to initiate conversations about race, fostering awareness for Black and minority voices. SER National recognizes the importance of addressing these issues in society and the workplace.

Salazar concluded with a poignant call to action: “The greatest tribute we can pay to the many Black artists and professionals in America is to emulate their example through our daily works in our jobs, careers, and dealings with each other. In this way, our work transcends what we do as more than tasks and activities. Indeed, Black History Month is an opportunity to reflect and appreciate our greater purpose each day. Working together, our greatest collective art is the very strength of our labor diversity. May we then celebrate the shared benefits when we apply our skills and knowledge through the use of our minds and bodies in service to others for the betterment of our world. Bravo, Black History Month!”

SER National Commemorates MLK Day 2024: Shaping a Future of Self-Sufficiency and Service

SER National Commemorates MLK Day 2024: Shaping a Future of Self-Sufficiency and Service

SER National is proud to join the global community in honoring the life and impact of the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The King holiday observance provides us unique opportunities to unite in reflection and celebration on the meaning of equity and equality of America’s founding promise. MLK Day’s theme is, ‘Shifting the Cultural Climate through the Study and Practice of Nonviolence,” as did Dr. King throughout his life’s work.

“The theme of MLK Day is especially significant to us this year because it embodies what SER National has seen as its mission for 60 years,” says Ignacio Salazar, President and CEO. “Our more than one million plus participants we touch every year understand and are committed to the belief of self-help and initiative and come in a collaborative spirit to seek their pathway toward a future of self-sufficiency for themselves and their families. We are dedicated, as was Dr. King, to the improvement and transformation of our communities, one life, one person at a time,” says Salazar.

Also, SER National and the SER Network of Affiliates are aligned with the Department of Labor’s workforce development policies reflected in Executive Order 13985. This vision focuses on the importance of addressing the needs of workers who come from historically underserved communities. It is vital to be inclusive of every sector of our country’s workforce, including low-paid workers, women of color workers, LGBTQ+ workers, workers with disabilities, veterans, and immigrant workers. SER’s ultimate goal is to ensure that all working people and those seeking employment have the tools, opportunity, and voice to thrive in our society.

“There is no greater calling for us right now than service to others in meaningful ways that help improve the daily lives of the individuals in our programs,” says Salazar. “MLK Day reminds us that we are overcoming the seemingly insurmountable odds. At times, it may seem that the benefits are incremental, but step back, and you will see the larger impact. Work and purpose transform how individuals feel about themselves, inspiring us to continue as we have for six decades.”

As we observe MLK Day 2024, let us all be motivated by the spirit and actions of Dr. King, working collaboratively towards a future marked by self-sufficiency and service to others. Even more extraordinary, may we appreciate that every person’s life is worthwhile, has value before God, and can for one another.