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Promoting Allyship: Derrick’s Journey in Leadership and Black Heritage Advocacy at Dell Technologies

Derrick W. | Senior Consultant, Transformation PM Actions | Texas, United States

Originally Published: February 29th, 2024

I joined Dell Technologies in 2018 as a consultant after a ten-year career at Caterpillar. I am now a senior consultant leading cross-functional transformation to support the growth and modernization of Dell Technologies.

I joined BNA shortly after joining Dell in 2018. I currently serve as the co-lead of the Central Texas Black Network Alliance Chapter.

Originally from Pflugerville, Texas, I now reside in Houston, Texas. I obtained my Master of Business Administration from West Texas A&M University and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Distribution Management from Baylor University. I am married and have a three-year-old son and a five-year-old daughter. I am an avid Dallas Cowboys fan and enjoy spending valuable time with family and friends.

What do you love most about Black heritage and culture?

What I love most is the diversity of Black heritage and culture. Although it is ever-changing, it originates from an array of customs, traditions and beliefs. At a macro-level, societies across the globe have impacted Black culture including Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean and Europe. At a micro-level, there is a considerable influence on America’s Black heritage and culture, coast to coast. This is what makes Black heritage and culture so unique and what I love most.

Can you share a personal story or experience that highlights the significance of Black History Month in your life or career?

I recall attending the Bayou Classic in New Orleans, Louisiana throughout my teenage years. The Bayou Classic is the annual battle between Southern University and Grambling State University. The game was significant for my family, as I had family members on both sides of the battleground. The experience was special for me because it highlighted the significance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and the culture surrounding these institutions. There is an immense amount of history and pride associated with HBCUs, and unfortunately, it does not get highlighted enough. Black History Month is an opportunity for HBCUs and significant figures in history to be recognized for their contributions and sacrifices made for Black heritage and culture.

How has your involvement in the Black Networking Alliance ERG shaped your perspective on the importance of allyship and collaboration across different backgrounds and identities?

When I took the co-lead position in 2022, the team and I quickly recognized the need to increase our presence in order to make a bigger impact as an ERG. We have also made a concerted effort to host more collaborative events with other ERGs to drive allyship and sharing across diverse backgrounds. For example, in October, we partnered with the Latino Connection ERG to host a virtual event highlighting what it means to be Afro-Latino and discussed the intersectionality between Black and Latino cultures.

What are your hopes and aspirations for the future of Black history recognition and cultural understanding in our society, and how do you see yourself contributing to these goals?

I hope that more corporations and organizations continue to support their employees and recognize Black history and its cultural impact on society.

I aspire to drive support and understanding of Black history and culture throughout Dell Technologies. I believe it is important to develop cultural intelligence. As an ERG, we have the opportunity to help others develop compassion for different opinions and perspectives. I will continue to lead our team in identifying innovative ways to inform our peers of Black history and culture. I believe when you develop cultural intelligence, the workplace is more productive.


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