Black History Month 2024: Celebrating Contributions, Acknowledging the Journey Continues

By CXPA Admin posted 18 days ago


As we begin Black History Month in the United States, CXPA joins in paying tribute to the contributions of Black Americans to society and the advancement of the customer field while acknowledging there is still much to do to achieve equity and inclusion for all.

Understanding and respecting customer differences is a cornerstone of customer experience, but history shows us that Black Americans have not always felt welcome by business. As Professor Gary David remarked during a powerful program organized by the CXPA Atlanta and Boston networks, “The Civil Rights movement was filled with people who were not only trying to argue for their personhood but arguing for their personhood through their status of being a customer." The insights from the program, which you can view here, continue to resonate today.

A Google search shows that while many companies are making commitments to better welcome and serve Black customers, there are still far too many instances where Black customers do not have a good experience. Perhaps one of the reasons we are seeing these commitments to improvement is the growth and advancement of Black Americans into CX leadership roles. At CXPA, we are thankful for and celebrate these talented, committed leaders, including those in our 2023 series sharing reflections from Black American CX members. Despite this, black and minority individuals are still severely underrepresented in CX senior leadership positions.

The lack of equitable customer experience is not limited to Black customers. The same can be said for other people of color, individuals in the LGBTQIA+ community, and individuals of different religious affiliations. A recent social media post shared a very eye-opening issue that individuals in the above communities must consider when traveling:

2024 Diversity Advancement Chair, Emily Vernon, CCXP, shared, “This is the effort we do not see from our customers. This invisible research they must undertake to ensure their safety when traveling to other destinations. Let us learn from this by asking ourselves, is there something our customers are doing with which we can aid?”

As CX professionals, how can we contribute to ensuring a great customer experience for all marginalized groups?  One resource that can help you start the conversation is CXPA’s free Building Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness into a Customer Experience Ecosystem e-book. As you are reading, you may be asking yourself, “What can I do, I’m only one person?” Start by sharing this post with your network as a show of support. Share updates on what you have done and how you will challenge yourself to do better in the future. Keep the conversation going.

Despite change that has occurred in recent years, clearly there is still a long journey ahead of us. As the late US Congressional Representative and transformational civil rights leader John Lewis once said, “Take a long, hard look down the road you will have to travel once you have made a commitment to work for change. Know that this transformation will not happen right away. Change often takes time.”  We must remain committed to continuing to build on the progress that has been made.

We invite you to join us in celebrating Black History Month by working to ensure that Black Americans, as well as other marginalized groups, feel appreciated, welcomed, and seen by you as individuals and as customers — as well as valued members of the CXPA community. Let us continue working together to make the world more welcoming and equitable!