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A Message from Acting Chair Victoria A. Lipnic

Victoria A. Lipnic, Commissioner

Victoria A. Lipnic
Acting Chair

Post from Acting Chair Victoria A. Lipnic - February 2017

African American History Month 2017

February marks recognition of African American History Month for our nation.  I am delighted that one of my very first acts as Acting Chair of the EEOC is to celebrate and recognize this month and the achievements of African Americans in this country.

This year marks the first full year of operation for the National Museum of African American History and Culture - the latest Smithsonian to grace the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  In celebrating the struggles, sacrifices, bravery, and achievements of African Americans in this country - in every field of endeavor - I can do no better, this year, than to urge you to visit the museum.  (Yes, that is a shameless plug that the D.C. tourism bureau will love!  And, yes, you need more than one visit to fully take in the museum.)  There, on full display, in masterful exhibits, in sorrow and in triumph, is the full telling of our nation's history.

The museum stands on four pillars, and of them, it is the third that stands out to me:  "It explores what it means to be an American and share how American values like resiliency, optimism, and spirituality are reflected in African American history and culture."  Given where the museum begins to tell the story, that pillar is remarkable in and of itself.  The museum's mission statement best captures the experience of a visit:  "Ultimately, the museum should be a place of meaning, of memory, of reflection, of laughter, and of hope.  It should be a beacon that reminds us of what we were, what challenges we still face, and points us towards what we can become."

I can do no better.  Except to say that somewhere, the work of the people of the EEOC should be enshrined for what you have all done, for more than 50 years now, to help fulfill the promise of equal employment opportunity for African Americans. 

I urge all of you to celebrate and recognize African American History Month within your offices and communities.  And, by all means, visit the museum.

Best Regards,

Vicki Lipnic
Acting Chair