Black History Month: Amplifying Black Voices Within Our Community

Posted by Enlivant Support Center on February 14, 2023

This Black History Month, we find diversity and equity at the forefront of our social conscience and dialogue more than ever before. February is an important time to celebrate the many contributions Black citizens have made to society – especially those among our own Black leaders at Enlivant. 

Three employees within our Enlivant community are sharing their thoughts on inclusion, Black culture and history, and which songs by Black artists empower them and renew their spirits. Read on to meet them and learn more about their experiences … and listen to their pumped-up playlist!

Nicole Burrage – Accounts Receivable Analyst, Enlivant Support Center

Nicole has worked for the past 8 years as an Accounts Receivable Analyst at the Enlivant Support Center. With over 20 years’ experience, she takes pride in building a strong relationship with residents and their families, as well as her co-workers, based on the trust and knowledge she brings to her position. Throughout her 8 years at Enlivant, Nicole has enjoyed the comfortable, fun environment and culture, especially team building workshops. Outside of work, she prioritizes spending quality time with her family and is a proud grandmother to her new grandson!

What’s one thing about Black culture that makes you proud?

We have decided to finally come together and make a change nowadays with the movement Black Lives Matter. I can proudly say I participated in my first Black Lives Matter march in the summer of 2021 for Sandra Bland whom I knew personally. To proudly march with her family and Black Lives Matter people gave us and Black culture a voice which needed to be heard, especially in Washington. Due to the numerous peaceful marches, the Senate has passed a bill in her name (1849 Sandra Bland Act), and this is one of many things about Black culture that makes me proud.

How can leaders advocate for Black employees at Enlivant?

By creating an employee resource group to understand and talk about the issues we are facing in the world and at work, and to make sure we are heard and supported by the company we work for. 

When you think about Black history, what event or person inspires you?

The event and person who inspired me is Barack Obama in November 2008, when he became the 1st Black president. Seeing a Black family in the White House gave me a feeling of accomplishment, a sense of pride for our people; it felt like times are now changing, and we finally made it.

 Nicole and her grandson.

Alex Codio – Regional Director of Sales and Marketing, Georgia Region

Six years ago, Alex joined Enlivant to pursue a career path that offered him the opportunity to positively impact lives no matter what his role. Now as a Regional Director of Sales & Marketing for the Georgia Region, Alex directly influences the lives of our potential residents, current residents, and our employees. Alex’s parents emigrated from Haiti and met in New York, and Alex and his two brothers grew up speaking English at school and Creole at the dinner table. He has been married for 21 years to his beloved wife, Natalie, and they are blessed with four amazing children. 

What’s one thing about Black culture that makes you proud? 

The ingenuity and contributions to society that have emerged despite present and past adversity. 

How can leaders advocate for Black employees at Enlivant? 

I believe that the best way to advocate for Black employees at any organization is through the advancement of racial equity in senior level positions. People habitually invest in businesses, causes and people whom they stand behind. Recruiting, hiring, and promoting African American employees to senior level leadership positions is a sizable investment on our core value of Inclusion.

When you think about Black history, what event or person inspires you?

Martin Luther King, Jr. inspires me to dream bigger than my personal goals, current situation and beyond my “bucket list." The word legacy comes to mind when I think of Dr. King. He was a visionary that traded his accomplishments and personal comfort for a cause that would ultimately outlive him. 

 Alex and his family.

Hear our Black History Month soundtrack on Spotify!

Laura Lovell – Executive Director at Chandler Place

Laura started with Enlivant in 2020 as an Administrator in Training, becoming Executive Director at Chandler Place in Kendallville, Indiana, in 2021. At work, she’s able to express her love of helping others, impacting the lives of residents and employees alike. She also helps her local community too: Laura has served as board member for the Hobart Education Foundation and created a job readiness program at the Brick Porch youth organization for young adults ages 12-18.

What’s one thing about Black culture that makes you proud? 

One thing about Black culture that makes me proud is how rich and diverse our culture is. Our music and food is the best for sure. I love all kinds of music and I love cooking!

How can leaders advocate for Black employees at Enlivant?  

Leaders can advocate for Black employees by continuing to create a work culture that allows everyone to feel safe to express concerns and not feel that they will be looked at as weak or complaining but wanting fair treatment. Remembering that some leaders had a harder struggle to get to where they are because of the color of their skin. 

When you think about Black history, what event or person inspires you? 

Honestly there are so many events and people who have made their mark in history to ensure that Black people are treated equally. However, Martin Luther King Jr. always reminds me about a dream that he had, and it inspires me with the dream that I have to be a motivational support to anyone who needs it regardless of race, sex, age, or gender. 

 Laura and her family.