Reflections from a CEO – Celebrating Black History

by William Goodloe, President & CEO, SEO

Black History Month is an opportunity to highlight the significant achievements and paramount contributions of African-Americans throughout U.S. history. Now, more than ever, we must raise our voices to celebrate and honor the culture shapers and Black leaders throughout history. During the month of February, SEO will feature notable Americans on our social media channels to educate and inspire.

Until the 1960s, most Black, Latinx, and Native American students were educated in segregated schools. These schools were funded at rates severely lower than those serving Whites, and Black students were excluded from many prominent colleges and careers entirely. Over 50 years later, not enough has changed – educational experiences for low-income students have continued to be substantially subpar and segregated by race and income.

SEO’s mission is to create a more equitable society for those who are underserved and underrepresented. Currently, only 20 percent of low-income students graduate college, compared to the national average of 60 percent. 90 percent of SEO Scholars graduate college!

Over the past several decades, SEO Career, SEO Law, and SEO Alternative Investments have helped to diversify coveted industries that were previously nearly entirely White. More than 80% of eligible participants secure full-time jobs in their desired field, and over 7,000 young people have participated in these programs.

The evidence is clear – diversity and inclusion enhance creativity, improve the bottom line, and results in a happier, more connected workforce. With the support of our donors and partners, SEO will continue focusing on leveling the playing field for young people through our four signature programs – SEO Scholars, SEO Career, SEO Law, and SEO Alternative Investments. Join us in celebrating Black History Month.

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