Black History Month 2022 | Devon Winder
Our third Black History Month interview highlights Devon Winder, an SSC Unit Director. Devon not only has a passion for black history, but also for encouraging his teams, communities, and the next generation to learn more about notable figures and share their own stories. Read on to learn more about the people and experiences who have shaped him, and how he works to inspire others to learn more about black history.
What does Black History Month mean to you, and why is it important that we celebrate it within SSC?
Black History Month means acknowledgment, accolades, appreciation and so much more. From recognizing the struggles individuals went through, to the inventions made by black individuals, to black pride in general, to what we have accomplished to this day. I believe it is important that we continue to celebrate it, and that we celebrate it within SSC so that we help keep the history alive. It is a great chance to have people learn about it and engage in celebration with us.
Who are some of the notable figures in black history that inspire you?
Martin Luther King Jr., of course, but also Malcolm X. Malcolm X stands out to me because he went from street hustler to religious leader, and after that conversion took place, he lived the things that he learned and continued to talk about them. He always stood on truth, no matter what the consequences were.
Who are some of the notable figures in black history at SSC that inspire you?
Larry Boykins, who is with SSC in Desoto Texas. He has been a mentor to me and has given me a lot of advice since I came down here. He has been one of my great colleagues who has helped to show me around Dallas.
How do you strive to instill inspiring ideas and a passion for black history in your team and community?
The main way that I strive is by continuing to have a conversation about our history and why we celebrate it. Those ideas where people want to help with that story and how that story is painted, I am always open to supporting those things. It is important to me, and us as a people, that we continue to inspire people to celebrate not only at SSC but also within our communities and within our families. Unfortunately, I would say that we don’t see our younger generation really understanding a lot of what has been accomplished within black history. By simply passing on the information and continuing to have the conversation, we can drive it down to the local level. People don’t know where you come from unless you share your story or a piece of your history. When you share, people get a better grasp on why you think and say what you do, and live the way that you live.
How are you encouraging the next generation to create a more diverse and inclusive world?
I believe this is best done through positive conversation, awareness, and balancing our lenses- how we see the world, how we view people, and how we view culture. If we embrace and promote these things, we can create a better world for everyone.
What is one thing that makes you proud to work at SSC?
I feel like I am part of a company that truly cares about people. SSC is people driven and certainly focused on diversity and inclusiveness.
What kind of mark do you want to leave on SSC?
If I could leave any sort of mark on SSC, that mark would be that someday, I would be the person voted in to be the first African American CEO.