Triumphs and Creativity at the Center of this Month’s Black History Events

Members of Audible's Black Employee Network gather together smiling.

This month Audible celebrated Black history, creativity, joy, wellness, and resilience with panels and events hosted by our employee-led impact group, the Black Employee Network (BEN). We also collaborated with Black creators to release new Audible Originals from Newark’s mayor and from one of our own employees.

We kicked off Black History Month with a virtual roundtable discussion for employees, “Career Paths and Lessons Learned,” moderated by Audible’s Multicultural Content Programming Lead and BEN co-founder Abby West. The panel brought together leaders from Audible, Amazon Music, Amazon Web Services and MoCaFi, one of Newark Venture Partners’ start-up accelerator successes, as they shared insights, experiences, and advice.

Four Audible employees featured in the video
Audible employees talk about BEN and what Black History Month means to them.

We launched some truly thrilling collaborations with Black creators, including Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka, whose Audible Original The Book of Baraka, was the subject of both an Audible Live discussion with our Executive Editor Christopher Farley as well as a virtual evening event with fellow Newark native Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian’s African-American History and Culture Museum.

In a LinkedIn Live, Coach Pamela Mitchell spoke about her Audible Original Mastering the Skill of Reinvention, a step-by-step guide to personal and professional reinvention that includes advice she’s shared with clients for nearly twenty years.

Audible Editors curated listens raising up Black voices in stories of struggle and triumph. Among these is a brand new Audible Original by one of our very own editors, Yvonne Durant, whose memoir, Quite the Contrary recounts her experience as the only Black woman in a Mad Men-esque advertising landscape and her romance with Miles Davis. We also announced exciting collaborations like the new Words + Music release from hip-hop pioneer and co-founder of Public Enemy Chuck D., Songs That Shook the Planet, and a slate of new releases coming from Charlamagne tha God and Kevin Hart.

Employees enjoyed a virtual watch party featuring the critically acclaimed movie One Night in Miami, the fictional account of one (real) night in which Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown gathered and discussed their roles in the Civil Rights Movement and the cultural upheaval of the 1960s. Employees also attended Coqual’s virtual presentation, “Black History Month and Lessons from the Year So Far.” The nonprofit think tank shared findings from its report Being Black in Corporate America and explored solutions to historically entrenched barriers to health and wellness resources.

In support of our Newark neighborhood, BEN joined forces with the “I Have a Dream” Foundation–New Jersey to create volunteer opportunities for Audible employees with the 13th Avenue School in Newark’s Central Ward.

In this series of videos, BEN members shared what they look to honor during this month as well as how their voices contribute to a workplace culture of belonging. As BEN co-lead St. Jules Desir says, “Audible continues to make a conscious effort to support the Black community through hiring initiatives, community programs within Newark and partnering with BEN to create an open and honest safe space for Black employees and allies.”