Board Member Tamara Béliard Rodriguez Discusses What Inspires Her About Black History Month

Join Our United Way in Hailing the Power of This Eminent Celebration

Black History Month is observed every February, but at United Way of Broward County, we celebrate the full spectrum of what it represents every single day throughout the year — the rich cultural heritage, the monumental triumphs over deep-rooted adversities, and the massive contributions across politics, science, education, art, architecture, entertainment and cuisine that are indelible parts of our country’s history.

We love Black History Month for so many reasons, and some of the main ones include:

  • celebrating the values of diversity, equity and unity
  • connecting us to reflection and commemoration
  • sharing stories and educating us about the incredible accomplishments of lesser-known figures that history books often overlook
  • teaching what we can do to build a stronger future for next generations

We recently had a conversation about the meaning of Black History Month with Tamara Béliard Rodriguez, author of two children’s books, the Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of Island TV and a new member of United Way of Broward County’s Board of Directors.

Q: What does Black History Month mean to you?
TBR: To me, Black History Month is a time of recognition, reflection, and celebration. It’s an opportunity to acknowledge and honor the rich and diverse contributions that Black individuals have made throughout history, often in the face of adversity and discrimination. It’s a chance to remember the struggles and sacrifices endured by generations of Black people as well as the ongoing fight for equality and justice. It’s a time to celebrate the achievements and successes of Black trailblazers, pioneers, and leaders who have broken barriers, shattered stereotypes and paved the way for future generations. From figures like Shirley Chisholm, who made history as the first African American woman elected to Congress, to individuals like Reginald DesRoches, who achieved milestones like becoming the first Black president of Rice University, Black History Month allows us to highlight and honor the accomplishments of Black people across various fields and industries.

Q: What are the different ways people in our community can celebrate Black History Month?
TBR: Here are some of ideas of how to participate:

  • Engage in educational events and discussions to learn about Black history and culture
  • Support Black-owned businesses and artists to promote economic empowerment
  • Attend cultural events and exhibitions showcasing Black talent and creativity
  • Reflect on the significance of Black History Month and have conversations about diversity and inclusion
  • Advocate for social justice and equality by volunteering, supporting organizations and being an advocate for change

Active participation in Black History Month celebrations fosters greater understanding, appreciation and inclusivity within our community. By engaging in these initiatives, we honor the contributions and struggles of the Black community as well as promote unity and progress for all. Embracing diversity and advocating for equality are essential steps toward creating a just, harmonious society where everyone can thrive.

Q; What motivated you to become a part of United Way of Broward County’s Board of Directors?
TBR: My motivation stems from a deep-seated commitment to addressing crucial issues and fostering equity within our community. I am proud to align myself with such an esteemed organization that fearlessly confronts challenging issues head-on and works tirelessly to ensure fairness and opportunity for all individuals. By serving on our United Way’s Board of Directors, I am contributing my efforts toward meaningful initiatives making a positive difference in the lives of people in need and promoting lasting social change. It’s an honor to be part of a collective effort dedicated to building an equitable and inclusive society for everyone.

Q: What are some highlights so far from your experience working with our Board and our team?
TBR: I recently attended the annual Rompiendo Estigmas event, and I was blown away by the impact on the over 300+ families. I am very excited to accompany our United Way as a member of the Creole Action Team, dedicated to reducing stigma and enhancing mental health resources for Haitians in Broward County. The coalition, comprised of experts and community members, aims to provide crucial support. And of course, I cannot wait for the Mayor’s Gala on April 27! It will be a night to remember.

Like community pioneer Tamara Béliard Rodriguez, you too can make a world of difference to Broward County by:

What does Black History Month mean to you? Post your reflections on your social channels and then use the hashtag #LiveUnitedBroward!