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American Airlines Celebrates Black History Month

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Marissa Horn – People Talent Acquisition Managing Director

© Image American Airline

American Airlines is celebrating Black History Month with numerous events and initiatives throughout February, including showcasing African-American aviation professionals.

On Saturday morning, Feb. 17, the African American Diversity Network (AADN) Employee Business Resource Group (EBRG) will host Flying with American, introducing elementary and middle school students in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to careers within the airline industry at the C.R. Smith Museum. African-American team members from all workgroups including Flight, Flight Service, Airports and Reservations, will be on site to share their personal stories about joining American Airlines, discuss what it takes to do their job day in and day out and host a question and answer session. During the event, African-American children’s author Larry Simmons Jr. will release his new book Flying Above Expectations, published by American Airlines team member Louie McClain, which tells the story of the Tuskegee airman.

“I feel proud to work for American and be part of 120,000 team members in more than 50 countries that are committed to celebrating and recognizing inclusion, diversity and equality,” said Patrick O’Keeffe, American’s Senior Vice President – People. “Each of these values are critical to creating lasting and meaningful experiences as we come together to serve one another, our customers and the community.”

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© Image American Airline

Other outreach efforts include:

  • For nearly 20 years American has sponsored the American Black Film Festival (ABFF). ABFF is the nation’s largest gathering of black film and television professionals and enthusiasts. We’re proud to partner with ABFF as it celebrates black culture and continues to create opportunities for people of color to achieve success in the entertainment industry.
  • This month, American also will showcase notable African-American film and TV shows on board as we pay tribute to the efforts of African-American actors, directors and producers.
  • The February issue of American Way, American’s award-winning inflight magazine, will include a “Perspective” featuring American’s Managing Director of Talent Acquisition, Marissa Horne. The article highlights her family’s deep history with American Airlines dating back to her grandfather’s hiring in the 1940s – a time when very few opportunities were presented to people of color.
  • The airline’s African American Diversity Network (AADN) will host a series of team member events in February to include a Black Business Expo at American’s headquarters and volunteer opportunities across the country. Team members will turn their volunteer hours into airline miles through American’s Flights for 50 program, whereby those who volunteer 50 hours of their time are eligible to earn a 25,000-mile reward certificate to give to the nonprofit of their choice. AADN team members plan to donate their miles to the UNCF.