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New Black employee resource group launches at Samsung Austin Semiconductor

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Samsung Austin Semiconductor welcomed its newest employee resource group (ERG), the Black Employee Network, at a celebration May 8. This new group joins Women in Technology at Samsung, the Military Appreciation Group and the Pride ERG as an additional opportunity for employees to nurture a sense of belonging within the company. “It is an honor to announce that Samsung Austin Semiconductor has a new employee resource group,” said Hampton James, one of the executive sponsors. “We are pleased to work for a company that has focused on creating ERGs to support the diversity and inclusion initiatives that are central to Samsung’s values. These initiatives allow employees to be who they are without fear, harassment or discrimination.”
Aveonne Whitney, left, and Hampton James, executive co-sponsors along with Martin Thierry (not pictured). The vision of the Black Employee Network is to increase awareness of Black culture and influence at Samsung Austin Semiconductor; foster a community for Black employees and allies through networking, mentoring, and professional development; and represent the organization publicly through recruiting and community outreach. “Employees like me who have been at Samsung Austin Semiconductor for nearly two decades are so happy to see the company welcome this new ERG,” La Toya Morrison said, who has been with the company for 17 years. “I’m not just excited for experienced employees, but I want new employees to know from the moment they walk through the doors they have the company’s support and our ERG members.” La Toya will co-chair this new organization with Iyayi Agbontaen and Chris Morrison (no relation).
Black Employee Network Co-Chairs, from left to right: Iyayi Agbontaen, La Toya Morrison and Chris Morrison With civic outreach as an integral part of the new organization’s mission, the Black Employee Network invited community guests to this event, including Shauntice Rutley from the Austin Area Urban League and Dr. Tajah Gross, the chief equitable and innovation officer from Manor Independent School District. Both the Austin Area Urban League and Manor ISD are Samsung Austin Semiconductor community partners. “We are an ally in order to make sure our communities’ needs are met, “said Rutley. “Samsung, thank you for all that you do for our community.” Last summer, Chris Morrison, a supervisor in our Implant Unit, and his son, participated in Austin’s Juneteenth parade for the first time as part of Samsung Austin Semiconductor’s float. 

Chris Morrison and his son at the 2022 Juneteenth Parade “I felt it was important to show the community that there is representation at Samsung Austin Semiconductor. People often want to see someone that looks like them to make a company or situation more approachable,” Chris said. 
 After being involved in the parade, Chris said that's when it clicked for him to really help organizing the process to create a Black ERG. This year, Chris and ERG members are excited to collaborate with the Community Affairs Team to plan and participate in local Juneteenth activities. The group also plans to provide mentoring programs for new recruits, develop programming for leadership advancement and reach out to young students to get them excited about a career in STEM. The ERG is looking forward to fulfilling its mission by continuing community outreach and collaborating with other ERGs.