Celebrating those making Black History today to shape tomorrow

Eileen Mitchell
February 26, 2021
Community Impact

Celebrating those making Black History today to shape tomorrow

We’re excited to celebrate Black History Month with interesting new perspectives from key voices from Chicago and Downstate Illinois. While you’re here, please take a minute to watch the new AT&T “Dream In Black” ad featuring LeBron James and frontline workers from Chicago. It’s part of Dream in Black’s celebration of Black Future Makers.

In addition, we’re excited to highlight that we delivered on our commitment to spend $3 billion with Black-owned businesses in America.

During this special month and throughout the year, AT&T is committed as a company to championing equality and supporting the Black community.


Eileen Mitchell

What does Black History Month mean to you in 2021?

Teresa Haley, President, NAACP – Illinois State Conference, Springfield:

“It’s a time to reflect and to learn about the positive contributions that Black people have made to America. Black people are making history every day and should be highlighted throughout the year. It’s a time to highlight the great accomplishments that Blacks have made. It’s a time to reaffirm who we are: strong, beautiful and smart. It’s a time to reflect and hold people accountable as we move forward. Black people have made so many contributions to America. It’s now time for America to do the same for us! Black history is made every day, and we all should remember that year-round.”

Sam Balark, AT&T, External Affairs Manager, Chicago:
“To me, Black History Month is another opportunity to reflect on past and present inequities, renew passion for change, and celebrate the progress that has been made thus far.”

Elayne Granger, AT&T, External Affairs Manager, Chicago:“Black History Month is a time to reflect on the leaders and shoulders we stand on today. Though we celebrate in February, our history and culture are enriching and enlightening throughout the year. It’s a time of empowerment, to engage more, embrace change, and continuously evolve.”




AT&T “Dream in Black” Honors Iconic Black Future Makers and Everyday Heroes, including an AT&T Ad Voiced by LeBron James and Featuring Frontline Workers from Chicago


This Black History Month, AT&T Dream in Black presents the return of Black Future Makers, a future-forward celebration of inspirational people in the culture. The campaign was announced via a commercial celebrating frontline workers and everyday heroes from Chicago in a spot voiced by NBA superstar, philanthropist and entrepreneur LeBron James. James is also one of this year’s Black Future Maker honorees.

“How do we revere the doers and the dreamers, thank the makers, shapers and creators of not just today, but tomorrow?” James asks at the beginning of the commercial. Over his baritone voice, the viewer sees a montage of moving images of the everyday heroes.

A doctor, a dancer, a veteran, a teen activist, a firefighter, and an AT&T essential worker, Cyrus Robinson Jr., are among the inspirational figures highlighted in the Black Future Makers spot.

Learn more HERE.

AT&T Exceeds $3 Billion Spending Commitment for Black-Owned Businesses

We delivered on our commitment to invest in Black-owned businesses and contribute to the economic impact in communities across the United States. AT&T spent $3.1 billion with Black-owned suppliers, surpassing a $3 billion two-year commitment to drive diversity and inclusion across our business and communities where we live and work.

It was our largest commitment made with Black-owned suppliers since we launched our Supplier Diversity efforts in 1968 as a response to the civil unrest and economic disparities many diverse businesses were encountering.

Fast forward to 2021. We have one of the largest supplier diversity programs in corporate America. Never has diversity in our supply chain been more important than now. We surpassed our commitment to spend $3 billion by year-end 2020. To reach our commitment, we added several new Black suppliers while increasing spend with others. Black suppliers support AT&T across different lines of business including legal, professional services, warehousing, logistics, advertising and marketing services, fuel, construction and engineering, property management, and fiber installation.

Read more HERE.

AT&T’s HBCU Future Leaders Program Creates Pathways to Success in Tech and Entertainment for Black Youth

Martin Luther King Jr., W.E.B. Dubois, Kamala Harris. These historic figures and more have something in common – they all graduated from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

It has been almost 200 years since the first HBCU was established and over this long history, a legacy of greatness and achievement has laid the foundation for generations to come. While these names will ring throughout history as vanguards for the Black community, we are reminded – now more than ever – of how valuable access to education and economic opportunity is for the future of our world.

We recently announced the launch of AT&T University’s HBCU Future Leaders Program, a multi-year mentoring and workforce readiness initiative for HBCU students. Beginning in March, interns from the AT&T EDGE internship and other student development programs will be selected to participate in a workforce readiness experience that will provide access to senior leaders, experiential learning, leadership skills development, and experts in technology and innovation. This exposure will help them to achieve long-term career success and make an impact in their communities.

Read more HERE.