For decades, our country has set aside the month of February to reflect upon the value of Black voices across our communities – officially known as Black History Month. At Southern Nuclear, we use this time to recognize the value of diversity within our company, and to remind our team of the importance of diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
As part of our recognition, we asked a few of our teammates at Plant Farley how they celebrate Black History Month, why – in their minds – it is important for Southern Nuclear to recognize this month and what advice they have for those hoping to use this time to reflect upon the rich diversity in our company and across our country.
Their responses provide a window into why we are so proud of our team members’ commitment to lifting one another up and to ensuring we constantly develop a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment at Southern Nuclear.
Today, we highlight our conversation with Melissa Monlyn, a Security Shift Lieutenant at Plant Farley. Melissa has been with Southern Nuclear for approximately 22 years and has served in her current leadership position for 15 years. Her job responsibilities include ensuring the shift team is adequately staffed, properly equipped and physically and mentally prepared for duty. As a Response Team Leader, she also works to make sure all procedures and protocols are followed.
How do you celebrate Black History Month?
During Black History Month and other months, I support Black-owned businesses. A lot of times, Black-owned businesses don’t get the recognition and the help they deserve. There are also numerous Black History Month celebrations and activities throughout communities, churches and cities, and I enjoy participating in those.
Why is it important that Southern Nuclear takes part in Black History Month and engages our employees?
It is very important that Southern Nuclear takes part in Black History Month because it shows that the company values our cultural differences and gives all employees an opportunity to come together and be a part of history, because Black history is everyone’s history.
What advice do you have for others who want to follow in your footsteps?
Set goals to accomplish those things that you want to do and leave a legacy and mark on whatever position you may hold. Prioritize working towards something that you can look back on and be proud of.
Is there a particular Black mentor, trailblazer, or historic figure who inspires you?
My mentor would be my mother. She was a single mom working in the blue-collar world. She instilled in me the values of hard work and the importance of being a leader, not a follower. She also taught me to set goals for myself and to know that I could become anything I wanted with hard work and perseverance. My mother taught me to never give up on my dreams.