Black History Month employee collage
IDEAL Recognition of Black History Month

This month, we’re celebrating Black History Month and embracing our IDEAL principles of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Authenticity and Learning. Below are a few perspectives from our team members.

Nicole is a PORT Health Clinical Services Manager and has been with us for 20 years. She supervises the clinical services team, resolves issues, designs and implements new standards and analyzes trends to increase program efficiencies. “When I was in school, my history books did not highlight black history or the accomplishments of black Americans. If Black History Month wasn’t celebrated in my community and emphasized by my parents, church and local community leaders, I would have missed a lot of valuable knowledge,” says Nicole. “I believe that celebrating Black History Month celebrates diversity. It provides an opportunity for unity and educates us about the Black Americans who’ve made a difference in our world. This month, I will attend local plays, concerts and Black History programs. I’ll also read books by black authors, learn more black history and support black-owned businesses. Every year, I enjoy helping prepare students participating in a local Black History Quiz Bowl. In addition, I’ll participate in Heritage Sunday at my church, where congregants are encouraged to wear cultural attire. The IDEAL principle I most identify with is Inclusion because it’s a key factor of growth. Inclusion ensures people are “seen” and that everyone has a place at the table. Inclusion helps us feel part of the organization and its mission. It also fosters our sense of ownership, contribution and influence. When team members feel included, I believe we are more innovative and productive.”

Michael has worked for ESUCP for 15 years. Last year, he was promoted from the clinical support services team to a Business Operations Coordinator after receiving his MBA in Healthcare Management. He now works across our organization in coordinating the logistics to deliver assets, information and services to internal customers. “I think it’s important to educate all Americans on the many important accomplishments that African Americans have contributed throughout many years in our country. I enjoy educating myself and others on the great accomplishments that may not be well known,” says Michael. “The IDEAL principle I most identify with is Diversity because when we show respect and learn from different cultures and norms, it results in exceptional teams and results!”

is a Program Supervisor with ESUCP’s Individual Placement & Support (IPS) team who has been with us for seven years. She manages team leads in Raleigh, Durham and Fayetteville, NC.  “The influence that African Americans have contributed to medicine, politics, science and the arts is innumerable. Historically, our contributions have gone unnoticed and Black History Month is just one way to bring awareness to the inequalities faced by black and brown people. It’s important to celebrate, educate, inspire and empower our youth to keep fighting for racial equality. This month, I will enjoy supporting black-owned businesses and visiting African American museums to celebrate,” says Candice. “The IDEAL principle I most identify with is Diversity. ESUCP supports many people who are from diverse backgrounds and cultures. I believe we must put our own biases aside to truly value each individual. I treat everyone with respect regardless of culture, age, mental health or socioeconomic status. I think that’s really important.”

Reginald is a PORT Health Prevention Specialist who has been with us for 16 years. He helps educate the public on challenges associated with substance use disorders and its impact on individuals, families and the community. “I believe black history helps give context for the present. Black History Month is an opportunity to really understand our history that goes beyond stories of racism and slavery to spotlights and celebrations of Black achievement. I enjoy watching documentaries and educating students on various inventions and accomplishments by black people,” says Reginald. “I most identify with the IDEAL principle of Authenticity because I try to stay true and honest with myself in all that I am and all that I’ll come to be, especially in regards to my own personality, values and life experiences.”

TyAisha is an Individual & Community Services (ICS) Program Supervisor in Asheboro, NC who has been with us for five years. She supervises the cases of individuals diagnosed with intellectual disabilities and helps them (and their guardians) ensure they are receiving the services necessary to live a meaningful life. “I believe it’s important to recognize Black History Month because we have such a rich amount of history. As a black woman, I know it’s important for black history to be recognized so we can learn from the past and make strides for the future,” says TyAisha. “During the month of February, I appreciate celebrating with my Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority sisters in sharing lessons and monumental moments of those who came before us with young people. The IDEAL principle I most identify with is Authenticity because I’m a strong believer that being authentic makes a difference in fostering positive relationships. People appreciate when they know you are genuine.


Easterseals UCP and PORT Health are trustworthy, compassionate partners providing exceptional disability, behavioral health and addiction treatment services to help our neighbors live their best lives. Purpose, dedication and empathy drive our in-person and telehealth service delivery. Our diverse and inclusive 2,600 member team provides more than 10.2 million hours of meaningful support to 40,200 kids, adults and families in 11,000 home, facility and community locations across North Carolina and Virginia. Learn more at