Celebrating Black History Month: Nichole Baptiste
Nichole Baptiste Shares the Importance of Black History Month
Nichole Baptiste joined the Southcoast Health Human Resources Department in July 2013. An experienced Human Resources professional, she previously held various roles in Boston and the surrounding area within state government for over 15 years.
When Nichole saw an opportunity open on the South Coast, she was excited to make the transition to work closer to home and make a difference in her own community. As Southcoast Health celebrates Black History Month, Nichole shared how this month is significant to her.
“Black History Month acknowledges and shows appreciation for all the great accomplishments of African Americans,” she says. “It’s also an opportunity for people to understand and learn about black history, including racism and slavery.”
“At a very young age I learned that racism, inequality and racial injustice were real and that I would experience and have to deal with them, perhaps all my life,” says Nichole. “Whether comments made about my skin tone, my features, my hair or the way I spoke, it all affected me. These experiences shaped my view of the world, confirming how I may be treated because of the color of my skin and how much harder I may have to work to be afforded certain opportunities.”
Early on, Nichole wanted to work in Human Resources to advocate for herself and others and create a more diverse and equitable workplace. In her role, Nichole works with leadership and staff to support them in navigating all things Human Resources. She assists with employee relations, performance management, coaching, training, recruitment, policy and procedure implementation and more. “I truly enjoy working with people and building relationships with the people I work with,” she says.
Outside of her role in Human Resources, Nichole also belongs to the Standout Team and the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council. Both of these groups are based on respecting and celebrating each individual’s unique strengths and perspectives. Professionally, she always wants to remain in a role where she has a voice and can influence change, misconceptions or biases.
“I am so thankful that I was raised to have awareness and a strong understanding, appreciation, and pride in who I am. I learned to recognize bias for what it was, that it was wrong and to not feel like it was something I deserved,” says Nichole. “I continue to have those same conversations with my son and to instill those values in him. I want him to feel proud of who he is, where he came from and to be aware and to know what racism and discrimination look like. I want him to embrace who he is and know how he deserves to be treated.”
Nichole hopes to help create a more level playing field for all, where everyone is treated equally, afforded the same resources and opportunities and no one is devalued or discriminated against because of their race.
To learn more about Southcoast Health’s Black History Month celebration please visit: Celebrating Black History Month – Southcoast Health.