For the Ones Who Dreamed Big For Us All

Today we begin our celebration of Black History Month, and all of those who led the way.

Human potential is limitless when we tap into the power of diverse perspectives. For me, that’s what Black History Month is all about.

Technologists, scientists, artists, leaders of social change and allies – many of the figures we recognize during Black History Month are well known changemakers. We also reflect on the contributions of those with untold stories, who have also inspired human progress. I invite you to see just a handful of the leaders we’re celebrating at Dell Technologies in the video below.

Personally, I’m inspired by the countless Black innovators who dreamed big enough for all of us.

Frank Greene was a prolific innovator whose stories you may have heard if you’re a technologist, like me. His contributions paved the way for many people to succeed and achieve their maximum potential. As the first African American cadet to graduate the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program, he opened up career paths in the military for the Black community. A pioneer of supercomputing, he patented an integrated circuit that made his employer at the time, Fairchild Semiconductor, a leader in their industry. And later on, he founded a venture capital firm that launched numerous start-up companies with women and minority founders – including my own.

I will never forget the day Frank agreed to invest in one of my first companies. Because of him, I became one of the few Black CEOs in tech, which manifested my belief in the power of diverse talent and passion for technology into my current position as Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer.

At Dell, we often say diversity is who we are, and it’s how we win. Diverse perspectives help us supercharge innovation as well as the impact we can have on our customers, team members and the world.

Our Black Networking Alliance (BNA) employee resource group is no exception. They are partnering with our Tech Pro Bono program to pair skilled team members with 28 nonprofits – all dedicated to social justice, future skills development and racial equity. Together we’ll help these non-profits digitally transform by tackling projects like data management, product development and web development.

We are thrilled to spend February celebrating the achievements and contributions of generations of Black people who have made a positive impact on our company and on our society. I am especially looking forward to hearing from A’Lelia Bundles – the great-great granddaughter of Madam C.J. Walker, whose life was depicted in the recent Netflix series Self Made. She’ll join our Dell Technologies team later this month to share stories of Walker’s legacy and how it has driven human progress in our society today.

To Mr. Greene, Mrs. Walker and all those who dreamed big without holding back, and to those celebrating their impact – Happy Black History Month.

Brian Reaves

About the Author: Brian Reaves

Brian Reaves is the Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer of Dell, responsible for Dell’s global diversity and inclusion initiatives. In this role, he partners with leaders and team members across the organization to deepen and advance Dell’s culture of inclusion as a fundamental business imperative. Brian is an experienced technology executive with a track record of success in advancing diversity and inclusion within the tech industry. Prior to joining Dell, Brian was a Senior Vice President (SVP) within SAP’s Office of the CEO organization, where he led Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) initiatives for the company. In that role, Brian focused on the development and implementation of D&I strategies and tactics that drove sustainable business value. While at SAP, Brian was the key innovator for two of SAP’s major diversity initiatives: Project Propel, which provided trainings on the latest technologies to a variety of groups, including Minority Service Institutions (MSIs) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); and Project Dream, which aimed to increase exposure of SAP products to a more diverse range of consumers. Over the past 30 years, Brian has held senior executive software development and management roles in a number of industries/technology sectors including cloud computing, supply chain, healthcare, finance, telecommunications and utilities. Brian began his career as a software developer at Xerox Corporation and had the opportunity to participate in ground-breaking technology innovation at locations across the globe including the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), which is well known for key innovations including laser printing, Ethernet, the modern personal computer and object-oriented programming. Brian’s passions include design thinking, international travel and professional/amateur sports. Brian holds a B.S. in Mathematics/Computer Science from UCLA and grew up in the South-Central Los Angeles area.