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Celebrating Black History

Celebrating Black History

The celebration of Black History extends far beyond the month of February. There is daily opportunity to pay tribute to the resilience, profound impacts and achievements of Black individuals and communities in the U.S. and around the world. 

Black History is rich with stories of courage, brilliance, ingenuity and strength in the face of adversity.  In our journey to shine a light on the Black community, we highlight several remarkable individuals. Trailblazers of our time, we honor their experiences, amplify their voices and applaud their invaluable contributions to our shared tapestry of humanity.

First Black Mayor - City of Waterloo, IA

Mayor Quentin Hart

Mayor Quentin Hart's words resonate deeply: we stand on the shoulders of giants

Mayor Hart looks forward, urging us to weave a brighter future for the children who will inherit this world. A world where their dreams can flourish and every child has equal access to the resources they need to thrive.

This movement and progress started long before us. We acknowledge our responsibility to continue the momentum set by previous generations, building upon this foundation a design for the world we want our children to grow up in.

Let's honor Black history by carrying the torch of progress.


Champion and Leader in the Mental Health Industry

Krystal Rogers

"I try to enter situations with a sense of optimism and realism that helps me approach it from the best light."


Care Solace's very own, Krystal Rogers exemplifies the strength and resilience needed to overcome prejudice. Though faced with exclusion at a young age, she transformed that experience into a powerful lesson about self-belief and inner strength. Rogers reflects on moments like when she was 7 years old, saying, "they can be like real anchors if you let them be, but they don't have to be. Those can just be things that happen."

This Black History Month, let's celebrate individuals like Krystal who remind us that true success comes from within, and that building an inclusive culture requires challenging harmful narratives and fostering self-love in all communities.


Super Bowl Champion, College Football Hall of Famer

Aaron Taylor

"...the gold in our lives lies just beyond where we're afraid or unwilling to go. The theme for me of somehow stepping up and being resilient and finding a way and being scared and doing it anyway has happened over and over and over."

As a young teen, Aaron was a survivor. Coming from a broken family, being a victim of childhood trauma, and battling alcoholism all by the age of 13, Aaron felt like he didn't belong. Moving every 2 years to a new school or neighborhood, he was constantly compared to others because of his race. A hard talk with his mom about the future shifted his perspective and helped him look toward healing - starting with conquering his fear of trying out for the high school football team.

Being a team player is one of Aaron's biggest life lessons. As a Super Bowl Champion and College Football Hall of Famer, Taylor started his organization Elite Mentals, which preaches that learning to be dependable and trusted by others means showing up the same way for yourself.

We honor and celebrate Aaron's story of resilience, pushing back against addictions, mental health stigmas, and racial stereotypes to pursue his childhood dream of playing in the NFL. 


Highest Ranking Black Aide, 2018 White House 

Ja'Ron K. Smith

"Together we can help modernize our justice system to make it safer and fairer."

Ja’Ron Smith could have been a statistic. He grew up in Cleveland to parents struggling with drug addiction and alcoholism. They were poor and did what they needed to do to survive. They later overcame their addictions and raised their son. Beating the odds, Ja'Ron has established himself as a champion for breaking mental health stigma and creating legislation aimed at helping the African American community.

Ja'Ron has served in several roles at the U.S. White House, including Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy and Deputy Director for the Office of American Innovation.  He is the former executive director of the Thurgood Marshall Foundation's Center for Advancing Opportunity.

In his book, "Underserved: Harnessing the Principles of Lincoln's Vision for Reconstruction for Today's Forgotten Communities", Ja' Ron challenges us to uplift underserved communities.



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