A group of eight LS&Co. employees pose at a Project Onyx ERG event against a blue background covered with a step and repeat of "Levi Strauss & Co." text

Celebrating Black History Month at LS&Co.

Levi Strauss & Co.
February 6, 2024

February is Black History Month in the U.S., and at Levi Strauss & Co., we’re spending the month honoring the incredible contributions Black Americans have made to the arts, our culture and our society.

“Recognizing and honoring Black history is an opportunity to promote understanding, unity and equity,” said Elizabeth Morrison, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer for LS&Co. “Taking this time allows us to amplify voices, acknowledge achievements and integrate a more inclusive narrative into our shared history.”

Celebrating LS&Co.’s Black Creators

We kicked off the month with “Tell Us Your Story,” an employee listening and learning session organized by Project Onyx, our Black employee resource group (ERG). During the session, the ERG highlighted Black fashion and shared insights into their experiences as Black creators, both personally and professionally.

Four Project Onyx ERG members pose on stools against a Levi Strauss & Co. step and repeat background.

Centered around cultivating, strengthening and sustaining positive relationships between LS&Co.’s Black employees and the company as a whole, Project Onyx focuses on recruiting, professional development, networking, cultural events and social gatherings to create an engaging and empowering organization.

Project Onyx members also recognized the month by sharing insights into their multifaceted creative worlds — where professional roles intersect with personal passions.

A blue quote card with white text reading "“In my role, I dedicate a significant portion of my time collaborating with Levi’s® marketing teams, employing both qualitative and quantitative methods to represent the consumer. It challenges me to empathize with people globally and deeply understand how they perceive and engage with Levi’s®. In my free time, my creative endeavors span a wide spectrum. Currently I’m exploring glamour photography, inspired by icons like Grace Jones, Diana Ross and Twiggy. What I love most is the genuine connection it fosters with the subject — a skill that’s remarkably relevant to my role at LS&Co.” - Abeenna Boakye Global Marketplace Insights Specialist" There is a photo of Abenaa on the left sitting in a hay covered field.

A dark blue quote card with white text reading "“I maintain a delicate balance between my day job and my creative pursuits by consistently expressing myself. Growing up as an anomaly empowers me to forge my creative vision, from anime to fashion to DJing. Despite my job’s creativity, I keep my creative gears turning after the 9-5 grind. This ensures that I remain attuned to my authentic self and avoid feeling confined by my professional role. For instance, I enjoy directing photoshoots during my free time. This ongoing creative expression contributes to my professional role.” - Emmanual Williams (E-will) Assistant Designer, Men's Denim" A photo of E-will in an all denim outfit against a black and white graphic is on the right of the quote card.

A quote on a light blue background reads "“As a designer, staying creative is non-negotiable for me. During my downtime, I dive into fashion shows, drawing inspiration from the latest trends. But my creativity doesn’t stop there. I love giving damaged fabrics a new lease on life by airbrushing and reinventing them into one-of-a-kind garments. For me, design is about more than just aesthetics; it’s about storytelling and sustainability. Transforming materials allows me to create something fresh and exciting, not just for myself but for others to enjoy too. Featured is a fashion show I designed for influenced by the timeless film ‘The Wiz.’ Each ensemble is a testament to my vision and dedication to pushing boundaries in design. - Adore Ellis Assistant Designer for Men's Tops, Levi's®" There is a group photo of 7 Black individuals wearing outfits at a fashion show on the right of the quote card.

Our Ongoing Commitment

As a company, we embrace diversity in all its dimensions, recognizing its power in fostering diverse perspectives.

For example, to identify and nurture our next-generation leaders, we analyzed engagement survey data and conducted True Blue, our annual listening tour. This led to the creation of Elevate: Accelerate Your Career, a development program for Black and Hispanic/Latinx talent — one of our broader initiatives to support and develop employees from all backgrounds.

This four-month career efficacy program specifically addresses the unique challenges faced by Black and Hispanic/Latinx talent. Participants focus on personal empowerment, career goal setting and relationship building. Simultaneously, managers attend workshops to enhance cultural competence and inclusive leadership.

Looking ahead, we remain dedicated to continually improving LS&Co. as a workplace of choice for the Black history makers of tomorrow.

“While the calendar designates a specific month for Black History, it’s important we continually celebrate the richness of Black heritage throughout the year,” said Elizabeth. “It’s a commitment woven into the fabric of our company culture, driving us to honor and uplift the voices, experiences and achievements of Black individuals every day.”

Stay tuned for updates on our progress later this year when we release our DE&I Impact Report. In the meantime, visit our website to learn more about DE&I at LS&Co.