How One Step Made a Difference - WAMIMS

every step makes a difference sign

Nearly every company had a reaction to the civil unrest of 2020. During that time, most issued a corporate mandate to recognize underrepresented groups. Extreme Networks took a different and more personalized approach: recognizing the need of employees, acting immediately and purposefully. Backed by the Executive leadership team – a group of employees formed BEX – Black at Extreme - an Employee Resource Group (ERG) focused on bringing people together to have real discussions and take real action in the wake of civil unrest. The goal was to create a supportive, open environment and group that provided an opportunity to do something meaningful, while providing a place for employees to be their authentic selves.

demetrius speaking

Nearly two years later, Extreme has eight Employee Resource Groups and is actively creating a more diverse culture of engagement and empowerment. All have been formed and driven by employees in support of various causes and underrepresented communities.

Kimberly walking

To commemorate Black History Month and the Civil Rights Movement this year, Extreme issued a unique challenge called “Walk-A-Mile-In-My-Shoes” (WAMIMS). The tagline for WAMIMS was “Every Step Makes a Difference.” Employees who participated in the WAMIMS Challenge were given a goal of walking/running 54 miles during Black History Month and their progress was tracked through an app that synced with their smart devices. Employees shared photos and videos daily, traded friendly commentary, and built global camaraderie. Extreme hosted a huge kickoff that included food, trivia, and prizes to highlight the significance of WAMIMS and Black History Month. Overall, 370 employees participated, including our CEO Ed Meyercord, and walked a collective 23k miles and 51 million steps. Participants described the experience as invigorating and eye opening. It was a wonderful example of all communities within Extreme coming together to recognize and support a meaningful cause.

group celebrating

Extreme sponsored $1 per mile for the first 10K miles completed by the participants. As a result, a $10,000 donation was made to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund - the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF member-schools include the publicly supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs).

group donating check

In reflecting upon Black History Month’s activities at Extreme Networks, it’s truly an honor to work for a company that embraces diversity in all forms. Collectively, we are walking the walk and talking the talk together to make a meaningful and lasting impact.

Every Step Makes a Difference!

Chair of Black at Extreme – Demetrius Cunningham

About the Author
Kendra Luciano
Managing Editor, Content Marketing

Kendra is the Managing Editor of the Extreme Networks blog and resource center. She was previously a Vertical Solutions Marketing Co-Op while pursuing her degree in Communications with a minor in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire.

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