Skip to Main Content

The SailPoint crew celebrates Black History Month

This Black History Month, the SailPoint All-in Diversity Inclusion and Belonging (DIBs) committee wants to recognize and celebrate the incredible black talent amongst our crew members. At SailPoint we appreciate the diverse voices that contribute to the overall success of our organization.

Without further ado, let’s meet some of our talented crew members:

Angela Livingston, Director of Global Events
Courtney Daniels, Engagement Manager, Professional Services
Jay Curtis, Associate Manager, Customer Success Management
Michelle Woodberry, Sr. Product Manager

Tell us about yourself.

  • Angela Livingston: I joined SailPoint about 14 months ago as Director of Global Events based in Austin. My team is responsible for managing and executing SailPoint’s presence at various tentpole industry events as well as our global Navigate events.
  • Courtney Daniels: I have worked at SailPoint for a little over 3 years now. I started off as a project manager in Professional Services and am now in the Engagement Manager role.
  • Jay Curtis: I have worked at SailPoint for two years and 9 months. I grew up in a military family and I have lived in Texas for over 30 years. I have two children and I really enjoy the challenges and joys of being father.
  • Michelle Woodberry: I’m a Senior Product Manager on the Connectivity & Integrations team, and I just celebrated my two-year SailPoint anniversary on January 31! I’m based out of my hometown, Columbus, GA, which is near Fort Moore Army base and about an hour and a half south of Atlanta.

How do you celebrate Black History Month?

  • Angela Livingston: I celebrate Black History all year. During February, I take advantage of the additional promotion and programs by supporting Black art, brands, businesses, etc. I also reinforce the additional attention paid to our culture during BHM to continue highlighting Black excellence to my sons, ages 3 and 7. 
  • Courtney Daniels: In celebrating Black History Month, I believe it’s essential to honor and amplify the achievements, contributions, and resilience of the Black community. This can involve attending events, reading literature by Black Authors—I have a giant stack of books to be read by Black authors this month—supporting Black-owned businesses by buying Black-owned fashion and other items or visiting Black-owned restaurants in Chicago, and engaging in conversations that promote understanding and unity. It’s a time to reflect, educate, and actively contribute to fostering an inclusive society. 
  • Jay Curtis: I celebrate Black History Month by reading and reflecting with my family. We usually purchase or check out a few biography books from the local library to read and discuss how influential African Americans have impacted our life today. I have had the opportunity to visit Lorraine Hotel in Memphis and Martin Luther King’s Museum in Atlanta, so I would like to take my family in the future.
  • Michelle Woodberry: In recent years, I’ve celebrated Black History Month by being more intentional about focusing on our history in the local area. Having attended the first Black high school in Columbus, GA, William Henry Spencer High School (established in 1930), much of the history and tradition was engrained in the culture of the school, but there’s always more to learn. There are events that celebrate local Black History in addition to the broader national context. Local historians share information through various platforms. Our museum also has special exhibitions. One of my favorite figures in Black history from our area is artist Alma Thomas. While her artistic career developed and flourished in Washington D.C., she was born in Columbus and lived here until she was 16. Her family moved to D.C. since it was less segregated and offered exposure to more educational opportunities. Our local music exhibited her beautiful work in 2022.

How has your identity influenced your professional journey?

  • Angela Livingston: Being Black and a woman in a leadership role comes with an interesting set of challenges. Often, I am one of the only Black leaders at my level and it can be disheartening to watch that remain unchanged. Having graduated from Howard University, a historically Black university, I know there are many smart and talented Black professionals in the workforce. I do my best to share opportunities with these networks with the hopes to increase Black representation across all levels. Additionally, I use my unique perspective to encourage diverse and inclusive programming within our events and participate in our Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DIB) committee to contribute and assist with corporate efforts.
  • Courtney Daniels: As a Black woman in the tech industry typically predominated by white men, my identity has been a powerful force shaping my professional journey. It has fueled my determination to overcome challenges, provided a unique perspective that enriches problem-solving, and inspired me to advocate for diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Embracing my identity has been pivotal in navigating the professional landscape, contributing to my growth, and empowering me to make a meaningful impact not only within the organization but amongst my peers. It has taught me to speak up for myself and my beliefs while simultaneously advocating for equality and inclusion within my day-to-day professional life.

Who is an inspirational Black figure that inspires you and why?

  • Angela Livingston: I’ve had many Black teachers who have inspired me and helped to shape my life. In 5th grade, I had two young teachers, Ms. Rita Jett and Mr. Marlon Lewis, who made sure their students understood that Black history is American history. They were both genuine, encouraging, and expected excellence from me and my classmates and they sparked that sense of striving for more than what was typical in my family. In high school, my biggest influence was Mrs. Annie Robinson, a teacher who organized an after-school program focused on mentoring and creating more Black teachers and professionals. She was instrumental in showing students their future possibilities with a college education. She also arranged annual spring break trips to tour colleges and HBCU’s around the country. Being from a small town in the Midwest, many of us had never heard of HBCU’s. From one of her spring break tours in 10th grade, I visited Howard University and fell in love with the campus and their commitment to excellence. I decided to attend Howard and became the first person in my family to graduate college. I strive to continue Mrs. Robinson’s legacy by demonstrating possibilities to young people who just don’t know what is outside of their small community. I’m forever grateful to her for opening up my world of possibilities.
  • Courtney Daniels: Ava DuVernay. She inspires me for her groundbreaking contributions to film and storytelling, challenging industry norms. Her commitment to amplifying underrepresented voices, addressing social issues, and promoting diversity in film aligns with my values. DuVernay’s resilience, creativity, and advocacy make her a trailblazer, paving the way for more inclusive narratives and opportunities black voices and stories in the entertainment industry.
  • Jay Curtis: Both of my parents inspire me. My dad because of his incredible patience, the way he loves and cares for his family, and his work ethic. My mom inspires me because she is extremely intelligent, gritty, and has always instilled confidence in me no matter the situation. 
  • Michelle Woodberry: As the first first Black congresswoman and first Black woman to seek nomination from a major party for President of the United States, Shirley Chisolm was a trailblazer in every sense of the word and is a huge source of inspiration to me. She is widely known for her presidential bid, but her life was so much more than that and reflects how committed she was to being a catalyst for change. Shirley Chisolm was “unbought and unbossed”, so conforming to the status quo was never an option for her and she remained unapologetically true to herself. She was a fierce advocate for racial and gender equity and educational opportunities, and she was outspoken about the plight of the poor. But she didn’t just talk about these things—she acted, and her values were reflected in the legislation she championed. “I want history to remember me… not as the first Black woman to have made a bid for the presidency of the United States, but as a Black woman who lived in the 20th century and who dared to be herself.”

What advice would you give to aspiring Black professionals?

  • Courtney Daniels: To aspiring Black professionals, my advice is to embrace your authenticity and your truth, leverage your unique perspective as a strength, seek mentorship, and relentlessly pursue your goals. Never underestimate the power of networking, continuous learning, and resilience. Advocate for yourself and others, contribute to diversity initiatives, and remember that your success is not only a personal achievement but a step forward for the entire community.
  • Jay Curtis: The advice I would give to Black professionals is to network and build professional relationships. I would say be confident and know that you have what it takes to be excellent.

How can we, as a company, continue to promote diversity and inclusion?

  • Angela Livingston: Talk about it, internally and externally. Invest in it with time, resources, and training. And intentionally recruit for all levels in diverse spaces. 
  • Courtney Daniels: To foster diversity and inclusion as a company, we must prioritize creating an inclusive culture through open communication, awareness training, and mentorship programs. It’s imperative that we establish diverse hiring practices, encourage employee resource groups, and regularly assess workplace policies for inclusivity. Additionally, we must actively seek and amplify diverse voices in decision-making processes which includes focusing on hiring diverse leaders where the most impact can trickle down, and continually educate employees on the importance of embracing differences. Lastly, I believe we should regularly evaluate and adapt new initiatives, ensuring they align with the evolving landscape of diversity and inclusion and the changing times we live in.

Related Articles