For Olivia Lucas, celebrating Black History Month doesn’t just mean celebrating during the month of February. “Black History Month is much more than four weeks on the calendar. Black History Month to me is a lifestyle of celebrating Black joy, Black culture, and the history of our ancestors.”
Lucas has worked with the SFPUC since August 2018. She began as a San Francisco Fellow in the Finance Division and worked her way to earn a role as Social Impact Partnership Coordinator in External Affairs. In this role, she provides administrative support for the SFPUC Social Impact Partnership Program, which invites SFPUC’s private contractors to advance environmental justice while improving critical utility infrastructure.
“I am a resource to Social Impact firms as they volunteer and financially support community-led initiatives focused on increasing STEM education, career exposure, small business development, and public health in neighborhoods surrounding their public infrastructure projects,” said Lucas.
Lucas not only takes pride in the work she does at the SFPUC but also takes great pride in celebrating her culture year-round. “I am most proud of the Black community’s fearlessness and boldness, especially in face of adversity. We fight for what we believe in and continuously challenge any obstacle put in our way,” Lucas explained. “I’m especially proud when I think of Black women political leaders like Shirley Chisholm and Angela Davis because they inspire me to always speak up and advocate for more women of color to have seats at the decision-making table.”
As Lucas reflects on how far Black Americans have come in today’s society, she understands that there is still much work to accomplish through unity. “It’s about learning from the past, being empowered in the present, and taking action to eliminate racial injustice in our future,” Lucas said. “We are stronger together because when we unite, we increase knowledge, resources, and power to collectively combat injustices and improve social and economic conditions for our Black community.”