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Isi Okoh's Beats of Heritage - Black History Month

Isi Okoh’s Beats of Heritage – Black History Month

The history of the African drums’ dates back centuries, playing a vital role in various cultures as communication tools, ceremonial instruments, and forms of artistic expression.

Isi Okoh, a Senior Project Manager at Western Financial Group, takes us on a rhythmic journey through his passion for African drums, and emphasizing the importance of culture at Western.

Isioma Okoh, affectionately known as "Isi," is not only a dedicated Senior Project Manager but also the Lead for the Black Employees Network & Allies (BENA) Employee Resource Group (ERG) at Western.

Beyond the corporate world, he is a devoted husband and father, with a penchant for travel, sports, history, and spending quality time with family and friends.

Isi's Drumbeat Begins:
Isi's connection with African drums started at the age of 7 when he joined a cultural group in primary school. The Udu drum, his instrument of choice, became a vessel for cultural expression, embodying communal living and the interconnectedness of people. For Isi, the joy of seeing others dance to the drumbeat transcends words, reflecting a selfless feeling ingrained in his cultural roots.

Harmonizing in Life and Work:
Playing the drums has left an indelible mark on Isi's personal and professional life. The discipline of listening to rhythm and collaborating with other musicians imparts skills crucial to his career as a project delivery professional. Active listening and harmonization, honed through drumming, become lifelong assets applicable not only in the world of music but also in everyday challenges.

Applying Drumming Lessons at Western:
Isi seamlessly integrates lessons from drumming into his role at Western, emphasizing the importance of active listening and collaboration. These qualities, acquired through musical pursuits, contribute to his effectiveness as a project manager and enrich the workplace dynamics at Western.

Celebrating Black History Month at Western:
Isi's involvement in Black History Month (BHM) events is a testament to Western's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. In a mosaic like Canada, diversity is a daily reality. Isi believes that fostering an inclusive workplace culture requires active employee participation and leadership, influencing the programming of events like BHM. By increasing awareness of the contributions, achievements, and challenges of the Black community, Isi contributes to a more inclusive workplace culture.

Fostering Cultural Integration at Western: In advocating for diversity, Isi suggests that companies like Western can better integrate and appreciate diverse cultural perspectives by promoting inclusive policies, providing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training, and actively seeking feedback from employees. DEI initiatives such as awareness celebrations, and panel discussions and internal communities such as ERGs facilitates open conversations, encouraging learning opportunities that contribute to cultural integration within organizations. As we celebrate Black History Month, Isi Okoh's beats of heritage echo not only through the rhythm of African drums but also in the diverse and inclusive culture at Western Financial Group. His passion serves as a reminder that embracing cultural expressions enriches both personal and professional dimensions, contributing to a harmonious workplace for all.