At Campbell, we recently hosted our first Cultural Immersion Week. Throughout the week, we had learning and development opportunities, to help us improve our collective cultural understanding and appreciation, to build a stronger culture at work.
A key pillar of our company’s strategic plan is building a winning team and culture. By understanding and appreciating our cultural differences and uniqueness, we can become better leaders, employees, and people—and create a sense of belonging for all. The energy, even virtually, was inspiring, as we heard from guest speakers, Campbell leaders, and fellow employees.
Chris Bashinelli—actor, activist and host of Bridge the Gap—kicked off the event with a conversation with our Chief Culture Officer, Camille Pierce. Chris shared stories from his travels and life as a nomad to demonstrate the importance of building bridges across different cultures. He talked about how we can use shared experiences to appreciate each other’s differences.
“Appreciation is defined as recognizing the full worth of each other.”– Chris Bashinelli, actor, activist and host of Bridge the Gap
“Appreciation is defined as recognizing the full worth of each other.”
Each day we explored a different culture, led by our colleagues. By better understanding and appreciating one another, we can build stronger relationships at work.
Cultural Tour of Latin America: Our Chief Human Resources Officer, Xavier Boza, and Ximena Fernandez, Human Resources Head at Campbell Latin America, hosted a tour across Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, and Brazil—highlighting each country’s beauty and influence through art, music, and food. The tour was virtual, but our meeting chat was bursting with excitement.
African Diaspora Art: We learned about the impact of African Art on the world and Black America. We celebrated Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their impact on pop culture by watching a clip from Beyoncé’s 2018 Coachella performance—which showcased the distinctive and unique marching band style of HBCUs.
So you think you can dance Bharatanatyam? We watched a live performance of the classical Bharatanatyam dance, one of India’s oldest dance traditions. We learned the dances’ history and used the mudras—symbolic hand gestureswhich are used to communicate—to say: “Today, I saw a deer, a bird, and a bee.”
Exploring our roots: We explored Native American culture through music, dance and song with members of the Lumbee tribe—located near our Meals & Beverages plant in Maxton, North Carolina. Over 30% of the plant’s employees are members of the Lumbee tribe—which is the largest tribe on the east coast.
Spoken word artist Janet Rogers, a First Nations Mohawk/Tuscarora writer from the Six Nations territory in Ontario, Canada, moved us all with her words and poetry—beautifully sharing how “the opposite of racism is connection.”
Food is what we do. So, we highlighted different cultures through cooking demonstrations from Campbell chefs who helped us prepare recipes from cuisines across Latin America, the African Diaspora, Asia, Indigenous Canada, Hawaii, and the Pacific Islands.
Award-winning chef, Chef Deborah VanTrece, and our Chief R&D and Innovation Officer, Craig Slavtcheff, served as the finale. Chef Deborah taught us about the universality of food—and how it can connect us across different cultures.
Chef Deborah, owner of Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours on Atlanta’s west side, has spent many years exploring the meaning behind “soul” in Southern cooking. She’s an entrepreneur on a mission to ensure women and African American representation in the culinary industry. Chef Deborah’s journey has become a 25-year career, but her passion for food and feeding people has always been foundational in her life.
“What I know how to do is cook to bring diverse groups of people to the table to start a discussion. Starting a discussion is the beginning of us having a peaceful and loving existence.” – Chef Deborah VanTrece
“What I know how to do is cook to bring diverse groups of people to the table to start a discussion. Starting a discussion is the beginning of us having a peaceful and loving existence.”
Cultural Immersion Week is one way we’re hearing stories from different cultures to help us create a more inclusive workplace and build a winning team and culture.
“I deeply believe in the power of telling our stories, individually and collectively, to drive awareness, understanding, empathy, and ultimately, action. This week helped us create the space for our team to share their stories and grow their cultural competency, so we can build a culture of understanding at Campbell.” – Camille Pierce, Chief Culture Officer
“I deeply believe in the power of telling our stories, individually and collectively, to drive awareness, understanding, empathy, and ultimately, action. This week helped us create the space for our team to share their stories and grow their cultural competency, so we can build a culture of understanding at Campbell.”
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