Beyond the Badge, Inside CDCR Video, Unlocking History

Black History Month spotlight: Director Connie Gipson

Connie Gipson for Black History Month banner says CDCR is committed to diversity and inclusion.

In celebration of Black History Month, we honor Connie Gipson, Director of Adult Institutions and Executive Sponsor for the CDCR/CCHCS GARE Steering Committee.

She has been instrumental in supporting the mission to build an inclusive and culturally diverse workplace. Her efforts have brought awareness to all levels of the Department. She believes we all play a vital role for positive change, inspiring staff to leave the Department better than we found it.

Director Gipson’s impact with the Department has been described as: change agent, advocate, innovative, and forward thinking.

She spearheaded efforts to partner with the Norway Correctional System. This helped create an environment in which staff feel they make an impact in the lives of the incarcerated. Meanwhile, the incarcerated population feels supported, improving rehabilitation.

Gipson is an advocate for staff health and wellness, spending hours researching projects to improve our staff’s quality of life.

Her innovative ideas have contributed to:

  • Expanding the canine units
  • The Audio Video Surveillance System
  • Youth Offender Program at Valley State Prison
  • Sergeants Mentoring Program.

This month, we recognize and celebrate her accomplishments.

To encourage employees to expand their knowledge and gain new experiences, CDCR/CCHCS GARE Steering Committee is highlighting our diverse workforce.

What is Black History Month?

The monthlong annual celebration recognizes achievements by African Americans and their central role in U.S. history. It began in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States.

That September, Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). The organization was dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by Black Americans and others of African descent.

President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976. “(We need to) honor the accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history,” he said.

Today, Black History Month is a time to honor the historical contributions and legacy of African Americans. The month recognizes activists and civil rights pioneers such as Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Rosa Parks to leaders in industry, politics, science, culture and more.

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