By Eli Levin, Communications Manager, Walt Disney World Resort
The simple moments can have the biggest impact. One call, one note, one story … could open new doors, create new experiences. For Megan Goheen, who works in merchandising as a wholesale coordinator, reading a news article did just that.
Last year, Megan was reading a cast news story about a newly formed Business Employee Resource Group (BERG) called NAATV (Native Americans & Allies Together with Vision) which shared more about what this group had to offer. At the core of each BERG is a specific dimension of diversity and each BERG is made up of cast from across the company who have a passion to create and support a place where we all belong, no matter our backgrounds, experiences, or identities.
For Megan, this article created that spark, making her feel connected and feel a sense of belonging. So, she took one simple step and reached out to the author to find out more about NAATV.
As a person of Indigenous heritage, Megan had not yet connected with many people of similar backgrounds at work. And because the group operates almost completely virtually, Megan was easily able to join and connect with other Native and Indigenous Americans and allies remotely.
“It has been so great to meet other people with similar experiences, hear their stories and connect with allies wanting to learn as well,” Megan shared.
Quickly, Megan became an active member and is now part of the NAATV leadership team handling accounting and helping with internal communications connecting cast across the company to Indigenous news, content, and events.
One experience unique to the group that Megan enjoys-and encourages others to join-is the Talking Circle. During these monthly events, cast come together to listen, learn and share. As a safe space to connect, these conversations include a lot of allies who want to learn.
And, being part of a BERG has helped Megan become more comfortable with her own identity, which makes her feel more confident advocating for and supporting inclusion in the workplace.
“NAATV has made me more comfortable with myself and more confident to ask questions about inclusion initiatives,” said Megan. “I am honored and humbled every time our BERG has a valued voice for inclusive enhancements at work.”
November is Native American Heritage Month, honoring the cultures and contributions of Native American and Indigenous communities and tribes, and NAATV is hosting several cast-exclusive events. Megan looks forward to it as not only a time of reflection, but also a time to honor the good.
“History and news can be quite heavy sometimes and it is important to speak on that, but also there is so much Native joy happening that deserves celebration.”
For more inspiring stories like Megan’s, you can also follow along with our Disney Parks, Experiences and Products social handles – @DisneyParks – as we continue to bring you stories year-round.