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The BIG Group can’t wait to gather in-person again, but for now, they’re staying safe and meeting virtually. We love this group portrait above of the Black Initiatives Group leadership council titled “An Evening of Excellence,” created by BIG co-chair Christopher Williams.


Our SAS culture blends our different backgrounds, perspectives, and ideas from employees in nearly 60 countries around the world. We’re intentional about cultivating diversity in our workforce because we know it inspires our curiosity and makes us a stronger and more innovative company.

One way we do this is through our Employee Inclusion Groups (EIGs). EIGs are company-sponsored, voluntary, employee-led, and employee-driven groups that serve as a resource for employees and our company.

Today, we’re shining the spotlight on our Black Initiatives Group, or “BIG” for short. BIG’s mission is to empower Black employees to bring their full selves to work, to highlight their contributions and talents and to inspire young Black talent to pursue careers in STEM.

BIG acknowledges the limitations of the term “Black,” and extends their mission to encompass employees who identify as Black, African, African American, West Indian, Copper Skinned, Indigenous, American Indian, Afro-Latinx or of African descent. However, the group encourages and welcomes the partnership of anyone who is passionate about their mission!

Clearly, this group is doing some amazing work – and there are a lot of people to thank! BIG is led by a group of 12 talented SAS employees from across the company (and the country).

Click the orange “next” button at the top right of this page to get to know our Black Initiatives Group leadership council.

Making a 'BIG' impact

BIG embodies our company values and lives out their mission through a variety of activities, including (but not limited to):

  • Creating space and promoting opportunities to highlight Black talent and contributions at SAS
  • Exploring ways to uncover and address hidden barriers to growth and innovation
  • Collaborating with HR and SAS leadership to promote a more inclusive work environment
  • Creating a sense of community for Black employees across the organization
  • Developing and strengthening relationships between SAS and Black professional networks and university associations
  • Participating in efforts to attract young Black talent to SAS and careers in STEM
  • Collaborating with other SAS EIGs to advance SAS’s global diversity & inclusion initiatives
  • Volunteering in local communities
  • Every Friday, BIG hosts a virtual meeting open to all SAS employees. Known as "BIG Friday," the group discusses topics ranging from company happenings to world events, from a Black perspective.

We value and appreciate the unique perspectives and talents our Black Initiatives Group brings to our company, and look forward to a future of doing “the work.”

To learn more about diversity and inclusion at SAS, visit our webpage.


About Author

Danielle Pavliv

Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer

Danielle Pavliv (she/her), is the Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at SAS where she serves as a change agent and thought leader in creating and executing workforce diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies. In her role, she consults with business leaders and employees to develop interventions that infuse diversity, equity & inclusion into how the organization thinks, acts, and operates globally. Danielle is passionate about creating positive change, advocacy, and inclusion of underrepresented groups in the workplace and community. Danielle has two bachelor’s degrees in Spanish & French from NC State University, and a master’s in Human Resource Management from the University of Southern California. She is also a Certified Diversity Executive and has over a decade of experience in the field of diversity, equity & inclusion.  


  1. Torino Johnson on

    Hi,...this is amazing to know this exists. Do you know of a formal Black SAS Programmers Groups outside of SAS, for people of color to learn from each other or teach one another about SAS? Just curious about this. All the best to the BIG!!

    Torino Johnson
    Credit Portfolio Officer - Risk Management
    O'Fallon, MO

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