Get the latest delivered to your inbox
Privacy Policy

Now Reading

Taco Bell Black History Month Spotlight: John H.

John H. - Designer, International Development

Taco Bell Black History Month Spotlight: John H.

John H. - Designer, International Development

Published 02-22-24

Submitted by Yum! Brands

John H

Taco Bell blog

February in the U.S. is dedicated to acknowledging and honoring the history of Black Americans and celebrating their contributions to the economy, culture, arts and society. At Yum!, we are committed to making room for all people and voices at our tables, because we are most relevant when our people – at all levels – represent the customers and communities we serve.

Black History Month started off as a one-week celebration founded by Carter G. Woodson in February 1926. Fifty years later, the week was extended into a month dedicated to honoring Black American history.

This year’s nationwide Black History Month’s focus is African Americans and the Arts, detailing African American artistic and cultural movements.

To celebrate our Black team members and these communities, we will share some of their stories. Get ready to be inspired, get involved and continue learning and celebrating the culture and achievements of the Black community.

John H. (He/Him) - Designer, International Development

John H., Designer, International Development, found his way to Southern California from Louisville, Kentucky, with his partner and two pups in 2021 after accepting a position with Taco Bell.

Before moving to Los Angeles, John grew up in Kentucky for the most part. While obtaining his B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of Louisville and simultaneously creating artistic window displays for a local furniture store on the side, John discovered a passion for branded buildings.

“Creating window displays was the most fun and challenging work I did. Since I had to come up with the concept and have it viewed by the public, it taught me to endure through tough installations and self-critical thinking, while building my confidence for more demanding design tasks.”

It’s no doubt that designing restaurants for Taco Bell’s global markets is fitting for John. In his role, John works with franchise partners to achieve the best Taco Bell asset for their market, not only in terms of aesthetics, but also on digital accommodations, customer’s dining experience and operations’ efficiency.

“I find developing a physical reality representative of the brand’s created self-perception to be some of the most exciting parts of my work. When doing this, I’m transferring customers into a Taco Bell reality, to which I hope can be more uplifting and colorful.”

John uses this same approach in his role as communications officer for Taco Bell’s Business Employee Resource Group, Live Más T.A.A.C.O.S (Thriving African American Communities, Opportunities and Sponsorship) through the visual tools and newsletters he creates. Since joining Live Más T.A.A.C.O.S, John has furthered his connection with the Black community.

“Being a transplant to the area, Live Más T.A.A.C.O.S has provided me with the opportunity to build a sense of community with some of my colleagues. It has also helped me feel impactful in the office by influencing the group’s programming and outreach in the area. Being embraced and heard by those in this group has made my move to California easier.”

When it comes to Black History Month, John believes that this is a time to showcase the diverseness of the Black and African American culture within the nation, while also addressing generational trauma together.

“Black History month is an opportunity to reassure myself, my community, and our common identity of our appreciated existence. Being a Black man, who is bi-racial, in America can be a tiring and an exhausting experience. This includes anything from noticing how I enter a building, to how I walk behind someone, or to how I present myself. Having a dedicated month recognizing the community for what it offers to the nation provides a momentary sigh of relief.”

If he had to choose one person in Black history that inspires him, it would be Paul Revere Williams.

“During college, I had to research a historical figure on the same career path as I was pursuing. Although I’m not an architect, I had chosen Paul Revere Williams. His ability to focus on his life’s mission, to create beautiful and outlasting buildings, while facing so many adversities, including not being able to enjoy some of the buildings he had designed due to his race, showed me that through determination and adaption anything could outlive racism.”

  • Be open-hearted and receptive to our perspectives.
  • Be genuine and drop biases at the door.
  • Stay present with us and be willing to learn and to have fun with life!
Yum! Brands Logo

Yum! Brands

Yum! Brands

Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, has over 54,000 restaurants in more than 155 countries and territories, operating the Company’s brands – KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories. The Company’s family of brands also includes The Habit Burger Grill, a fast-casual restaurant concept specializing in made-to-order chargrilled burgers, sandwiches and more. Yum! Brands was named to the 2021 Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America and was ranked on Newsweek’s list of 2021 America’s Most Responsible Companies. In 2022, Yum! Brands was named to 3BL Media’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens.

More from Yum! Brands

Join today and get the latest delivered to your inbox