Skip to Main Content
Speak to a Licensed Insurance Agent 1-855-792-0088 TTY 711
Mon - Fri, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. CT
Call Us

Advantage Insider

Your Trusted Source for Medicare Updates and Guidance

Canvas of Transformation: GoHealth Employees Honor Black History Month by Sharing Their Creativity

The words "Canvas of Transformation" in a stylized font.

The 2024 theme of Black History Month, “African Americans and the Arts,” commemorates the countless achievements Black Americans have made in fields such as painting, sculpture, music, literature, drama, architecture, fashion, film, and food. As part of this year’s observance, GoHealth asked some of our employees to share how their own creativity and sense of purpose have been shaped by their experiences and to discuss what Black History Month means to them. 

Finding Calm in Music and Poetry 

“Art allows me to be me in a very creative and unique way,” said Human Resources Business Partner Mia Sanders, a member of the GoHealth People & Culture team with a lifelong passion for both literature and music. “From my writings to my appearance, I am embracing my culture, my identity as an African American, and the beauty of my ancestors.” 

Since childhood, Mia has loved the work of Black authors like Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Langston Hughes, Terry McMillan, and Jerome Dickerson. On the musical side, she finds calm in the songs of artists such as Anita Baker, Janet Jackson, Stephanie Mills, Billie Holiday, Regina Bell, H.E.R., Jasmine Sullivan, Jill Scott, and Erykah Badu. 

Both writing and singing are valuable to Mia’s well-being and sense of identity. She has been composing poetry since she was about 10 years old, and she also sings with a gospel choir called One 4 Christ, which has released two CDs. 

CD cover for gospel choir One 4 Christ

“When I am writing or singing, it is therapeutic,” Mia said. “Both of these forms of art provide an outlet for me when I am happy or sad. When life is weighing me down, I know that I have these two tools to go to so that I can clear my mind and shift my mood.” 

Healing and Growth Through Performance 

Along with his work as a manager for the Leadership & Organization Development team at GoHealth, Marcus Mason is an actor, stand-up comedian, and screenwriter who has shared a stage with world-renowned artists like Busta Rhymes, KRS-One, Mos Def & Talib Kweli, Gang Starr, and The Black Eyed Peas.  

Marcus’ creativity not only helps him persevere in the face of adversity, like when he was laid off from a long-time position at a previous company, but also fuels his ongoing career advancement. 

“Acting and comedy has played a huge role in my professional development,” Marcus said. “As a trainer, I lean heavily on what I have learned as an actor and comedian to ensure that I am engaging and able to match my audience. Because of my experience, I am able to reach any audience, no matter who is in the room.” 

Marcus Mason performing as a comedian and actor.

Around the age of 12, Marcus found a powerful example for maintaining a strong work ethic and a commitment to excellence by reading Alex Haley’s The Autobiography of Malcolm X. In his performances, Marcus is especially inspired by the actor who most famously portrayed Malcolm X in film, Denzel Washington. Acknowledging positive influences like these two men is an important part of Black History Month for Marcus. 

“Black History Month means coming together and celebrating history, seeing where we come from and building on the past to move towards an even better future,” he said. 

Scents and Sensibility

Sequan James, a manager on the GoHealth Resolve team, expresses herself in many different artistic mediums. She draws, paints, and spent seven years as a dance teacher. 

Painting of a girl with a guitar in a pastoral scene.

Recently, Sequan has focused on capturing the imagination through the sense of smell, making her own scented candles and room sprays. Her interest in scents gradually evolved from a hobby to a small business as she began to sell her creations. 

“My art reflects my caring and hard work and how I love peace,” Sequan explained. “It also shows that I love nature and have a love for myself and others.” 

Sequan’s life and work have been influenced by the integrity, poise, and determination of the author Maya Angelou. She believes strongly in following through on your commitments and doing good for others. Creativity empowers her to accomplish more in her career while staying true to those values.  

“My art helps to keep me calm and centered, which causes me to grow professionally and do my very best on a daily basis,” Sequan said. 

Collaboration and Empowerment 

In Lisa Cook’s role as a senior training manager for the GoHealth Learning and Organization Development team and in her creative work, she is interested in sharing ideas that make a difference in people’s lives. She writes, produces, and directs gospel stage plays, working closely with actors, crew members, and others to realize her vision. 

“Putting on a stage play is truly a collaborative effort that requires patience, determination, empathy, compassion and compromise,” Lisa said. “Like anything you set out to do, it is always as a journey that should make you better.”

Poster for a play titled What a Difference a Day Makes.

Before getting involved in theater, Lisa wrote poetry and novels. Her development as an author was influenced by her favorite writer, Eric Jerome Dickey, particularly his approaches to characterization and plotting. She discovered that art could be empowering, helping people to see that others have gone through similar challenges in their lives, and that they don’t have to face their struggles alone. 

“I write for the African American community, and I am proud to say that the characters that I create are phenomenal, amazing individuals with good hearts, although they have flaws,” Lisa said. 

Escaping to Another World Through Music 

Dwayne Trainer is a senior benefits consultant at GoHealth who has played alto and tenor saxophone since high school. He continues to practice his instruments as a hobby and a way to take a break from daily pressures. 

“Playing the sax allows me to relax and enjoy what feels to be a different world,” Dwayne said. “It’s soothing to my soul.” 

Through the universality of music, Dwayne believes it is possible to tap into the souls of ancestors. That kind of connection with the history of achievements by Black Americans is deeply meaningful to him. He especially looks up to Malcolm X for his fearlessness in standing up for social justice and finds power in Langston Hughes’ poetry. 

“Black History Month may be a time of pride, empowerment, and cultural affirmation,” Dwayne said. “It is an opportunity to honor and highlight the accomplishments of African American leaders, artists, activists, and everyday individuals who have made a positive impact on society. It also serves as a reminder of the strength, resilience, and perseverance of the Black community throughout history.” 

Poetry and Reflection 

Dr. Stephen Tyler Jr. is a trainer on GoHealth’s Learning and Development team with eight years of experience at the company. He’s also a public speaker who conducts educational workshops, and he’s been writing poetry since the age of 17. 

For Stephen, Black History Month is a time of sanofka, a word from the Twi language of Ghana that literally means “go back and get it,” a reminder that reflecting on the past is necessary to pursue success in the future. Stephen finds inspiration in the work of major figures like the Jamaican activist Marcus Garvey and current artists such as the poet Black Ice, feeling connected to a long tradition of sharing stories and lessons through his writing. 

“African culture is rich in storytelling, and poetry tells a story and communicates ideas via the power of our words,” Stephen said.

Headshot of Dr. Stephen Tyler.

Stephen appreciates how artistic expression helps people to escape from everyday stresses and to lead a healthier life. He finds that composing poetry keeps him thinking creatively and engaging with others. 

“Creating art makes me feel accomplished by providing messages meant to elevate, educate, and motivate,” he explained.

As these GoHealth employees have discovered, artistic expression can be an essential part of a healthy life, along with the high-quality healthcare that makes it possible for people to fulfill their potential and build better futures. Our continuing progress toward more effective and equitable care is one part of the history we celebrate this month.  

About GoHealth 

GoHealth is a leading health insurance marketplace and Medicare-focused digital health company. Enrolling in a health insurance plan can be confusing for customers, and the seemingly small differences between plans can lead to significant out-of-pocket costs or lack of access to critical medicines and even providers. GoHealth combines cutting-edge technology, data science, and deep industry expertise to build trusted relationships with consumers and match them with the healthcare policy and carrier that is right for them. Since its inception, GoHealth has enrolled millions of people in Medicare plans and individual and family plans. For more information, visit