Black History Month is an excellent opportunity to celebrate employees’ cultural, racial, and ethnic backgrounds while simultaneously working to end discrimination and biases. According to Carter G. Woodson, the “father of black history,” equality can only come through the understanding and acknowledgment of a race’s history. In the workplace, there are many ways to come together and celebrate Black History Month.
Planning a workshop or inviting a guest speaker allows educators to share expertise. Topics can vary from civil rights, racial relations, social justice, and more. This offers employees the chance to think critically and discuss important topics through group education. Shedding a light on workplace discrimination and its history brings coworkers together and can highlight biases that might have previously gone unnoticed and unaddressed.
Additionally, establishing a book club can facilitate learning and cultivation. Fiction or nonfiction books by Black authors can spark meaningful conversations and themes. There are an infinite amount of renowned black authors and published works to choose from. A book club provides social activity, bonds coworkers, and displays a deep effort to improve and understand.
Celebrating Black History Month in the workplace can fall short at times and feel like a PR move. To show genuine support, volunteer with local nonprofits and charities. Working and lending help to the community is a concrete way to make a difference. Creating strong bonds within a community generates positive, beneficial relationships, both in and outside the workplace.
If short on excess time, donations and fundraisers are equally appreciated by the underserved. Money or donated goods can positively impact a family or organization and change lives. Establishing a scholarship fund or mentorship program can be another way to make a difference.
Current events affect all people. It is important to recognize the implications and effects current events have on employees. Promote the workplace as an environment where these thoughts and feelings can be safely shared. Employers should show investment in their employees’ wellbeing and sense of security and inclusion.
An open line of communication is necessary to express an effort to create a workplace dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion. If there is a need for improvement, create a committee to spearhead the changes. Doing so displays an active attempt to better the workplace and the workers within it.
Black History Month is a time to celebrate, bond, and call attention where it is needed. While Black History Month stirs employers into action to foster a workplace of inclusion, February is a short month, and these efforts should be nurtured year-round.