With February right around the corner, it’s time to start planning and focusing on celebrating Black History Month as a team! It’s important to celebrate diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace all year long, but is especially top of mind this time of year.
In the month of February, all employees can take some time throughout the entire month to make themselves aware and bridge the gap of cultural differences in the workplace. No team is perfect and there is always room for improvement in making the workplace a welcoming and inclusive environment for all. Now with most of us working remote or a hybrid approach, here are some ideas that you can do with your entire team.
What is Black History Month? Learn more here!
TLDR: Black History Month is an annual observance where individuals recognize and celebrate the achievements of African Americans throughout history. There are so many key players in history that have made strides in creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive world. It’s important to recognize the impact of African American culture and heritage.
Learning Talks: Learn the History ⏱
- The majority of people only have a surface-level understanding of African American history and their cultural experiences. In fact, much of it was left out in history class and it’s your job to continue learning and expanding your knowledge on this crucial topic.
- The #BlackLivesMatter movement started back in 2013 and has been gaining traction ever since and encouraging everyone to take action. Learn about how it all started here.
Event Idea: Host learning talks or educational workshops where all employees can come together and learn the History. Have an employee, and ERG lead or a guest speaker educate the team on this topic.
Guest Speakers 🎙
- Guest speakers are a great way to educate and inspire your team on various topics from an individual with first hand experience. Whether it be learning more of their personal experience or they are motivating everyone to make a change, every employee is sure to take something important away from the speaker event.
- Some guest speakers you could bring in for Black History Month may include an influential activists, authors, motivational speakers or historians.
- Speaker topics/themes for Black History Month could include: learning the history, civil rights, diversity & inclusion, personal experiences, sports & motivation, women of color, Black-owned businesses & entrepreneurship, Black health & wellness (the Black History Month theme for 2022), social impact & volunteering with organizations that support and empower Black communities.
Event idea: Bring in a panel of guest speakers for a panel discussion where they can bounce ideas off of each other or have a featured guest speaker lead a learning or motivational talk.
Book Club & Recommendations 📚
- With more time being spent at home and less time on the go, now more than ever individuals can get back to the simple pleasures in life like reading a good book. For this month specifically, introduce everyone to books written by BIPOC authors and cultural figures, and create a book club.
These sources offer a great list of many reading options that are worth checking out:
- Reading Recommendations From Black Cultural Figures
- 25 Best Books by BIPOC authors
- List of Women of Color Writers
- 9 Amazing Books by BIPOC Authors to Read Now
- Read BIPOC: A List of Books by Black, Indigenous and/or People of Color Writers
Event Idea: Start a company-wide book club and choose one of the books listed above for the reading material. Schedule weekly book club meetings where everyone who is participating can lead discussions about the book. Don't forget to set how many chapters to read before the next meeting so everyone is on the same page (literally😉 ).
TED Talks 🎥
- Provide TED Talk resources for your employees so they are able to educate themselves and learn new ways on improving D&I in the workplace and celebrating all cultures.
Here are a few that we recommend:
- How to get serious about D&I in the workplace
- It’s (past) time to appreciate cultural diversity
- Bridging cultural differences
- 4 steps to hiring fairly -- and supporting criminal justice reform
- 3 ways to be a better ally in the workplace
Listen to Podcasts 🎙
- There is such a large collection of podcasts that cover any topic you can think of at our fingertips. Listening to podcasts throughout one’s day has become a routine for some. To keep educating yourself and those around you, tune in to podcasts that are hosted by BIPOC to support them as creators and learn from them.
Here are a few Podcasts that we think are worth listening to:
- 10 Podcasts Hosted by BIPOC Women to Tune Into
- 12 excellent podcasts with black hosts for pop culture, politics, or history fans
Support Organizations that empower BIPOC Individuals 🌟
- To help spread awareness and encourage people to take action against discrimination, find some organizations to support. Many of them have a lot of resources and people to connect with to help empower BIPOC.
- Check out this list of organizations that empower black communities.
Virtual Volunteering 🌎
- Even though the world is still on hold and we haven’t gone back to normal yet, doesn’t mean that you can’t volunteer virtually. There are many tools and resources online that can help you find volunteering opportunities that match what is important to you.
- Getting involved and supporting your local community is a very important step in creating an inclusive community.
Support Local Black-Owned Businesses 💼
- It’s no surprise that small businesses are struggling during these challenging times and supporting your favourite small businesses is so important to keep them afloat. The positive outcome of this is many businesses created online stores so it is easy to access global businesses to support. Not just this month, but all year round think of ways you can help support black communities and stand with them.
- Here’s a list of over 150 Black-owned businesses that you and your team can help support during these challenging times to help them stay strong.
Subscribe to the Epoch blog
Stay up to date with our monthly news on keeping your employees engaged and connected.
Follow our LinkedIn page for blog updates