On many occasions I have been asked to speak on the legacy of Black History Month, this is an effort that I am always willing to provide even more so how it can be implemented into the workplace! So I wanted to share how this effort, along with some additional resources, can be incorporated in the workplace 365/24-7. Plus, it’s nothing like finding new ways to incorporate new experiences in your daily routine.
Why BHM is Important in The Workplace? “Dig deeper, look closer, think bigger.”
- Race can be complicated, but we have to engage and talk about the comforts and discomforts
- Reimagine the possibilities
- Normalize what has been often made invisible
- Opportunity for active learning
- Another way to regularly incorporate inclusivity, equity, and work towards eliminating bias
- Black History is American History even World History!!
- A continued engagement with history and the Black experience and helps to give context for the present and future
- February can be the starting point to year-round efforts
#BlackHistory365 ideas that can be implemented in the workplace…
- Bring in speakers (This is a chance to learn and gain new perspectives from others outside of your office.)
- Organize a thematic book club (Monthly or Quarterly….You can also carry this out in February as well as other months such as Women’s History and Hispanic Heritage Month)
- Virtual cooking session (Swap recipes, select a region and do a virtual potluck, create a “Culinary Journey Passport”)
- Create a digital board for continuous learning and growth (Slack has become a popular tool that can be used here!)
- Community Service/Volunteer (You can never have enough community service, and now there are multiple ways to carry out this endeavor!)
- Promote Inclusion via Reflection-Collaboration-Recognition
- Organize/create a Black History Internet Scavenger Hunt that uses questions that pertain to African American people and moments
Next Steps to #BlackHistory365…
- In addition to the collective effort, think about what YOU can do. … What is your contribution?
- What role can you play? Invest in your efforts!!
- Pay it forward.
- Create safe spaces…The energy and creativity will flow when people feel as though it is welcomed and appreciated!
- Think before you post and act..Make sure your efforts are genuine. Learn and grow because you want to, not just to check off a box. Do your research…Remember why you are celebrating
- Don’t play the buzzword and pandering game (Avoid situations like Bath and Body )
- Ask the hard questions…that’s how you get answers and learn at the same time.
- Play the long game…How can Black History Month transform and evolve into #BlackHistory365 in your place of work??
And for the road…Some additional resources, recommendations, and guides…
- Black History 365-Things to Do
- Let’s Talk About Race
- The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture- “Talking About Race”
- Embrace Race https://www.embracerace.org/
- #SayHerName-AAPF https://aapf.org/shn-campaign
- Podcasts (Here are just a few: The Read, Seizing Freedom, Noire Histoir, Code Switch, Still Processing, Girl Trek’s-Black History Bootcamp, Driving The Green Book, Jemele Hill is Unbothered, Diary of An Africana, Still Processing, Black History Year, Seizing Freedom)
The great thing about all of this is that it can many things in one FUN, INFORMATIVE, ENGAGING and UPLIFTING!
For additional information and resources, check out the full guide here!!