Organizations observe black history month in February to celebrate the contributions and achievements of black communities. Here we will discuss some ideas to celebrate black history month in the workplace.
We have researched the case histories of twenty organizations and came up with the following 6 ideas:
- Organizing a diversity and inclusion event
- Encourage Diverse Literature
- Supporting Black Artists and Culture
- Help Restaurants of Black Owners
- Organizing Diversity and Inclusion Training Programs
- Establishing Employee Resources Group
Let’s discuss them in detail.
Organizing a Diversity and Inclusion Event
Supporting diversity and inclusion in the workplace is an excellent way to show your commitment to helping minorities thrive.
Many employees of color face senseless biases and harassment due to a lack of education. When organizations arrange an inclusion and diversity event, they can educate their employees and make the workplace safer for minority employees.
These workshops will discuss the topics that employees of color face every day and how organizations can reflect and accommodate diversity more effectively. Thus, the privileged employees will be more considerate and empathetic towards the minority employees.
Encourage Diverse Literature
Every modern organization nowadays features an extensive book collection to facilitate the employees. To celebrate black history month, organizations can include books written by black writers.
Literature speaks of the experiences and stories that people lived, celebrated, and suffered. Yet most black authors do not receive the recognition they deserve compared to white authors.
By including books of black authors, companies are supporting black communities as well as promoting the authors and their remarkable works. Companies can arrange a company-wide gathering to encourage employees to read those books.
Leaders need to make sure that this initiative is performed all over the year, not just in black history month. Otherwise, the whole initiative loses its meaning.
Supporting Black Artists and Culture
Creativity can flourish in a person regardless of gender, race, or orientation. So, companies can celebrate black history month by supporting the works of minorities.
When employees in an organization get familiar with the works of people of different ethnicities, they will be more appreciative of their culture. Additionally, when cultural differences are celebrated throughout the organization, everyone will be more open to accepting other cultures.
Help Restaurants of Black Owners
Despite many people belonging to minority groups doing very well economically, many black communities still suffer from the financial crisis. The number of black people living under the poverty line is significantly high compared to people of white origin.
To celebrate black history month, organizations can choose to support black owned-restaurants.
Leaders can take their team for dine-in or simply order takeout from particular restaurants. If the organization has remote employees, leaders can just order on behalf of them from their nearest black-owned restaurant.
This will give the restaurant owners a boost in their business and open possibilities for future collaborations with the organization. If the restaurant is up to the standards, companies can give them a shout-out on their social media to further boost the restaurants’ reputation.
Organizing Diversity and Inclusion Training Programs
A workplace should be a safe place for all employees regardless of their origins and skin color. To achieve this safe space, organizations can offer diversity and inclusion training programs.
The training sessions can be run by black employees of the organization. They can discuss the hardship they face in their workplace and what will help them feel more comfortable. If any employees have any specific questions, the speakers can clarify them in those training programs.
If the organization does not have appropriate people to conduct the training sessions, it can invite speakers or leaders from the community as well. This will allow the community members to share valuable information and insights.
The workplace becomes safer with such training sessions, and the company culture improves significantly.
Establishing Employee Resources Group
Organizations can leverage employee resource networks to craft workshops for black history month. This initiative can benefit organizations’ cultures and make the workplace more accommodating.
Several organizations now have resource groups highlighting the experiences of their communities and culture. If the organization does not have an ERN group, establishing one can be an excellent way to celebrate black history month.
The primary purpose of black history month is to bring awareness of past exploitation and establish equality and develop the black community.
The past has not been easier for the black people, and they are still suffering to some extent. With workplaces celebrating the black month, more and more people will develop awareness and be more kind to each other.
Any of the above approaches can be taken to celebrate black history month in organizations. However, organization leaders should ensure that the developments should be continued throughout the year.
Also, these approaches may need to be revised and customized according to the present organizational culture before implementing in the organization. Only then can leaders ensure a safe, discrimination-free, and diverse workplace for everyone.