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12 Powerful Ways to Honor Black History Month in the Workplace This February

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Honor Black History Month
Image source: Unsplash+

This February, are you looking to celebrate Black History Month at work?

By doing so, you can boost your diversity and inclusion efforts and raise awareness of the work that still needs to be done for racial equity.

There are many ways you can honor this historical month, from team-building activities to social activist projects.

Check out these unique Black History Month celebration ideas.

1. Provide Financial Literacy Resources

According to the 2021 PKM survey, Black parents are less likely to have sufficient emergency funds to help them through difficult times.

Parents of color also had higher risks to their financial well-being during the pandemic. They were also more likely to be laid off or furloughed.

As part of honoring Black History Month, you can encourage financial literacy, starting with basic budgeting skills for beginners, to empower your team members.

Retirement is another important element of financial literacy that you can provide resources for. Only 70% of heads of Black households had access to a 401k plan, compared to 81% of heads of white households.

heads of Black households

Image Source: T.RowePrice

Understanding and managing finances is a crucial step towards achieving economic equality and stability, a goal deeply connected to the historical struggles and achievements of the Black community.

By focusing on these practical skills, you pay homage to the resilience and resourcefulness that have been hallmarks of Black history.

2. Play Black Trivia

Trivia is a fun way to challenge your employees’ knowledge about Black History Month. It can also help them learn about important people, facts, and events related to Black history.

For example, your employees can learn about important figures like Mary Eliza Mahoney, the first African American registered nurse in the US, and Betty Smith Williams, a nurse and doctor who founded several nurse associations.

These prominent Black women contributed to the nursing field’s development, allowing new branches and nursing opportunities, like travel nursing jobs, to emerge.

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3. Organize Team Building Activities

Black History Month is all about inclusivity and fostering a sense of belonging, which are tied to workplace commitment, motivation, and pride.

You can honor this by organizing team-building activities. With these activities, you can’t only help make your Black employees feel like they belong at your company, but you’ll also foster a sense of camaraderie among all workers.

Some examples of team-building activities include:

  • Outdoor activities like ropes courses, zip-lining, or hikes
  • Games like trust falls, Mine Field, or human knots
  • Team sports or fitness challenges
  • Communication training sessions
  • Cooking classes or team meals
  • Community service projects
  • Escape room challenge

These team-building activities are a great way to incorporate some fun into the workplace and bring people together, no matter their race or background.

You might also consider team-building activities centered around Black history.

For example, you could engage your team in a collaborative art project that represents their appreciation for Black history and culture. This could be a mural, collage, or any art medium.

Another example may be a poetry slam where team members recite works by Black poets.

You could also get your team members to work together to create a timeline of key events in Black history. This might include milestones in civil rights and cultural achievements. Get them to display the final result in the office to remind everyone about these significant events.

You can end each activity with a reflection session where team members talk about what they’ve learned during the activity and how they can apply these insights to enhance diversity and inclusivity within the team and the workplace.

4. Plan a Workshop

Workshops are interactive meetings or educational sessions that help participants solve problems or gain new skills. These are great for the workplace because they encourage participants to be hands-on and think critically about what they’re learning.

Examples of workshops you can host for Black History Month include:

  • Career advancement workshops for Black employees
  • Inclusive communication workshops
  • Diversity and inclusion training
  • Cultural awareness through art
  • Unconscious bias workshops
  • Cultural competency training

5. Support Black Artists

Celebrate Black History Month by purchasing from Black artists to showcase their artwork in your office. These creative professionals often have a story to tell through their artwork. You can help give the Black community a voice by supporting ‌artists speaking out.

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There are many ways you can get your hands on Black art. One example is the online art gallery, the Black Art Depot.

Black Art Depot

Image Source: Blackartdepot.com

You can also visit local galleries and art exhibitions, attend Black art fairs and festivals, or connect with Black artists on social media.

6. Send Employees Gifts from Black-Owned Businesses

Spread some love this February by gifting your valued workers with items purchased from Black businesses.

Not only are you showing your support to Black-owned businesses by buying their products, but you’re also inspiring employees to show their support, too. This helps create an inclusive and supportive work environment.

7. Honor Black Musicians and Performers

Cultural appreciation is a great way to celebrate Black History Month. You can show your appreciation for Black culture by paying homage to African American musicians.

For example, you can create a Black History Month playlist to celebrate African American artists. This might include the likes of Louis Armstrong, Josephine Baker, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Check Barry, John Coltrane, and so many more.

These Black artists played a huge role in shaping many of the genres we listen to today.

After creating your playlist, you can either share it with your team through a music streaming service like Spotify or play it at work during lunch hour.

Black History Month playlist

Image Souce: Spotify

8. Eat at Black-Owned Restaurants

You may have hosted plenty of team luncheons before. But have you centered them around a Black history theme?

You can by treating your workers to lunch at a Black restaurant.

Look up restaurants in your area to support, as they may differ from state to state. Eatblackowned.com is a great resource that can help you find a restaurant near you.

Managing a fully remote team? You can still support Black-owned eateries by ordering delivery to each person’s home or offering a gift card.

9. Read Books by Black Authors

You’ve probably noticed that this list includes lots of culturally relevant activities.

That’s because learning a specific group of people’s culture can help others better understand their diverse experiences, encourage empathy, and foster appreciation and respect across different communities.

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One way to do this is by reading books written by Black authors. If you have team members who love to read, you can boost employee engagement with a Black author’s book club.

Doing so will also allow employees to understand a wide variety of perspectives from different Black authors.

To further boost engagement, you can create a discussion group where you encourage workers to share their thoughts on each book after reading. If your team is virtual, you can host a Zoom call or create a Slack channel dedicated to your book club.

10. Donate to an Organization That Supports Black Communities

Put your company’s dollars to good use by donating to organizations that support Black causes. Research organizations that focus on addressing Black communities’ specific needs and challenges.

Consider the specific cause that resonates with you and your company’s mission. This could be education, healthcare, social equality, economic empowerment, or arts and culture. Or, you could let employees choose what organizations to support.

But avoid placing the financial burden on your workers. Instead, let your company handle the financial responsibility while your team members volunteer their skills and expertise to show their support.

11. Invest in DEI Training

Engaging in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives should be a year-round strategy. But you can focus on them even more during Black History Month.

Hiring people from different cultures, races, and ethnicities is essential to fostering an inclusive workplace. By implementing DEI training, you can create a positive work environment that celebrates the skills and abilities of Black Americans.

You can make it feel like a celebration with fun, team-building exercises, real-life video scenarios, interactive knowledge checks, and self-paced learning.

From cultural competency to microaggressions to unconscious bias, your employees can learn about a variety of topics to help them develop empathy and understanding for people from diverse backgrounds.

Consider a DEI training platform like EasyLlama to build diversity and inclusion into your work culture.

platform like EasyLlama

Image Source: EasyLlama

12. Create a Wall of Quotes

Motivation is a key aspect of employee engagement and satisfaction. So, motivate your people with a wall of quotes they can look at every day while they work.

Except this wall of quotes will be from influential Black figures. Frederick Douglas, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X,  and Sojourner Truth are examples of Black Americans who always had inspiring things to say.

How Will You Honor Black History Month?

Don’t let the month of February go by without honoring the major accomplishments of important Black figures. Being able to overcome such oppressive circumstances is indeed something to be celebrated.

Your workplace can be a great place to start. It’s where many people from different cultural backgrounds come together. So, why not embrace this with activities and events that foster diversity and inclusion?

Shabbir Ahmad is a highly accomplished and renowned professional blogger, writer, and SEO expert who has made a name for himself in the digital marketing industry. He has been offering clients from all over the world exceptional services as the founder of Dive in SEO for more than five years.

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