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According to History, “Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history.” The celebration has been designated on February by every American President since 1976 with a theme. This 2021 year’s theme is “Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity” explores the African diaspora, and the spread of Black families across the United States.

How can we celebrate Black History Month at work? Here are a few suggestions:

Kenyona “Sunny” Matthews, a motivational speaker focusing on issues of diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism. At her TedxAkron talk on “Inclusion over Diversity”.
  1. Invite guest speakers to facilitate Diversity & Inclusion dialogues

A guest speaker can help to bring the discussion of race in the workplace in an inspiring and engaging way, especially an scholar in the field or a diversity and inclusion facilitator. Having direct conversations about race can be very impactful and allows different voices to be heard.

2. Support Black-owned or Black-operated businesses and non-profits

A great way to show support directly to your community is to volunteer or support Black-owned or Black-operated businesses. This helps to build a sense of collaboration and connection. Some great organizations to check out are Black Girls Code and Black Lives Matter — you can also support your local NAACP local chapter.

3. Host a Black History Month trivia event

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9Dot Education Solutions, a human resources & accounting agency for educational institutions, hosts virtual trivia events for their staff. Putting together a Black History Month trivia night a great way to engage employees in a fun, interactive activity all while educating yourself and your staff on the civil rights movement, African American history, and the current climate for African Americans.

4. Promote Black art, film, and literature

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There are bountiful Black talent and it’s important to showcase them. Recently, the U.S. inauguration of the 46th President, Joe Biden hosted the youngest inaugural poet, Amanda Gorman. Her poem, The Hills We Climb, was beautifully delivered and is an inspiration for more stories, art, film, and literature to be shared. Find ways to showcase Black talent in the workplace by gifting books, sharing articles and hosting movie nights.

5. Highlight lesser known historical Black heroes, icons and events

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Far too often, the Black history being taught in schools are limited to slavery, Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, and Martin Luther King Jr. While they were key players in U.S. history, it’s also important to recognize lesser known heroes and figures. Trivia night is a great way to challenge your employees!

6. Host a book club showcasing Black authors and stories

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At 9Dot Education Solutions, we host a Racial Justice Library at our office where employees are able to check out and read books on racial justice and Black history. Sharing books and discussing stories are incredibly important, and a fun way to interact with your staff.

7. Amplify Black voices

According to Forbes, “Vulnerability can be an effective component to help individuals form deep bonds, so allowing employees to share their story could provide this opportunity”. Cultivate a space for Black employees to share their voice and story, if they are comfortable. This is a great way to connect with employees on a deeper level and develop a sense of understanding and trust in the workplace.

8. Support a charity with a focus on racial justice

Set up a fundraising event or collect donations for a non-profit that supports the fight in racial justice such as Black Lives Matter and ACLU.

We specialize in providing back-office services for businesses, charter schools and nonprofit organizations. https://www.hello9dot.com/