...and creating an inclusive company culture year-round.
Since 1976, the United States has recognized February as Black History Month. As outlined by History.com, “Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history."
In recent years, many companies have similarly recognized the importance of celebrating Black History Month in the workplace. For many DEI and HR leaders the question has been - how to respectfully and authentically celebrate Black History Month? To address this question, we looked to our friends at LifeLabs Learning. LifeLabs Learning provides workshops, tools, and systems to skill up managers and teams fast.
Here are 7 tips on how to plan for, celebrate and continue the work of Black History Month to build a more inclusive company culture year-round. These are lessons and examples pulled from LifeLabs Learning's ERG dedicated to supporting black employees.
Leading up to Black History Month – Listen & Prepare1. Host a listening tour. Listen to what folks in your company are asking for, looking to share, or may be resistant to in celebrating this time of year; and, do what you can to support them.
2. Practice inclusive planning. Start asking in December and January how folks would like to engage with Black History Month in December and January. Make sure to draw from a variety of internal perspectives before launching something in your organization.
During Black History Month – Educate & Celebrate3. Fill in historical gaps. Offer daily slack posts to spotlight Black historical figures.
4. Host a training. Organize an eye-opening workshop on institutionalized racism or another relevant topic to raise awareness amongst all employees.
5. Find a way to celebrate Black folks and learn about these topics by hosting a 'Black History Trivia' event.'
After or Anytime – Center Inclusivity
6. Foster safe spaces. Create Employee Resource Groups for historically marginalized or disadvantaged groups including but not limited to LGBTQ, caregivers, Black employees or Indigenous people.
7. Practice micro-interventions. Whenever there's a spotlight on a particular group, even if it's meant to be a positive one (example: Black History Month), micro-aggressions are likely to occur. Skill up your people to recognize micro-aggressions and do practice skillful micro-interventions so that your initiative doesn't backfire and negatively impact the folks you're trying to celebrate. Bonus: these skills work year-round!
Didn't get a chance to celebrate Black History month at work this year? These tips can also be practiced during Juneteenth -- and now's a great time to start planning!
This blog was co-written in partnership with LifeLabs Learning whose mission is to teach people life’s most useful skills, using the workplace as a practice lab. If you’re interested in working with LifeLabs Learning for learning and development workshops get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’d like to get in touch with ZogCulture to host inclusive teambuilding events contact email@example.com.
Photo from www.canva.com.