4 Ways To Celebrate Black Excellence At Work
It’s February people! Which means it’s time for a bunch of businesses, and probably your workplace, to start recognizing the great work and influence of African Americans.
Many Black people who work in predominately non-Black spaces might side-eye their offices Black History Month activities, panels and diversity initiatives. You may wonder: “Will it all be for show? Do they really understand the importance of diversity and inclusion? Does this company actually value the accomplishment of Black leaders and my accomplishments at this company.”
Here’s a few ways you can effectively, and productively, honor Black History Month and elevate the month’s activities at work:
1. Create and distribute a list of Black-owned businesses and organizations.
Create a list, print them out and post them around the office. Send it in an email to your team. If that seems to “radical,” post your favorite Black-owned businesses on your Instagram Story and save it as a Highlight so you can direct friends, coworkers, and family to one resource.Black History Month isn’t just about remembering and honoring the past, it’s about sowing the seeds for the future. What better way to create a bright future for Black people than to support Black-owned establishments. Click To Tweet
Now, after a co-worker comments about some recent tragedy in the Black community and exclaims, “Ah! I just wish there was something I could do,” you know exactly where to direct them.
Don’t know any Black-owned businesses? Start with:
- WeBuyBlack.com, the Amazon for Black business owners
- OfficialBlackWallStreet.com, allows you to search Black-owned businesses across the US
- In Google search type “your city + Black-owned business”. There’s usually local directories online for large cities
2. Volunteer or donate to a Black non-profit organization
Sharing quotes from iconic Black leaders is great. But have you or your coworkers gotten active in real life?
Volunteering is a great introduction into any sort of activism. There’s a non-profit for any and every subgroup you can think of. Whatever you care about – there is a Black-owned organization pushing the narrative forward – get behind that.
But some can’t afford free Volunteer work or monetary donations….
3. Go see Black Panther for FREE from February 1- February 7!
Okay, this is technically outside the workplace but, you can go and tell your coworkers about it! Hustle on over to your nearest AMC theatre to see a FREE screening of Black Panther. Disney is giving a $1.5 million grant to the UNCF (United Negro College Fund). An organization that “helps minority students access and move to and through college.”
4. Dive into some Black literature
In my opinion, it’s not enough to learn the brief history of Black Americans or our heroes. So while discussing our leaders – who should absolutely be revered and celebrated – dive deeper into their mission by reading a piece of work.
One Instagram post or a Google’d article is only a slice of the life lived.
In the breakroom while you hear folks discussing an issue or a Black hero, ask them if they’ve read any books related to the topic. It’s not a way to demean them, it’s an ask that challenges them to understand more. Plus, everyone knows reading only adds to your critical thinking skills. When you increase your knowledge about a topic you have more to ponder, more to discuss and more empathy. An Instagram quote can’t give you all of that.
Chicago, here’s some local (Black-owned) bookstores full of Black Lit:
Happy Black History Month!