Thoughjust one week was initially designated for black history in 1926, fifty years later the entire month of February, Black History Month, now allows us the proper time to honor and celebrate all of the tremendous achievements made by the many black men and women who made such an impact. Without the accomplishments of names like Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, George Washington Carver, Shirley Chisholm, and many more, the world would not be what it is today.
In addition to hiring diverse employees, we can celebrate Black History Month in the workplace in many ways to honor those who have worked so tirelessly to bring change and advancement to America.
Here are five few ways you can celebrate Black History Month in the workplace.
Encourage Company-Wide Participation
It isn't enough to reduce screening bias. It’s important for HR and the Leadership Team of every company to set and be an example for the entire company, and at all times. Encourage everyone in the company to learn about black history and participate in the month-long celebration.
Even something as simple as offering a list of movies created by a black director or featuring an all-black cast, or offering book recommendations from black authors can be a way to get others to participate. A few to add to your list could include:
Directors such as Spike Lee, John Singleton, Tim Story, and Allen Hughes
Movies such as Black Panther, Moonlight, Hidden Figures, and Selma
Authors such as Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Octavia Butler, and Langston Hughes
Of course, participation should go far beyond simply watching or reading these materials.
Order Lunch Service From a Black-Owned Restaurant
Although you may not be able to afford it daily, if your team is working in the office, try to order lunch service for everyone at the company at least once during the month. Choose a black-owned restaurant nearby to support their business. Try different restaurants each time to help promote more black-owned businesses in the area.
Hire an Author or Activist to Speak
Whether it’s a company all-hands or a virtual growth workshop, consider hiring an author or activist within the black community to come and speak to your employees. They could offer a fresh perspective that non-black members may have never thought about which could help improve and expand your company culture.All American Speakers offers a great resource to help you find black motivational speakers.
Offer incentives for donating if you believe it would help inspire further participation. Perhaps the person who donates the most gets one paid day off, or if the entire company reaches a certain donation threshold, a special lunch or activity will be planned for everyone.
Take a Hard Look at Your Own Recruitment Processes
If your company workforce lacks diversity, it may be time to take a hard look at how to avoid unconscious bias in recruiting. Crosschq’s Recruit allows you to source talent effortlessly so that you can easily build new talent pools from our candidate referral network. You'll receive invaluable candidate data to help you find new employees with the greatest potential to make an impact on your team. If you are interested in learning more about how to find high-potential candidates, schedule a demo with Crosschq.
These are some of the ways to celebrate Black History Month at work but there are many other big and small ways you can as a company and an individual too. Whatever you decide to do, do something. Your efforts will provide a learning opportunity for some, while giving others a chance to feel seen, and heard.
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