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Celebrating Black History Month in the workplace is important in the continuation of fostering a culture of diversity, inclusion and belonging. It is a time to reflect and share the accomplishments and contributions of the Black community that are often overlooked. There are so many ways to celebrate Black History Month that organizations aren’t sure where to start and how to make it impactful for their employees. Here are a few tips for celebrating Black History Month in the workplace.

When building out an engagement plan for Black History Month in the workplace, the top three areas to focus on are Education, Amplification and Support.

Educate

Educate your organization on the importance of Black History Month, its meaning, its history, and its theme of the year. Feed your organization’s thirst for knowledge by informing them about lesser-known figures in Black history.

  • Foster fun competition with quizzes or host a virtual game show highlighting Black history facts.
  • Highlight changemakers in Black history frequently throughout the month by posting announcements with fun facts about their contribution to history. Bonus points if you can tie them into the theme of the year or how their contributions apply to your business.
  • Create opportunities for open dialogue where employees can safely share their cultures and experiences to learn from one another. Atrium’s Forward Together program does this by hosting year-round focus groups with guided discussions surrounding Embracing Cultural Differences, Implicit Biases, and Anti-Racism. We also host company-wide Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging trainings on a yearly basis.

Amplify

Amplify Black voices whether it be inside or outside your organization.

  • Hire influential speakers to speak to your employees about topics surrounding Black identity.
  • Stock your kitchen or send remote employees a curated box of Black owned snacks to support Black entrepreneurship.
  • Get your Employee Resource Groups involved. A great way to promote your ERGs is to have them heavily involved in programming especially if you have an ERG that identifies with the Black community/experience. Encourage them to sponsor programming around amplifying Black voices such as panel discussions, guest speakers, fundraisers or curated lists of recommended books, movies, shows and music by Black creatives. This year, our BIPOC ERG (BUILD) is sponsoring Candlegrams for employees to send candles to one another made by a Black-owned business.

Support

Support the Black community by contributing to a Black philanthropy. This not only demonstrates support for the community but also helps form lasting relationships and creates opportunity for collaboration.

  • Host a volunteer day at a local, Black-led organization and encourage employees to seek out opportunities where they can lend a helping hand. Atrium has a volunteer program called Atrium Cares – where each employee is given one “free day off” per year to go out and do something philanthropic.
  • Implement a company-wide initiative to donate to a Black-led organization. Consider matching employee donations via Double the Donation.
  • Consider establishing mentorship opportunities for Black students seeking to work in your industry by partnering with an HBCU.

Ensure that your Black History Month ideas for workplace are meaningful, thoughtful, engaging, and impactful. Don’t be afraid to involve Black team members in the planning and start early! February is a short month, and it flies by quickly. Finally, it’s important to note that although February is dedicated to Black history, organizations should find ways to Educate, Amplify and Support Black History Month in the workplace all year-round.

This article was updated on January 25, 2023, original publishing date February 15, 2022.