5 Things to Keep in Mind for Black History Month in the Workplace

Anisha Nandi
Anisha Nandi
Co-Founder, CEO

Black History Month kicks off on February 1st, and is a time to honor and recognize the central role, work and voices of Black people in America. Here are things to keep in mind as you honor BHM in your workplace - from helpful tips to actionable resources.

Center Black Perspectives

Create space for Black perspectives to be shared and heard in your workplace. For inspiration, take a look at how StoryCorps is centering Black voices in conversations about Black identity, struggle and joy.

Another way to center Black perspectives is by honoring Black artists and creators.

Collections & Resources Highlighting Black Artists & Creators:

Learn about BHM History & Honor this Year's Theme

Black History Month dates back to the early 1900's. The month started with efforts from historian Carter G. Woodson in 1926, and eventually led to every U.S. president honoring February as Black History month since 1976. Read about the full history here.

This year's BHM's theme is Black Resistance. To learn more about this theme and the themes of past years, read here.

Consider Virtual & Async Efforts

As you're planning different BHM efforts, consider where and how your employees might engage with these efforts. Employees that have hybrid, flexible or distributed working considerations may not be able to participate as easily in efforts that are planned in-office or at HQ.

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you plan efforts to make sure they're accessible and inclusive.

Questions to consider for Hybrid BHM Efforts:

  • Does your effort include a live virtual component or recording for those who can't join in-person?
  • Have you created asynchronous spaces (i.e. Teams channels, Slack channels) for people to engage in?
  • Have you considered the different locations & geographies your employees are in?

Check out these databases to help find local black business to support or work with:

Consider Intersectional Efforts

Intersectional Efforts are a great way to amplify the impact of your efforts, reach new audiences and share resources across different groups.

For example, with Women's History Month in March, Black employees and their allies could partner with Women employees and allies to plan efforts for their workplace. Need some inspiration? Read here how Betterment did this in 2022.

For more on this, read our Intro to Intersectional Effort Guide here.

Work closely with your Black ERG

Throughout any and all of these efforts, partnering closely with your Black ERG is critical. Whether it's writing a press release, working on an external campaign or planning internal efforts, include your Black ERG in the dialogue.

Make sure you're capturing the institutional knowledge along the way as well so next year's leadership and employees can benefit from the learnings. Here are some quick tips on how to generate effective and easy post-effort reports.

Check out our other guides: