Black History Month comes around every February in the United States and Canada. While we should celebrate the achievement of the black community year-round, this dedicated time marks a special moment in which historical lessons and events focus on the greatness of the African-American community.
With diversity, empathy, and inclusion (DEI) becoming more and more mainstream in the workplace, celebrating Black History to the fullest is understood to be a must. Every employee needs to know they are appreciated, seen, cared about, listened to, and represented.
What is Black History Month?
Black History Month was unofficially started in 1915, 50 years after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. That year, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASALH) was founded to research and promote the achievement of Black Americans and other people of African descent.
Fast-forward to 1926, the second week of February — which coincides with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass — the ASALH launched national Negro History Week. Over time, this week evolved into what we know today as Black History Month.
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” — Frederick Douglass
Click To Tweet
While Black History can be celebrated throughout the year, we’ve carefully curated a list of 12 creative Black History Month ideas for work. Is your team hybrid or fully remote? We have you covered:
|Virtual Ways To Celebrate Black History Month|
Virtual Tour of The National Museum of African American History and Culture – Dive into the richness and diversity of the African American experience and how it shaped the USA. Starting from the history of slavery, moving through 70s & 80s pop culture, and ending with current Black artists.
History of Black Art – Trace the legacies of artists from the Harlem Renaissance, and learn how contemporary artists have used their work to explore ideas about identity.
The Music of Broadway – Celebrate the journey of Black artists and their impact on American music, starting from the Fisk Jubilee Singers to ceiling-breaking artists of today.
Black History Trivia – From Spike Lee to Juneteenth to Destiny’s Child, test your knowledge about important moments and figures in Black history.
Black History Month Emoji Pictionary Game – Improve knowledge, sensitivity, and respect for African Americans at work with this fun emoji pictionary game.
Without further ado, check out these DEI and HR expert-approved ideas to promote inclusivity in the workplace and reinforce it in your company culture!
Ways To Celebrate Black History Month at Work
1) Send Employees Gifts From Black-Owned Businesses
Spread some love this February by sending out a gift to each one of your employees that also supports a Black-owned business. Whether it is an item for employees to use at work, during their free time, or to sip on (like BLK & Bold Beverages) during the morning — this is a great way to kick off BHM! These gifts can also be coupled with a Black History Month-themed team lunch with food ordered from Black-owned restaurants in the area.
How this idea supports Black History Month? This Black History Month idea highlights Black-owned businesses and encourages employees to support growing businesses and entrepreneurs. It also allows teams to bond as they work together in celebration of Black History Month. All these things help create an inclusive and supportive work environment, which is one of the goals of Black History Month.
How to get started: Start by finding Black-owned businesses in your area and compile a list of potential items to include in the Black History Month gift list.
Pro-Tip: Celebrate Black History Month at your company via Caroo’s Recipient Choice feature that allows you to set a budget, send to employees, and let them choose from a variety of gifts from black-owned businesses and companies.
Discover today’s most exciting products from emerging women-founded, Black-founded, and people-of-color-founded brands!
For every gift delivered, Caroo donates meals to Feeding America on your behalf and donates 5% of all proceeds to the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit organization working to end racial inequality.
2) Encourage Employees To Learn About Black History In Your Area
Show your team the many contributions that black people have made to America, and encourage them to learn more. This can easily be done with the Black Excellence game. This engaging and informative quiz game will test employees’ knowledge of everything from important figures to pop culture moments. With tons of questions, you’ll have hours of fun learning all about the rich heritage that black people bring into this world, so put on your thinking cap for some Black Excellence!”
How this idea supports black history month at work? With tons of questions, employees, coworkers, and managers will have hours of fun learning about the rich heritage that black people bring into this world.
3) Stock Your Kitchen With Black-Founded Snack Brands
What’s a better way to celebrate Black History Month than filling the office snack station and serving up some of the best black-founded snack brands? The office snack delivery service, Caroo, offers a huge catalog of snacks and even features delicious, authentic, and unique treats from black-owned brands.
How this idea supports black history month at work? Snacking is just another way to show your support for black culture and community and celebrate African-American entrepreneurship. With a Caroo snack box you can help shine a light on the importance of diversity and inclusion among team members.
How to get started: Try out Caroo.
4) Big Company-Wide Goal
Showing a commitment to diversity and inclusion can start on an individual level, but making it a company-wide mission shows you’re serious. Whether you base your goal around hitting a revenue target or some sort of fitness challenge for employee wellness, you can tie it back to a cause that supports DEI.
How this idea supports Black History Month at work? Setting a big company-wide goal is a great way to celebrate Black History Month because you can donate to organizations like the NAACP or other causes that fight for civil rights and equality. Remember that 67% of job seekers consider workplace diversity to be a key factor when assessing potential companies to work for, so it’s critical to be inclusive.
How to get started: At the end of the month, you can hand out awards via a recognition platform or through an end-of-month all-hands meeting.
5) Support Black Founded Businesses In Your Community
What better way to show your support for black excellence and entrepreneurship than by shopping at black-owned businesses? By supporting these locally-owned shops, you will be making an impact on others’ lives as well as acknowledging the power of diversity in your community!
How this idea supports black history month? By supporting black-founded businesses, not only are you celebrating the success and empowerment of African-Americans, but you’re also helping to advance society by supporting entrepreneurs who have committed themselves wholeheartedly to their respective endeavors.
How to get started: Support Black-Owned Businesses in your area by using the Shop Black Owned tool to locate new spots in your community.
6) Donate Time And Be A Mentor
Donating your time as a mentor is a perfect Black History Month idea for work. Seek out a young person or get involved in an organization to start mentoring. Open up the opportunity to become a mentor to the company. Let your coworkers or employees know as you find good organizations with strong track records to get involved with.
How this idea supports Black History Month? A mentor provides guidance, lessons, and assistance to someone who needs it. Celebrate Black History Month by offering mentorship to at-risk and underprivileged youth. For many years, the African-American community was placed at a disadvantage by prejudicial practices like red-lining. While we can’t fix the past, we can certainly do our part in the present to continue to improve equality and opportunity.
How to get started: Learn more about becoming a mentor at Mentoring.org.
7) Invest In DEI training
As Michael Scott from The Office proved, not everyone can or should host diversity training. Some things are better left to professionals. Instead of trying to do diversity training internally, consider investing in DEI training by hiring outside help. DEI experts come equipped with exercises, perspectives, and the skills needed to make sure everyone in the office understands how to mesh properly and always be respectful of each other’s backgrounds and differences.
How this idea supports Black History Month? DEI training is about as relevant to Black History Month as it gets. What happens all too often is that people treat racial issues like an elephant in the room instead of facing them head-on and taking the time to develop sensitivity and empathy. Investing in DEI is a chance to change that.
How to get started: This resource can be helpful to start making progress on your investment.
8) Start A Book Club
Reading has been proven again and again to make people more empathetic. It can be easier to understand and digest real-world issues through the lens of fiction and non-fiction because we view them from a less defensive and biased perspective. Starting a book club is a solid way to build up empathy in the workplace towards black employees and to learn more about African-American history.
How this idea supports Black History Month? Books are at least a partial cure for ignorance. Sometimes people act with a lack of sensitivity purely for not knowing any better. Select a variety of books by black authors that focus on the challenges and struggles black women and men have faced throughout history — as well as their amazing accomplishments and triumphs.
How to get started: Check out 10 Must-Read Books for Black History Month to find the right book for your organization.
Pro-tip: Check out these 5 books to get your book club started:
9) Contribute To A Black Philanthropy
Celebrate Black History Month by contributing to an organization or nonprofit that helps the black community. If you’re short on the time it takes to mentor, this is an excellent way to better the world for African-Americans without a huge time commitment.
How this idea supports Black History Month? Arguably the most direct way to support Black History Month, getting your team to rally behind an organization that focuses on an impactful cause can make a big difference. The important thing is to find a charity that can be trusted.
How to get started: Charity Navigator can help you learn more about picking the right cause.
10) Support Black Art And Artists
In several creative industries (such as book publishing, for example), black artists are vastly outnumbered. Celebrate Black History Month by purchasing the works of black artists. This helps balance out underrepresentation one purchase at a time.
How this idea supports Black History Month? Black artists create and send powerful messages. One of the best ways to give the community a voice is to support the artists who are speaking out.
How to get started: There are a ton of free online art galleries to access — you can start with one like Black Art Depot.
11) Harness the power of social media
During Black History Month, encourage your employees to use their social media accounts as a platform for raising awareness about Black culture and amplifying the voices of Black-owned businesses. Have teams create powerful posts that celebrate BHM with stories and experiences on different platforms to reach out to more people.
You can also utilize social media channels to let everyone know what your company is doing in honor of this special month–from activities you have planned to events you are participating in.
How this idea supports Black History Month? Through utilizing social media, you can take Black History Month beyond the four walls of an office and allow more individuals to learn about Black History Month and how it impacts their workplace and community.
How to get started: Invite your employees to share Black History Month-inspired posts, and provide them with hashtags like #BlackHistoryMonth for extra exposure. Showcase their individual stories and amplify their voices!
12) Send out podcast suggestions
Share Black History Month-related podcasts with your employees to deepen their understanding of Black culture and history. Encourage everyone to come up with podcast suggestions that they would recommend to their peers. This can be an opportunity for distributed teams to bond together over a new podcast that everyone can listen to and discuss.
How this idea supports Black History Month? This Black History Month plan is designed to help employees further their knowledge of cultures they may not be very familiar with. Listening to podcasts provides an opportunity for people to learn more about Black culture, Black history, and Black leaders in a way that is both engaging and entertaining.
How to get started: Research Black-led podcasts or find recommendations on various Black-history websites. Encourage employees to listen to the podcasts and discuss their favorite episodes in a Black History Month gathering or virtual meeting.
People Also Ask These Questions About Black History Month Ideas
Q: What kind of activities can you plan for Black History Month at work?
- A: There are a variety of activities you can do to celebrate black history during February. Make everyone aware of individuals who have made important contributions to your culture as well as mainstream American life. Hold a screening and discussion about an important movie from history, or host discussions on current issues faced by black Americans. Sometimes events can be as simple as having lunch together or discussing books written by your favorite authors of color.
Q: How is Black History Month celebrated in the workplace?
- A: Black History Month is celebrated in the workplace by making time to reflect and share the successes and accomplishments of the black community.
Q: How can you celebrate Black History Month with your remote team?
- A: You can celebrate Black History Month with your remote team by partaking in ideas that can be done at a distance. For example, philanthropic contributions can be done from anywhere. Even mentorship can be done remotely, these days.
Q: How do you celebrate Black History Month at work virtually?
- A: You can celebrate Black History Month at work virtually by contributing to a philanthropic cause, starting a virtual book club, or setting a company-wide goal that ties back into black history. You can also set up virtual events via Zoom like black history trivia and activities based around the Civil Rights Movement.
Q: Why is it important to celebrate Black History Month at work?
- A: It is important to celebrate Black History Month at work because you want to foster a culture of inclusivity, diversity, empathy, and an understanding that it’s safe to recognize and even enjoy cultural and individual differences.
Q: What are the benefits of celebrating Black History Month at work?
- A: The benefits of celebrating Black History Month at work include greater empathy, kindness, sensitivity, communication, and respect, among many other things.
The post 12 Creative Black History Month Ideas & Activities For Work In 2023 appeared first on SnackNation.