February is a time to honor the struggles and achievements of the African American community. Even though Black History Month is reserved for this time, it’s nonetheless important we take actions to empower African Americans all year round.
That means actively fostering an inclusive, diverse and fair environment. Business owners and workplace managers are especially in a position to make a difference.
Use this guide on celebrating Black History Month at work for tips you can implement this month and all year round.
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Support Black-Owned Businesses
Supporting Black entrepreneurs and their businesses is one of the most impactful ways to stand behind the community. The good news is that there are a ton of Black-owned clothing, tech, and beauty brands to choose from.
You should also look into exploring local Black-owned businesses in your area. This could be restaurants, retail shops, dry cleaners, or other service based businesses. Make an effort to hold business meetings or outsource services to these locations.
Plus, during February, you’ll earn 2% cashback rewards at Black-owned bars and restaurants when you use your RoarMoney virtual card or MoneyLion Mastercard.
Give Back To Black Charities
If you have some extra cash on hand, make sure to donate towards charities and organizations directed at empowering Black communities. Holding a company-wide fundraiser can be a great way to raise funds for a good cause.
You should also explore charities and initiatives in your city that support black communities and Black youth. Sometimes, the biggest impact comes from localized efforts.
Aside from donating money to charities, you can also donate time. Consider introducing a company program that encourages employees to volunteer at local non-profit organizations. Explore initiatives aimed at empowering Black communities, neighborhoods, or youth in your area.
Maybe your employees can offer free classes to kids and young professionals, career counseling, sponsor a youth sports-team, partner with a food bank, or even grow a community garden. The opportunities to make a change are endless and you have room to get creative!
You’ll also boost team morale by having the company join together to make a positive impact.
Consider sending out a company-wide newsletter or email blast featuring historical Black icons or modern-day leaders. You could also use a newsletter as an opportunity to highlight Black brands and local Black-owned businesses.
While you’ll definitely want to host this newsletter throughout the month of February, however, you should also consider sending it out periodically throughout the year. Especially as new initiatives and developments take place within the Black community.
Bring In Speakers
Consider inviting a guest speaker to come in and talk to your team about diversity, race, cultural sensitivity, and current events. This can be a great way to learn about major themes affecting the Black community and bridge racial gaps.
It can also be a chance to open up difficult, but powerful conversations about diversity, inclusion, cultural issues, and the best way to move forward. These types of conversations can easily be done virtually!
Create Youth and Intern Program
Have you thought about introducing a youth educational program or internship program aimed at under-represented communities?
By donating either time or money, your team could effectively launch a youth-orientated initiative. You could focus on teaching skills, providing career advice, resume reviews, or even hosting outdoor activities.
An internship or mentorship program is another great way to make your company more diverse while simultaneously giving Black youth an opportunity to spearhead their future. It’s also a great way to discover emerging talent in your community and find outstanding future employees.
Display Local Art
Gifted Black artists are everywhere. Depending on the city you live in, there’s bound to be a community of budding Black talent. Take it upon yourself to explore Black artists in your area and bring them back into the workplace. Displaying pieces of art or promoting local gallery exhibitions is a good place to start. You should also look into promoting Black art, film, and literature.
Start A Book Club
A great way to promote Black literature is by starting a book club. Make sure to read a mix of both literature as well as books that discuss the realities of Black America, Black history, and minority-experiences. This can help further discussions of diversity and inclusion, as well as make readers appreciate the stories writers from all kinds of different cultural backgrounds have to offer.
Host A Book Reading Or Film Viewing Event
Aside from starting a book club, another way to appreciate Black artists is by hosting a book reading event or even a film viewing event. Put together a list of award-winning feature films, independent productions, documentaries, or even short films surrounding Black history, actors, screenwriters, or directors.
Make sure to leave time after the viewing to discuss the film and connect it to real world events.
Banking for Black Communities
Whether you’re planning on supporting local Black restaurants or purchasing art from local artists, consider banking with a bank that’s serious about empowering the African American community.
No matter what your race or cultural background is, MoneyLion is here to make sure you have access to the financial resources you need for a sound future.
Get started with RoarMoney banking solutions!