How to Support Employees during Black History Month
Updated: Mar 3
Ahhh, do you smell what's floating in the air? It's the aroma of black excellence, black resilience and the black experience. It's Black History Month, the month where we proudly celebrate our #blackculture, #blackhistory #blackresilience. It is also the time where black voices are amplified, and our contributions are put on center stage from creating inventions while in bondage to gaining our freedom to navigating Jim Crow and later witnessing former President Barack Obama and Madam Kamala D. Harris serving in the highest capacity that any American citizen can serve.
In honor of Black History Month, many corporations and brands will increase their efforts within inclusive marketing to convey and showcase their support for not only black Americans but for their black workforce. Both companies and brands should be willing to drive more representation and use their light to shine on underrepresented voices creating products that's inclusive for all. Not all companies and brands are created equal but the ones that do with grace and awareness shine every time. Many will miss the mark; others won't put forth the effort and some just lack awareness. In cases to where that's a factor, a good start would be assessing your audience, following social media trends to include content creators or better yet increase representation amongst your workforce from marketing teams to senior management to C- level roles. If given the opportunity to grow and learn who knows how tall the tree can grow or how healthy its roots can be.
Here are other ways, you can show up and support:
1. Devote some time to educate yourself about the black experience specifically, how experiences differ from person to place.
2. Expand your network to include people that differ from you in thoughts, experiences and culture.
3. Have open and honest conversations but be respectful and stay away from what can be perceived as stereotypical. You won't know what you don't ask!
#BHM is synonymously known by the mainstream only in month of February; however, we are #BlackHistoryMonth 365 days of the year. It's a time where we reflect on sacrifices, struggles and the achievements of those that came before us utilizing it to inspire and propel us to a brighter future. The achievement of our past shows us that resiliency, dedication and determination can propel us into a better tomorrow, so I celebrate the past, present and the future that's come.