This Black History Month we find diversity and equity at the forefront of our social conscience and dialogue more than ever before, and we applaud this increasing awareness. But while corporate America has made great strides in addressing issues of race and intersectionality, we know more work is needed for our companies and our communities to be inclusive and equitable.
For employers, Black History Month is an important time to celebrate the many contributions Black citizens have made to society, and specifically among employees to the company’s progress. Black History Month is also a time for leaders and employees to challenge themselves and one another to work harder to increase opportunities for inclusiveness and to be more equitable in ways large and small across the organization. Cone Communications reports the vast majority (90%) of African Americans have said they want companies to stand up for issues, a statistic that affirms the strength of African American employees and consumers.1
So, in what ways is your company taking a stand on diversity and equity? How is your company commemorating Black History Month?
Many ACCP companies have stepped up to the plate to do just that. Here are some examples we are excited to share:
- PayPal President and CEO Dan Schulman sat down with Lisa Poletti and Stephen Casesar – the Global Co-Chairs of Amplify, PayPal’s D&I community for Black employees – to discuss how PayPal is celebrating Black History Month and Amplify.
- Wells Fargo recently shared the inspiring story of a long-time employee, Gigi Dixon, in their feature blog post, I'm a Bank Exec Who Grew up in the South During Desegregation. Here Are 3 Lessons About Being Black in America That Have Guided My Life and Career Choices.
We have also included below some suggestions on ways to celebrate Black History Month, courtesy of the NAACP. Please share with your co-workers and staff. These are just a few, but you can find the complete list of 28 here.
Read a book by a Black author
Get involved with an organization in your community that’s making a difference, such as the National Black Child Development Institute
Donate to an HBCU
Read Dr. King’s I Have a Dream speech
Register to vote
In addition to the NAACP’s list, we invite you to visit the following websites. Read more information on Black History Month and ways you can celebrate and commemorate Black history makers, as well as understand more about the importance of diversity and inclusion:
National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, DC
Southern Poverty Law Center
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Perhaps most importantly, ensure diverse perspectives are part of the information you consume on a regular basis.
What ways are you or your company celebrating and recognizing Black History Month? Please share and let us know.
1 Cone Communications (2017)