Black History Month is an important time of the year to honor and recognize the invaluable achievements of Black Americans throughout history, celebrate their present accomplishments, and support their future endeavors.
This year’s celebration will feature content and events around the theme “Black Resistance,” highlighting how Black Americans’ resistance has been a driving force for change and a cornerstone of this country’s success while also being an impetus for economic inequity.
There are several great opportunities for businesses to recognize and celebrate “Black Resistance” and resilience while also committing to long-term change that creates equity and inclusion both inside and outside of their organization. Businesses can:
- Organize town hall discussions by inviting speakers and experts from local organizations like New Detroit, Black Leaders Detroit, Detroit Equity Action Lab, and New Economy Initiative to discuss topics related to Black resistance and resilience.
- Amplify the success and stories of Black colleagues, leaders, and entrepreneurs.
- Promote local events that celebrate Black culture, such as concerts, art exhibits, and other activities. Here is a list of 2023 events in metro Detroit.
- Volunteer at a local organization that empowers underrepresented communities, such as the ACLU of Michigan, Detroit Justice Center, Franklin Wright Settlements, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, and Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice.
- Support Black-owned businesses by purchasing goods and services from them, whether it’s a larger procurement order or a smaller staff lunch. Here are eight ways to find Black-owned businesses.
How Businesses Can Honor Inclusivity Year-Round
Additionally, businesses should use this time to proactively work to create an inclusive workplace welcoming to all employees year-round. They can do this by implementing targeted recruitment and retention strategies and other diversity and inclusion policies, providing implicit bias training, formalizing diversity committees, and listening to employees’ feedback.
Though this type of work is not easy, and change won’t happen overnight, initiatives and actions like these can help businesses signal their commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging and build environments where everyone feels seen, respected, and valued.