5 Ways to Celebrate Black History Month 2023 in the Workplace
Black History Month is one of the most important celebrations of the year. It honours the history of Black communities and recognises the great achievements made by Black thought leaders who have shaped life as we know it.
From Kanya King to Piers Linney, Black British speakers are representatives of their industry and can provide a unique perspective on racism in business. With 60% of Black professionals reporting racism in the workplace, business leaders must take the matter seriously.
When is Black History Month 2023?
Black History Month is celebrated from Sunday the 1st of October to Tuesday the 31st of October, 2023.
What is Black History Month?
Black History Month, otherwise known as African American History Month, is an internationally recognised celebration of just that – Black history. By honouring the struggles faced by not just the African-American community, but Black people as a whole, the month strives for equality and inclusion. First coined by US historian Carter G. Woodson in 1926, though under a different name, Black History Month has since become essential to British education.
Additionally, Black History Month highlights the achievements made by pinnacle Black figures, to supply a platform for the icons of inclusion who have been silenced by our white-washed history. It is important to celebrate “Black joy”, culture and achievements, just as much as we reflect upon the historical racism still prevalent in society today.
Black History Month Facts:
Black History Month was first proposed in 1915, 50 years after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished US slavery.
In America, the month is celebrated in February.
Black History Month was created to improve the public’s study of African-American history.
In 1976, the celebration was extended from a week to a month.
The UK started celebrating Black History Month in October 1987.
How to Meaningfully Celebrate Black History Month 2023
Assess Your Company’s Diversity Policy
Put simply, a company’s diversity policy is a written agreement, laying out the steps that managers and employees alike must take to promote inclusion, and tackle discrimination.
It should pledge to create a respectful, accessible working environment, and take a hard stance against bullying of any kind. For Black employees, a diversity policy sets the standard for the company’s approach to discrimination, in line with the 1976 Race Relations Act, and following amendments in 2000 and 2003.
Black History Month is the perfect time to assess your diversity policy and take genuine, meaningful steps to improve the wellbeing of your staff members from minority groups. From establishing appropriate vocabulary, setting out diversity programs to improve opportunities for Black employees and taking claims of racial bullying seriously, your policy should be on the right side of history.
Raise Money for Good Causes
When businesses raise money for Black communities, it sends a clear message to their Black employees; we see you, we hear you, we stand with you.
It is important not to assume that employees of minority backgrounds will automatically help you plan a charity fundraiser simply because they are Black, but taking that initiative establishes your business as a haven for inclusion.
It also helps local charities to support the Black community in your area, and improve resources for Black-owned businesses, mental health services and more.
Pledge to Tackle Workplace Discrimination – Then Do It
It is one thing to create a workplace inclusion policy that tackles discrimination, but the real proof is in disciplining. When an employee comes to you with a case of racism or bullying, you must take it seriously and not make excuses for the accused.
From unconscious microaggressions to more serious crimes of racial harassment, workplace discrimination can take many forms, but 40% of those who reported a racist incident were still ignored.
The best way to tackle workplace discrimination is through education and prevention. By teaching your managers how to notice the warning signs of racial bullying and provide a step-by-step strategy for disciplining those accused, your employees will not be complicit in a system of oppression.
Anti-racism training and diversity speakers can teach your team how to tackle workplace discrimination head-on.
Value A Diverse Team
When a workplace is diverse, the company as a whole makes better decisions, benefits from wider perspectives and is more innovative – a study by Josh Bersin’s Research even found that inclusive workplaces are 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders.
By valuing diversity, your business will stay ahead of the times. You will benefit from the top professionals of your field, regardless of their differences, and encourage a more open, welcoming workplace culture.
With 67% of modern-day job seekers reporting diversity as the main factor when choosing their dream place of work, your business may actually be limited by its lack of diversity and inclusion.
Book A Black British speaker & Educate Your Employees
One of the best ways to support your minority employees and educate the rest of your team is to book a Black British speaker. Whether you require a diversity workshop or want to hear first-hand the struggles faced by minority groups, these speakers open their audiences' eyes to the truth about racism in Great Britain.
Our wide range of race and minority ethnic speakers are vehicles for meaningful change. They have dedicated their careers to improving the level of inclusion in business, using their unique perspective to promote equal opportunities for all employees – based on merit, and not the colour of their skin.
Jack Hayes was appointed Director of the Champions Speakers agency in 2012 becoming one of the youngest Directors in the UK. A year later, Jack became a founding member of the European Association of Speakers Bureaux (EASB) collaborating with speaker... Read more
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