Initiatives, Education, ERGs, and More — Black History Month Ideas For Work
Black History Month is the annual celebration of achievements by Black Americans. Each February serves as a reminder of the central contributions of Black Americans throughout U.S. history.
Every day, there are still personal and professional inequalities that Black Americans face at work.
To garner a deeper understanding of how organizations are working to create a more equitable professional landscape, we asked several of our partner companies about the events and initiatives they have planned for Black History Month this year.
These companies are finding innovative and exciting ways to honor Black Americans, all while elevating, initiating, and fostering positive change and a greater sense of belonging day-to-day.
Here's a look at the events, initiatives, and programs that our partner companies have planned to celebrate Black History Month this year, in their own words:
This Black History Month, Okta’s People of Collective Cultures (POCC) ERG is launching a “Black&” Campaign. The Black& campaign’s goal is to highlight all the facets of our Black employees that make them who they are: a beautiful and diverse collective. It is meant to celebrate all that they come from, all that they are, and all that they hope to be. Black employees across all functions in Okta’s distributed workforce are invited to participate in the Black& campaign and participant narratives will be shared on-site at Sales Kick Off, which will take place from February 21st to 23rd.
We will also be hosting a Community Service day across different locations with local organizations. Homelessness disproportionately impacts people of color and veterans. With this in mind, POCC and Vets@Okta are coming together during Black History Month to help support this vulnerable population in our communities.
Throughout February, Datadog’s Black in Tech Community Guild will host programming and events to celebrate and honor Black Americans and Black Joy in history and today. Expressing and celebrating Black Joy is a form of resistance against discrimination and can help to promote a more inclusive and understanding society.
This year’s Black History Month will include fireside chats with key leaders at Datadog, activities including Friday meals in offices catered by Black-owned businesses, and Black history, education, and resources shared in Slack.
Pluralsight is celebrating Black History Month with a variety of events and activities hosted by our seeColor ERG:
February 8th: seeColor Speed Mixer
February 15th: Black Magic Fireside Chat
February 22nd: BHM Watch Party
February 28th: BHM/Women’s History Month Trivia
We'll also be encouraging conversation over Slack through different prompts and sharing resources to educate and inform team members.
Throughout February, we commemorate the accomplishments and contributions of Black and African Americans throughout history. At this time, we also recommit ourselves to celebrating diversity and promoting equity and inclusion in our team and in our work.
We at Nokia intentionally promote an inclusive, equitable workplace that reflects the communities we serve, where everyone feels a sense of belonging, and our diverse backgrounds and experiences are valued and recognized as strengths. We believe people bring who they are into the work they do. And to serve all we must reflect that diversity. All individuals, and the richness of who they are and their lived experience, should be and feel fully included as members of their workplace and community.
We must work holistically and respond holistically to address longstanding foundational inequities. That starts with continuing our work to earn, build, and sustain trust in our communities. And by building policies and programs, from the ground up, with a diverse group of people.
This work is not isolated to any one month. We should strive to create change toward a more equitable and inclusive society every day. I challenge each of you to be mindful and intentional about living the value of belonging. The best way to make a difference is by acknowledging and appreciating our differences and working together.
Riot Noir, Riot’s Black ERG, is celebrating Black History month and the Black gaming community by leading conversations on representation all month long.
Opening the month, Riot Noir will host a community event with other Black ERGs from across the gaming industry in Los Angeles. They have curated menus at Riot’s LA office with food items that honor both African and African American cultures.Closing out the month, there will be a panel about the importance of authentic Black representation in games and entertainment. Riot will also be featuring Rioter stories on their social channels so make sure to follow Riot on Twitter and LinkedIn.
This Black History Month, our Blaccsara Employee Resource Group is hosting several events to create awareness around Black history and celebrate the ways in which Black people have resisted oppression, discrimination, and prejudice over history. These events include Black history trivia, a game night open to ERG members, a mental health-inspired yoga class, and a fireside chat with a guest speaker followed by a happy hour to close out the month.
These efforts do not end after February, as Samsara and our Blaccsara ERG are dedicated to the inclusivity, career development, and engagement of all Samsarians throughout the year.
We will be honoring Black History Month by shedding light on employees and our Black@SL ERG with a “Share Our Voices” campaign. This campaign will include celebrating black employees by sharing insights into their interests, special talents, and passions. We will also spotlight black Shopify merchants and employee entrepreneurs with a week of stories, interviews, and panels about their experiences as business owners.
Throughout February, we’ll be amplifying the voices of our Black business employee resource group (BERG) members in support of their work to enable the advancement of the black community at Workiva through ongoing education, increased representation, and retention while driving social change. Our all-company channels will feature personal blogs from members of the Black BERG, leader spotlights, and charitable giving opportunities.
We’ll also share facts every week on Slack and a Black History Month playlist. We aim to provide employees opportunities to learn about Black history, share their experiences, and engage in meaningful dialogue.
Healthfirst celebrates Black History Month by connecting employees company-wide to a weekly collection of the past, present, and the future of Black voices and experiences. In 2021, our DEI initiatives empowered a small group of Black employees to form the Black Employee Inclusion Network (BE-IN). With the support of BE-IN Executive Sponsors and dedicated employees, a Black History Month celebratory tradition was born.
This year, BE-IN will host a weekly diversified lineup of presentations featuring influential guest speakers, live cooking sessions with Black chefs, talent shows, and a weekly dose of the mesmerizing sounds and artistry from Black creatives.
This year, our Employee Resource Group, Array, will be honoring Black History Month with the theme, “Unite, UpLift, Enrich”. We will host company-wide events throughout the month in addition to programming exclusive to the Array community. All employees are invited to learn about what diversity means in the workplace.
Additionally, Array members are invited to an internal employee event where they will learn about the experiences of Array-Black members from different regions. In alignment with Array’s mission, to cultivate and celebrate a diverse and inclusive global environment at PagerDuty, this programming aims to celebrate our members.
Arch’s Black Professionals and Allies Employee Network (BPAN) will present webinars for Black History Month designed to educate and inspire. BPAN Chair Evelyn Calloway will host “A Conversation about Allyship” on Feb. 8, a panel discussion with Arch executives about being voices for those not in the room (yet) and boosting others’ visibility for a fair and equitable workplace.
Later in February, BPAN will launch a three-part series about career navigation, “You, Incorporated! Guidelines and Tips for a Thriving Career,” with Executive Coach Deary Duffie of ProjectNext Leadership. Profiles of Black employees will also be featured on the company intranet.
”ASM honors the accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history. Read Brittany’s story as she reflects on how she celebrates her cultural background:
“There is a commonality in one’s culture that provides comfort - where certain things don’t need an explanation. For example, as a black woman, I can wear my hair in a variety of ways. In my own community, there is no question or explanation should I decide to wear a weave, locs, braids, my natural, afro, or wig. The connection with my culture is unspoken.
Also, from a professional standpoint, understanding how African Americans both thrived and survived the history of the US shows me I come from a heritage of strong, powerful, intelligent, and resourceful people. I stand confident in who I am personally and professionally.” — Brittany Crenshaw, ASM. Click to read Brittany's full story.
Last year, we partnered with spoken word artist and creator Harold Green and the Flowers for the Living Foundation to give five high school students training and mentorship in research, creative writing, and audio production for a series of walking tours. The tours celebrate and reveal the Bronzeville neighborhood through their own eyes, emotions, and personal experiences.
The students’ stories are inspiring—and we look forward to launching their walking tours soon—yet there are still so many hidden stories of Black communities. Celebrating Black History Month is just one way we endeavor to seek these stories out and keep learning.
During Black History Month, Art Processors is hosting a lunch and learn with The Rise Journey to discuss the violent erasure from both physical space and American history of thriving Black American towns. We'll also discuss how systemic racism and gentrification play a role in dismantling communities.
"There's an incredible appetite to continually educate ourselves on the topic," says Shauna Gerrand, our Group Director of People & Culture. "The desire to learn more and do better is inherent in the Art Processors DNA."
Diversity and inclusion are and have always been one of our core values, and it's something we focus on day-to-day and as a critical long-term priority. It's absolutely essential, as in bringing stories to life for cultural organizations across the globe, we feel a huge responsibility.
Tackle is proud to celebrate and honor Black History Month by highlighting the contributions and experiences of Black individuals throughout history. We are dedicated to educating and inspiring our employees through the sharing of resources and highlighting Black talents in various industries, including the arts. Additionally, our partnership with Modern Health allows our employees access to mental wellness resources, including one-on-one care and therapist-led group sessions, specifically within the Healing Black Communities series.
We are proud to celebrate and uplift the Black community.
At Marqeta, our BlackCard Group is excited to roll out impactful experiences and activities throughout the month of February. Our theme this year for Black History Month is Roots, Excellence, Black Health & Wellness.
Our events center around important themes and will include: A streaming of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) opening session and dialogue around current events and impact, a talent showcase of music and history in our communities, a trivia event around the history and impact of the Black diaspora, and a wellness activity with adjoining conversation around mental health.
In celebration of Black History Month, Zapier's BIPOC ERG (Black, Indigenous, People of Color Employee Resource Group) welcomes employees worldwide to participate in a "History of Black Cinema" class. This class will allow Zapiens to learn about Black cinema and highlight Black actors, writers, and directors from the Golden Age and beyond.
We strive to elevate and expose our members to learn more about all cultures and history through untraditional interactive educational experiences. This tour will include Q&A opportunities, allowing participants to ask more about Black history & culture.
To celebrate Black History Month, Relativity’s Community Resource Group, BREL: Black@Relativity, is putting together a series of events around the theme of “Connecting with the Community.” Programming will explore the importance of connectivity in the Black community for personal and professional growth.
Relativity will host an internal event about the impacts of its Justice for Change program, which aims to support social justice and racial equity through technology. There will also be volunteer opportunities to work with high school students, an Ask Me Anything panel for students to understand different pathways into tech, and a weekly showcase celebrating Black activists.
Learn more about Relativity.
Duck Creek Technologies
Duck Creek is getting ready for Black History Month and is proud to highlight and celebrate the impact of Black culture, history, achievements, and heritage.
Our Black Employee Resource Group has created a roster of events for their members and company-wide. This will include fan-favorite activities like the popular Jeopardy-ish game and Spades Night, as well as hearing from Precious Walton-Norman, an insurance agency owner and storyteller, and discussions regarding voting rights, colorism, and the history of music.
The Black Engagement Network (BNet), 2U’s business resource network for Black/African Americans, is celebrating Black History Month with events that will elevate Black culture beyond the borders of America. BNet’s theme for Black History Month this year is “We Are One: Experiences Across the African Diaspora.” From Latin America to the United States, the Caribbean, and more, there are people of African descent across the globe.
Events include a kickoff with a jam session, educational fireside chats & discussions, trivia, film screenings, and a Freedom Fest showcasing the talents of BNet members.
“uShip honors Black History Month by recognizing the contributions, history, and culture in our company-wide newsletter. We highlight and encourage participation in local events in which employees can engage. Activities can include visiting an art show or performance, supporting black-owned businesses (shops, services, restaurants), enjoying family-friendly activities, and lectures.”
Sr. Director, People Operations
HashiCorp’s ERG the Blacksmiths is proud to present a plethora of fun, educational and engaging events for employees the whole month of February, to celebrate Black History Month!
HashiCorp will kick off Black History Month with a Fireside Chat with Tech advocate Ed Smith, followed by digital Soulful Biscuit Making class!
The Blacksmiths will also host Chair Yoga and Mindful Meditation in the middle of the month. Closing out the month, HashiCorp will host a Jamaican Food & Fun digital cooking class. All events are open and available for all HashiCorp employees, globally.
HashiCorp’s ERG the Blacksmiths is proud to present a plethora of fun, educational and engaging events for employees the whole month of February, to celebrate Black History Month!
Elastic’s Blasticians, the ERG for people of color and their allies, has events planned through the entire month of February to celebrate Black History Month. They are hosting a fireside chat, virtual game night celebration, and an event focused on learning about figures that have made an impact on Black history, both now and in the past. In addition, there are two volunteer opportunities for those that live near New York City or San Francisco. The workplace team will also make sure that Black-owned businesses cater lunch at Elastic’s various offices throughout the month.
We are passionate about learning…and trivia! Our Culture Committee has created another beautiful and compelling infographic that highlights notable people and historical events, and often sparks stimulating conversation within the virtual halls of RTB House. We’ll also be assembling our teams to participate in a virtual trivia game hosted by Confetti, which is sure to be a hit. We are all remote and this is a great way for us to celebrate and learn about Black History Month together!
ORTEC is amplifying Black history month through several educational and fun initiatives! We will be hosting a Black History Month trivia event at our Atlanta and Houston offices where we will also be catering food from local Black-owned businesses. We will also be sending out a resource email series focused on amplifying the Black community through sharing podcasts, playlists, and movies.
Through the celebration and recognition of Black history and culture, we hope to honor and uplift the Black community. By creating engagement opportunities, we can create a safe space for our employees to share and learn.
How can we Reflect upon our history, be Inspired by our present, and use it to transform our reality, both at Dropbox and globally as we move through Black History Month?
If Dropbox is here to build the future, then Black Dropboxers are here to set the tone.
This month we will honor, celebrate, and uplift Black joy, collaboration, and innovation. As members of the global Black Diaspora, we have always remained ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest trends and the newest innovations - just as our ancestors were by necessity. Our aim is to re-ignite our passion for creation because we are our Ancestors’ wildest dreams.
Freddie Mac's ARISE Business Resource Group (BRG) for Black employees and allies will honor Black History Month by celebrating the resiliency and contributions of Black Americans. ARISE will host Alan Henry, author of Seen, Heard, and Paid: The New Work Rules for the Marginalized, for a conversation on how people of color, women, and LGBTQ+ workers can advance their careers.
Freddie Mac leaders will share how the organization is building a culture of inclusion to support employees’ resilience along with their own advice for professional growth. ARISE will also conduct several outreach activities in support of a non-profit partner, The National Center for Children and Families. Our Black History Month activities build upon our everyday efforts to ensure Freddie Mac reflects the diverse people we serve.
At Dassault Systèmes, we believe in shining the spotlight on the black community. We are partnering with local facilities to invite Black-owned business vendors onsite for local events, we will be sharing a daily song celebrating black artists, and will continue to provide resources in our D&IB Community. This includes books, Ted Talks, the sharing of experiences, volunteer opportunities, and Black Owned Business Directories. In addition, we are highly recommending for our employee population to take part in PowerToFly’s Amplifying Black Excellence Summit.
In honor of Black History Month, and in observance of this year’s national Black History Month theme “Black Resistance,” SoftwareONE’s volunteer DEIB committee, Mosaic, is hosting an exploration of the acclaimed New York Times podcast “1619” created by Nikole Hannah-Jones. Our journey begins with actionable steps that everyone can take to prepare for learning throughout Black History Month and beyond.
Then throughout February, our “Swomies” will join in thought-provoking, informative weekly syncs designed to highlight the many forms of Black Resistance including joy, rest, and art. An insightful capstone event will round out SoftwareOne’s observance of this important celebration.
Cummins is celebrating Black History Month around the world!
Black History Month may be well known in the United States, but it is very well celebrated around the world. The list below shows how our Cummins-affiliated European countries celebrate Black History Month.
Germany — Black communities that live in different parts of the country get together and host events centered around sharing knowledge of black history and talking about the diversity of the African diaspora in Europe.
Netherlands — Black people in the Netherlands are honored by showcasing talented and inspirational black producers throughout the arts and culture industry.
Italy — Celebrates the narrative of diasporic communities and African descendants in Italy. Several free lectures, discussions, art exhibitions, and concerts are held predominantly in Florence and Bologna.
United Kingdom — Black History Month is celebrated in October to help black students start the academic year with a sense of pride and purpose.
Throughout this period, Cummins around the world is celebrating by hosting a variety of events through the Cummins Black Network and celebrating the originators of Black history.
At Collective Insights, we honor Black History Month to celebrate the impact and achievements of Black Americans, while taking important steps as a team to help eradicate systematic racism. As part of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion speaker series, we’re excited to host “Appreciation vs. Appropriation” with guest speaker, Bridgett Robinson, SHRM-SCP, CPTD.
Our diversity council will also highlight “7 Ways to Celebrate BHM” in our DEI newsletter this month. And to support Black businesses, we brought in new office snacks from Black-owned or founded companies, we are grateful.
At ServiceNow, we seek to promote equality by challenging the status quo. For Black History Month, we’re aiming to raise $40,000 in donations for organizations that support this goal, including UNCF, Thurgood Marshall Fund, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and African American Community Service Agency.
We’ve created an intentional and collaborative hiring process so that people of all backgrounds see themselves represented at ServiceNow. This includes our internal multi-month leadership development programs, like Strive. To aid our inclusive recruiting practices, we’re also working with key partners, such as Afrotech, committed to amplifying career opportunities for Black talent. Explore ServiceNow’s community.
At Aurora, we are celebrating Black History with a month of meaningful content that highlights the rich cultural heritage, triumphs, and resilience of the Black/African American community. Together, our Workplace Experience team and Black at Aurora ERG have set up an interactive calendar for employees to access daily educational content, family-friendly activities, discussion sessions, and community spotlights.
We know that the push for equity does not end on February 28th and hope to inspire Aurorans to continue knowledge sharing, celebrating, and supporting the Black/African American community in the ongoing work of advancing racial equity.
BE, GoTo’s Black Employee Resource Group, creates a safe space for Black employees to connect and support each other. BE honors Black History month year-round by creating a space for people to be seen and heard.
BE leader Anderson Dinga believes companies can better celebrate the Black community in three phases. First, gain an awareness of your employees’ needs. Next, create space for a sense of belonging. Third, individuals join the space to support one another, together. “And GoTo did that,” says Anderson. “Black employees and their allies came together and shared their truth; this was powerful and healing.”
Are you looking for more ways to Celebrate Black History Month? Learn More.
You can find more Black History Month Resources, here.
Do you need help with DEIB at your organization? Here, is why we can’t overlook race in the workplace.