February is Black History Month, and many employers are looking for a meaningful way to celebrate. The first thing that might pop into your head is, “I’ll go ahead and ask my Black employees to tell me how they’d celebrate it. Better yet, I’ll ask them to plan it.”
- Do ask your ERGs and Black employees for ideas. They have a better sense of what supports them.
- Don't offload the planning to them. It’s like telling your friend to bake her own birthday cake.
Celebrate in a meaningful way
An excellent way to celebrate is:
- to support the Black community in action
- to use this time to understand how your organization can work with the Black community every day
Here are five ideas to get you started.
- Snack restock: check where you get your snacks from and start sourcing from Black-owned businesses
- Equitable recruiting: use online professional communities to diversify your employee pool
- Crafts workshop: book workshops and team building events with Black artisans
- Fundraising: support an equity cause and make your donation recurring
- Lunch: going out to lunch at a Black-owned restaurant is a simple way to show your support
Do you need help bringing these ideas to life?
Shop small to support equity
Sourcing from small businesses—not just in February but always—makes your workplace equitable and makes your employees feel represented.
From the very beginning of Spaciously, we knew that we wanted only small local businesses in our marketplace. It was the correct business decision because small business owners live and breathe their craft and will go the extra mile for clients.
As small business owners joined Spaciously, we discovered that most were women and people of color. If you look at the U.S. business stats, they closely match the composition of the Spaciously community.
99.9% of U.S. businesses are small. Now, look at the composition of business ownership in the U.S. It’s pretty much equal among different racial groups. If you shop, source or party at a random small business daily, you shop equitably.
How to support diverse communities in your workplace?
- If you have an office, buy locally. When you buy locally, 68% of your money stays in the local community. Vibrant local communities make your workplace better.
- If your team is remote or hybrid, shop online from small businesses.