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How ERGs can celebrate Black History Month 2024

Black History Month 2024

Black History Month Overview

February is Black History Month. It is a time to celebrate and pay tribute to all the individuals and organizations in the African-American and Black community that have been systemically not recognized. This month seeks to both celebrate the triumphs and recognize the obstacles that the Black community has faced throughout American history. February was chosen as the month for Black history, as it began with a week of celebration in the second week of February, originally. This was chosen to align with both the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

Black History Month 2024

The theme for Black History Month in 2024 is African Americans and the Arts which highlight all forms of cultural expression in the fields of literature, music, film, performing arts, visual arts and others. This month is dedicated to celebrating the glorious contributions of African American and Black artists, their radical and revolutionary creations and performances that have inspired a nation. This month we also acknowledge the enormous challenges these artists overcame so that their voices were heard.

How ERGs Can Celebrate Black History Month

This month the African American Employee Resource Group can undertake some of the following activities to engage with all employees this month.

  • Plan a day out in office locations to visit museums, galleries and exhibitions that showcase African American art and culture.

  • Conduct quizzes to highlight the hardships by African American artists in getting a platform to display their art.

  • Use various forms of storytelling. For example, a playlist dedicated to the evolution of African American music contributions can raise awareness while also adding an element of fun. Explore more ideas here.

Recognizing Intersectionality

When celebrating and recognizing the impact and success of the African-American and Black community, it is important for organizations to recognize the intersectionality of this community. While many organizations have ERGs designated to the African-American and Black communities, it is important to continue the conversation into other ERGs as well. Here is how all ERGs can contribute and spread awareness in this historic month.

  • African-American ERGs can share the stories of African-American leaders and activists like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, W.E.B DuBois, Frederick Douglass, Rep. John Lewis and Thurgood Marshall.

  • Women’s ERGs can promote the voice of Black women throughout history. They can honor the lives and works of inspirational black women who battled racial as well as gender prejudices in their times. ERGs can highlight the contributions of Shirley Chistholm, Sojourner Truth, Billie Holiday, Bessie Coleman and Rosa Parks in the larger community.

  • ERGs for Persons with Disabilities can celebrate the lives of African-American revolutionaries like Harriet Tubman, Fannie Lou Hamer and Johnnie Lacy who fought against ableism and racism. This ERG can also partner with organizations such as National Black Disability Coalition in their efforts to create community and equal opportunities for black disabled people.

  • ERGs dedicated to Veterans can champion the notable contributions of African-American trailblazers in the Armed Forces. By shining a light on the lives of pioneers like Benjamin O Davis Sr., Samuel L. Gravely Jr., Frank E. Peterson Jr., Hazel Johnson-Brown, Colin Powell and Vernice Armour, this ERG can increase awareness about the role played by black veterans in American history.

  • ERGs that are dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community can celebrate the intersection of LGBTQ+ community and the black community by honoring the lives of notable personalities such as Lucy Hicks Anderson, Gladys Bentley, Bayard Rustin, Lorraine Hansberry, Audre Lorde and Marsha P. Johnson.

Holding events throughout all ERGs, sending communications celebrating members of the intersectionality between a particular ERG and the African-American and Black community, and even hosting collaborative events, is a crucial way to show that an organization acknowledges the obstacles that its members face, and their dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Collaborative or multi-ERG events that are made possible by ERG software like Teleskope, also increase allyship and cross-cultural competence by allowing members from other communities to support and understand each other. Intersectionality in ERGs should be recognized, acknowledged, and the organization should seek equity.


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