Black History Month : A meaningful way to honor and celebrate
Part of a series to cover Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity refers to who is at work, who is recruited, hired, and promoted by a company. Inclusion refers to how people feel, read “valued, respected, accepted and encouraged to fully participate in the organization”, at work.(*source)
In the first of the series, we cover the Black History Month. Black History Month has become one of the most celebrated months of cultural significance according to LaGarrett J. King, an associate professor of social studies education at the University of Missouri.
Why do we celebrate Black History Month?
February was chosen as the Black History Month, because it coincided with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln on Feb 12th and of Frederick Douglass on Feb 20th. Both the dates have been celebrated by African American communities since the late 19th century.
At the inauguration of the new president of the oldest democracy in the world, 22-year-old Amanda Gorma took the podium in front of the Capitol building. Her poem moved hearts and minds alike as she spoke of a shared world which inspires us to do more for inclusivity in our lives. Unfortunately, the reality at the ground level in 2021 is a bit different. Of the Fortune 500 companies today, a mere 3 are led by black CEOs which is a steep drop from 16 in 1999 and with the December 2016 departure of Xerox’s Ursula Burns, this number today comprises only men.
Some of the questions companies should ask themselves are: how does our workplace look? Does it represent the society we live in? Are we, as an organization, doing well on diversity and inclusion? How many of our management teams consist of men and women of different ethnicities?
In an effort to build diversity into the fabric of a corporate culture, many businesses today are putting forth a major effort to increase diversity and advance inclusion. In an effort to help promote this ideal, Hermis is doing its part by building products and content that specifically focuses on augmenting D&I programs with fun and interactive activities that seamlessly support the overall goal of greater employee exposure.
Celebrating Black History
Historically, businesses have used in-person experiences like shared meals & expert lectures to help expand the Black History Month message. In today’s remote, distributed workplace those traditional methods can not be used and businesses need new ways to connect their teams with the important content. Fortunately, we at Hermis have been working hard to help bridge this gap!
Hermis, a one-stop destination for all your team building needs, has launched customized Black History Month activities. These “fun-tivities” encourage colleagues to join together in activities that transcend the routine and promote teamwork through inspiration. Celebrate Black History Month by being informative and not performative and easily move beyond the traditional focus on Black history themed meals to interactive activities that inspire you and your colleagues.
4 fun-tivities to build this new culture:
Who says the storage of useless bits of information doesn’t eventually pay dividends? Topics can range from pre-selected samplings to categories of your own creation, where you may even include internal company knowledge in addition to tidbits from the outside world.
Who doesn’t love the ubiquitous game that traces its roots back to the 1500s? The traditional number format can be used or a list of phrases can populate the virtual board. Prizes can be claimed with a simple click.
The ultimate team activity, work collaboratively with your team to divy up the tasks and score points for the win. Be creative as you try to solve the hunt, but remember that you have limited time to get them wrapped up.
Smile for the camera and put your best foot (and hands) forward. The fun game of pantomime lends itself seamlessly to the virtual world. Let co-workers guess what concept you’re attempting to convey through a series of manic motions.