Honor Black History Month With Action
Want to take action and make a meaningful impact this Black History Month? Here are some suggestions of actionable steps from Anti-Racism Daily:
Address pay inequity.
Racial pay inequity is still an issue across the country. Reports from early 2020 found that the Black-white wealth gap widened in the 2000s (NWLC) and worsened during the pandemic (UC Berkeley). Use this month to solve the pay inequity at your organization. If you’re not in a leadership position to do this, perhaps start by inquiring: what were the findings of the latest pay audit performed by your company? What initiatives were put in place to solve them?
Review your DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) initiatives.
Ensure your DEI initiatives are actually inclusive. Organizations that strive for racial equity, but don’t prioritize disability equity or LGBTQ rights, for example, aren’t inclusive. This is one of many reasons that DEI can fail to fix corporate culture (Catapult).
Donate monthly to organizations that center Black wellbeing. Prioritize organizations that have Black executive leaders and Black board members (Non-Profit Quarterly). Think beyond traditional 501c3 to local, grassroots initiatives- including mutual aid networks. You can also donate physical good (like food or clothing) or your time (skills-based volunteering, transportation, etc.)
Invest in the next generation of leaders in your field through a fellowship or mentorship program. You can do this individually or create/enhance a program at your office. Remember that mentorships are a two-way relationship. You likely have as much, or more, to learn from your mentees or fellows that you may think. Note: mentorships and fellowships should only be implemented in addition to other employment equity initiatives, like achieving pay equity or increasing the number of Black senior executives, not in place of them. Alone, it can cause more harm than good.
Change isn’t created in silence. Continue showing up at peaceful protests and other non-violent demonstrations as best as you can. This includes protesting peaceably in the streets and/or providing essential services to protestors on the ground. This can also include consistently sharing action items on social media and defending protestors through advocating for legislation and donating to bail funds and other emerging needs. More resources for supporting protests can be found here.
Reparations are necessary for achieving racial equity (Brookings). On an individual level, pay it forward to creators you learn from on social media or organizers in your community. On a local level, find the local or state initiative advocating for reparations and support their work. In addition, complete the Reparations Now Tool Kit created by the Movement for Black Lives to create a comprehensive plan.
Resources for Black History Month
Sign up for 28 Days of Black History. This is a virtual exhibition of 28 works that celebrate Black legacy in the U.S.
Focus on celebrating the excellence and achievements of Black Americans through this Black History Month Calendar.
Check out Oprah’s Black History Month 2021 resources.
- Sign up for Anti-Racism Daily’s newsletter, for daily actions to dismantle white supremacy, sent right to your email inbox.
- Check out VeryWell Mind’s post on how to support Black Lives Matter and communities of color