How to Honor Black History Month at Work
How 16 Companies Are Honoring Black History Month to Encourage Open Dialogues, Promote Inclusivity, and Support Employees of Color
This month marks 50 years since Black History Month was first celebrated at Kent State University in 1970, six years before President Gerald Ford officially recognized it in 1976. Since its inception in the United States, Black History Month has helped open up dialogue about the contributions of people of African descent to our communities and country.
We asked our partner companies what they were doing this February to celebrate Black History Month and support their employees of color, and they did not disappoint! Here is how these 16 companies are honoring Black History Month at work, in their own words:
1. Launching a Black History Month Campaign - Google
Google's viral Black History Month video
"In honor of Black History Month, we're celebrating the icons and moments that have been searched more than any others in the United States.
Google.org believes in the next generation of Black leaders and in 2018, committed $25 million to help Black and Latino students develop the technical skills and confidence they need to succeed in career and life. As part of this commitment, Google.org will provide a $3 million grant and enable volunteering support to help scale the NAACP's Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) over the next three years."
Learn more about Google and their open roles here
2. Hosting Over 30 Events Throughout the US - Dell Technologies
"Dell Technologies' Black Networking Alliance employee resource group has 30+ events planned throughout the U.S. this February. The events are in every area of the nation (TX, OK, GA, TN, NC, CA, MA) and feature service events, historical education opportunities, personal growth courses and more. In addition to team member events, Dell Technologies will be hosting a roundtable event at Morehouse College to discuss building a more representative technology industry. Collaboration is key, so Dell leaders, professors from local historically black colleges (HBCUs), HBCU students and state/city leaders will all be in attendance."
Learn more about Dell Technologies and their open roles here
3. Highlighting Achievements in Tech by African Americans - Cloudflare
Logo for Cloudflare's Black Employee Resource Group Afroflare
"Cloudflare offers various opportunities to celebrate Black History Month in our Austin, San Francisco, and New York City offices through Afroflare, a Cloudflare employee resource group, comprised of members from Black African, Afro-American and African-Caribbean descent. Afroflare's mission is to help build a better, global Afrocentric tech community. Afroflare's lead members have organized activities ranging from Afrocentrically themed lunches, television and film screenings, and internal presentations to celebrate, educate, and foster awareness of Black culture. Afroflare has also produced a social media campaign to highlight the technical achievements of prominent African-Americans on Cloudflare's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. Keep an eye out, some surprise events may be coming your way!"
Learn more about Cloudflare and their open roles here
4. Hosting a Talk With a Tech Non-Profit Founder - Nextdoor
Photo of member's of Nextdoor's Black Employee Resource Group, BAND
"This year in honor of Black History Month, Nextdoor is kicking off the month with a blog post featuring a few of the members of the Black employee resource group BAND (Black at Nextdoor) where they are sharing what Black History Month means to them and why it matters to everyone. Later this month, Nextdoor is hosting Lajuanda Asemota, co-founder of dev/color/ - a non-profit organization that aims to advance the careers of Black software engineers. The talk will be about diversity, inclusion and the hurdles faced by Black software engineers at tech companies."
Learn more about Nextdoor and their open roles here
5. Sharing Content Inspiring Inclusivity and Intersectionality - Avanade
"As Avanade prepares to celebrate its 20 year anniversary in 2020, the INSPIRE | Black Employee Network celebrates Black History Month encouraging people to become Allies.
The FY20 theme for Black History Month at Avanade is "INSPIRE to be". At Avanade, we INSPIRE to be inclusive and intersectional. Black History Month at Avanade includes curated educational content, guest speakers, presentations, and local-regional events designed to engage communities. Avanade partners with Junior Achievement and other organizations to INSPIRE civic engagement and foster a culture of service. We INSPIRE you to join the discussion starting with an Avanade inclusion and diversity blog here."
Learn more about Avanade and their open roles here
6. A Month of Programming Celebrity Diversity of Customers and Employees - CarGurus
Photo of CarGuru's Employee Resource Group, People of Color
"This year we're excited to celebrate Black History Month with CarGurus' newly founded People of Color employee resource group, bringing together a month-long of programming that highlights and celebrates the diversity of our customer base and our employees. As we enter Black History Month, we aim to amplify underrepresented voices and perspectives to make tangible changes and forward progress that allows our company to continue to grow and adapt in today's marketplace. Follow us on Instagram (@cargurusculture) or LinkedIn to learn more about our events and how we're celebrating BHM@CG!"
Learn more about CarGuru and their open roles here
6. Hosting Inclusive Career Workshops - Vrbo
Image from Vrbo's career workshop in partnership with Code2College
"This year, Vrbo kicked off Black History Month by hosting an event in partnership with Code2College to provide underserved students in our community with a career workshop on interview skills and resume building. Vrbo is continuing to celebrate by changing the colors of our logo displayed on the outside of our office buildings to reflect colors indicative of Black History Month; we are also displaying influential black historians on electronic wallboards throughout our offices to educate and inspire our employees. Beyond Black History Month, Vrbo has an active business resource group dedicated to mentoring, networking, recruitment and retention opportunities for black employees, as well as giving back to charitable initiatives supporting black students and professionals year-round."
Learn more about Vrbo and their open roles here
8. Chat and Chew Events - Kin + Carta
"Black History Month is an opportunity to discuss the culturally diverse community that identifies as Black/African American. For us at Kin + Carta, we're doing this through a few ways: a Chat & Chew where we'll discuss topics that impact the African American community, a night of R&B Soul with a live-performance, a cooking class to explore the diversity of Black food, and a panel over lunch to listen and learn from the experiences of a few of our Kin + Carta changemakers.
At Kin + Carta we understand that Black History is our history, so we're both educating and celebrating together over the next month."
Learn more about Kin + Carta and their open roles here
9. Hosting a Summit - Autodesk
Autodesk Black Network at a recent visit to Howard University in Washington D.C.
"For the second year in a row in celebration of Black History Month, Autodesk will be hosting a summit for one of our longest-standing employee resource groups – Autodesk Black Network (ABN). During the summit, members from around the world will converge at Autodesk San Francisco to network, share experiences, connect with Autodesk executives and listen to guest speakers. To kick-off the first day of ABN Summit, we'll also be participating in the Oakland Black Joy parade."
Learn more about Autodesk and their open roles here
10. Hosting an Event with Local Congresswoman - S&P Global
Photo of event for Employee Resource Group BOLD ( Black Organization for Leadership and Development0
"In honor of Black History Month, BOLD, S&P Global's Black Organization for Leadership and Development Employee Resource Group, and the S&P Global Political Action Committee will host Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ-12). Employees will gather for a dynamic conversation on the achievements of African-Americans throughout history. In addition, throughout the month of February, S&P Global will share profiles of Black employees on internal and external media as part of its ongoing awareness month profile series."
Learn more about S&P and their open roles here
11. Hosting a 1920s Harlem Swing Event - WW
"For Black History Month, a WW planning committee curates a series of events that help celebrate, honor and drive awareness to the importance of black history and heritage. This committee plans various events and activities including movie nights, dance classes, and a celebration that highlights our theme of the 1920s.
Committee members choose movies and documentaries and share a message about why they are meaningful and important to them. To bring our theme of the '20s to life, we are bringing in the Harlem Swing Society to teach employees the Lindy Hop and Charleston. Our main event will feature a 5-6 piece swing band, food catered that celebrates various African diaspora, and the dances we learn with Harlem Swing will be brought to light during the celebration."
Learn more about WW (formerly Weight Watchers) and their open roles here
12.. Lunch and Learn with Former NASA Engineer - Viasat
Photo of members of Viasat's Black Employee Resource Group, Black Professional Alliance
"Viasat is proud to celebrate Black History Month alongside its employees and our Black Professional Alliance Employee Resource Group (ERG), and champion Black and African American contributions to technology. From hosting Lunch N' Learns with Shelby Jacobs, a retired NASA engineer, in 2019, to professional networking and fundraising initiatives for our Black and African American communities this year, we hope to continue the conversation on the importance of celebrating Black History Month and provide a platform for all employees to collaborate and be voices for inclusion in our industry."
Learn more about Viasat and their open roles here
13. Events and Workshops on Black Art, Mental Health and More - New Relic
"Over the past few years, we've had the honor to bring impactful speakers to our stages and spotlight our own stunning Relics. This year past year we lost a great leader of ours, Mikey Butler, and wanted to put forth programming in his legacy. This year's Black History Month is more than just a celebration, it's about enrichment for our BlackRelics, Black Owned Businesses, to the Black community and enriching our knowledge of Black History. Events include a Black Renaissance Gala, lunch and learns on mental health, a summit to de Young Museum to and MLK Historical Park and more."
Learn more about New Relic and their open roles here
14. Hosting a Film Viewing and Networking Event - Relativity
Photo of members from Relativity's Community Resource Group, (BRel) Black at Relatively
"In honor of Black History Month, and as part of our ongoing inclusion and diversity efforts, we are celebrating the rich history and accomplishments of African Americans. Our Black at Relativity (BRel) community resource group will be sponsoring programs such as a viewing and discussion of the film, American Son, as well as a museum-like exhibit highlighting African American life, history and culture. In addition, we will be hosting an open-to-the-public networking event where you can learn more about Relativity and connect with members of BRel. We hope you will join us!"
Learn more about Relativity and their open roles here
15. Promoting Diversity and Inclusion Year Round - Juniper
Graphic of Juniper Networks' #DrivenByDifferent campaign promoting the importance of diversity to Juniper's innovation and ultimate success.
"Juniper Networks is celebrating Black History Month by highlighting African American pioneers in their fields—from Anna Julia Cooper (early black feminist writer) and Lewis Latimer (inventor/engineer) to Ursula Burns (first African American woman to lead an S&P 500 company).
This compliments our year-round inclusion and diversity efforts. For example, we publish a regular series of articles and tips to educate and foster dialogue around the inclusion of all underrepresented groups. Recent topics have included actions to reduce bias in recruiting, acknowledging privilege, making meetings more inclusive, micro-aggressions and how to be an ally."
Learn more about Juniper Network and their open roles here
16.Building Social Value Inside and Outside the Office - Flexport
"Flexport is a workplace that strives to support people of all backgrounds to collaborate and celebrate individual strengths. BOLD (Black Organization for Leadership Development), our Employee Resource Group for Black and African-American Flexporters has organized over 15 events across our US offices to celebrate Black History month. At these events, Flexport employees have the opportunity to engage with leaders in the Black community to volunteer, learn, network, and build social value inside and outside our offices."
Learn more about Flexport and their open roles here
A Conversation with Bounteous' Jen Spofford
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Her former boss would beg to differ.
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The world has changed in the past few weeks.
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Farnaz Azmoodeh used to dislike running. She was really, truly, actively not interested.
But after suffering through it for a few months, it's now one of her favorite things to do. "I get so much joy out of it," says Farnaz. The same thing happened when she started making pottery: she says the first month was "terrible" as she struggled to shape the clay with no success but shares that she came to love the process of building after getting through an initial period of learning and adjusting.
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For our first entry in our now-monthly glossary of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) terms, we're going to cover BIPOC, a (relatively) new term in the space. We'll answer questions like "What does BIPOC stand for?", "Are Asians and Latinos BIPOC?", and "BIPOC vs POC — which should I use?"