We’re in the middle of Black History Month and while it’s exciting to see Black Americans highlighted across various industries, we can still do much more. Since last year, we’ve heard a lot about the importance of building a more inclusive workplace– now is the time for organizations to turn these promises into action. Here’s how you can jumpstart both celebration and action during Black History Month, and keep the momentum going all year.
Celebrate Modern Trailblazers
As the name suggests, Black History Month is typically a time to honor historical Black figures. Leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. are widely celebrated, and deservedly so. Their accomplishments are numerous, and the lessons we can learn from them are still applicable today.
However, this month is also a time to reflect on the current Black trailblazers all around us. They may not be in the history books just yet, but they’re embodying ideal characteristics and greatness in business, music, sports, arts and entertainment, and much more. At Lucas Group, we’re having regular spotlights and trivia to help highlight these trailblazers, and I encourage you to share the stories that amaze you with others.
For example, I love Michelle Obama. She carries herself with such grace and has achieved so much. She’s raised awareness around poverty and education, promoted nutrition and physical fitness, and is a fashion icon. To me, she’s a true trailblazer. Life has changed over the years, of course, and the current day is not always an equal comparison to historical times. But for a modern-day example, she’s the gold standard of the type of person I aspire to be.
Always Be Curious
Celebrating historical and modern trailblazers is a good jumping off point, but don’t let your efforts stop there. Keep a curious attitude toward the content you see to expand your knowledge.
If you’re listening to a song, look into the artist, the writers, the producers. If you’re watching a movie or TV show, read about the director, the producer, and the cast members. There are so many diverse creators and innovators in the world. When you find a new one, spread the joy and introduce them to your friends and colleagues.
Turn Knowledge into Action
That curiosity to learn should expand beyond educational and entertainment purposes. It can happen in our work life, too. In fact, as recruiters, we’re in a position of great responsibility, and that curiosity serves us well.
My colleague Heath Henson recently shared some of the ways Lucas Group is taking action this Black History Month. He noted that a client’s hiring options are only as diverse as the candidate list we share with them, and it’s on us to introduce change. We’re looking both externally and internally at how we can be more diverse and inclusive in our hiring efforts. That includes creating a welcoming environment for everyone, no matter their race, gender, position, or any other qualifier.
Words are one thing, but action is even better. As you expand your knowledge, continue having those tough conversations and taking action towards positive change. And keep those actions going long after the calendar turns to March.
I’d love to hear from you, too. How is your company celebrating Black History Month? Share with me in the comments below.