Each year in February and across the country, we commemorate Black History Month (BHM), by participating in events and activities that honor the heritage of Black communities in Canada. Moreover, several countries have joined the initiative, born in the United States, in particular in Great Britain, Germany and the Netherlands.
This year, the theme is: “Ours to tell”. Thus, it is to engage in open dialogue and to learn more about the stories of black communities, their successes, their challenges, their sacrifices, their triumphs and their contributions to shaping the history of the country. So how do you experience it in your workplace? What do you have planned?
A question often comes up, “Why dedicate a single month to commemorating black communities, this should not be an everyday initiative ? That’s true, but why do inequalities persist? Where are the concrete actions of companies to lead to awareness throughout the year?
Unfortunately, we are still at a time when black history remains an optional subject in school curricula. Thus, with the exception of BHM activities, how can we raise awareness in a society that is struggling to know the basics of the challenges faced by black communities, even more so in the workplace?
What can companies do?
Running out of ideas? Is this your first time? Do you think you are missing out, because February is ending soon? First of all, no need to rush. The idea is not to follow a trend, but to ensure that your initiatives are in line with your strategic orientations of being an ally. Also, see the BHM as a reminder of what has been overlooked during the year and a call to action to make sure you take concrete actions. Second, your activities must reflect the reality of your operations and above all involve all of your employees, not just some of them. For example, plan meetings in the form of lunch and learn or prepare a list of resources for those whose literature is a first step. There is also a national program that offers more resources, in addition to thinking about expert speakers who could come and animate a dinner-talk, for example. As they say, do things differently in order to get a different, or even better, result.
How can Iceberg support you?
At Iceberg and because we are proud to be an ally of diversity, we have created a fun animation that aims to raise awareness about the history of black communities and the realities that they live in our society. The activity, in the form of a quiz, and the learning that emanates from it, makes it possible to create an initial discussion with those who are less exposed to the issues of these communities. In addition, the facilitators allow an open and sincere dialogue, which is totally in line with this year’s theme 😉
By Noellie Dias, CRHA
Editor of the HR Espace Conseils blog – Iceberg Management