February is Black History Month, a national celebration of the incredible achievements and contributions made by Black Americans throughout history.
As a business leader, your corporate practices have the power to impact not only your own employees, but the community at large. By encouraging education, discussion, celebration and focusing on Black culture and its contribution to society, you can be part of an essential movement towards a more inclusive society and workforce. Here are four ways to celebrate Black History Month at work.
1. Bring in guest speakers
One of the best ways to educate people and inspire a genuine response is through hosting a Black guest speaker. Select a specific topic of discussion relevant to the workforce, such as stereotyping, diversity, inclusion or unconscious bias, and select a speaker to conduct a workshop.
For companies with employees in the office, offering a catered lunch during your workshop can help boost engagement. For those with employees working remotely or in a hybrid model, consider offering individual meal credits for employees to use during the session. With individual meal credits, employees can order a meal of their choice and have it safely delivered to wherever they are working from.
2. Allow employees to share their personal stories
Hold space for your employees to share their personal stories. One of the most inclusive approaches is to have an open call for employees who might want to participate in a Black History Month panel, or you can offer up space in your weekly company newsletter or email for employees to share their perspectives.
Having connections that cross racial lines are some of the most powerful tools for effecting change with racial prejudice. Learning about Black experiences through the lens of a friend or coworker can have a profound impact on perspectives and help inspire ongoing positive action.
3. Volunteer or donate to organizations
An excellent way to support Black History Month is through volunteering and donations. Providing employees with a day off to volunteer at a charity focused on racial justice, community building or matching donations to such organizations are direct methods of demonstrating support for the Black community.
For example, this February, Grubhub will be donating to the Feed the Soul Foundation, which aims to aid marginalized entrepreneurs in the culinary industry with business development resources and support sustainable business growth. They provide business development training, consultation services to improve business operations, and business resources including programming, funding, technology, workforce training, and more.
Encourage employees to support racial justice throughout the year through newsletters, blogs, intranet announcements and team meetings.
4. Support local, Black-owned restaurants
There are more than two million Black-owned businesses in the United States, and 58% of those business owners say their business’s financial health is “at risk” or “distressed” as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Supporting Black business owners through partnerships, investments and promotions is one of the most profound ways to encourage fundamental change.
One option is to actively gift employees with merchandise from Black-owned businesses, such as clothing, office supplies and mugs. Additionally, you can directly support Black-owned restaurants through Grubhub. Consider having lunch catered in by a different Black-owned eatery each week. Or, offer your team individual meal credits and share a list of local Black-owned restaurants to help your employees choose where to order from.
Support ongoing diversity and inclusion initiatives
While Black History Month is an important part of recognizing the incredible impact of the Black community, companies that are truly diverse and inclusive will recognize the importance of equality all year long. How you operate on a day-to-day basis can contribute to a movement that will continue to grow for years to come.
Check out these tips for more ideas on how to host work celebrations that promote diversity and inclusion.
When you open a Grubhub Corporate Account, you have access to a diverse array of local businesses throughout your community. It’s easy to support those businesses by catering meals for your team or offering meal credits to your employees.
For more information on the many benefits of Grubhub Corporate, contact our team today.