Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate and educate your way to being a “Best Place to Work.” We usually see companies recognize BHM with sales and promotions, instead of celebrating and recognizing rich African American History. Companies often do not recognize Black History Month as much as they promote and exploit the opportunity for retail sales.
Organizations are missing out on an opportunity to engage employees, shape their corporate culture, and “brand stand.”
For the past 10 years, InfoMart has sponsored activities and events for Black History Month. We engage our employees by entertaining and educating our workforce. Additionally, we use the opportunity to include our community and clients. “No other business in our community celebrates Black History like InfoMart,” says Deane Bonner, President of the Cobb NAACP.
Celebrate verses Educate. Our events have spanned the spectrum from grilling hamburgers to holding an evening gala. I have observed that the best BHM events strike a balance between celebrating and educating.
Through the years, InfoMart has recognized BHM with several activities:
- Luncheon – This is the best way to include the entire workforce, and to entertain and educate. There are a number of activities and themes you can include.
- Showtime at the Apollo – have your employees share their talents in dance, free speech, or music. Including the local elementary children’s choir or dance team makes for joyful entertainment.
- Guest speakers – InfoMart has previously featured local radio and television personalities, political leaders like Alisha Morgan, Georgia House Representative, and inspirational speakers.
- Field Trip – This year, we had a buffet lunch of southern food and reserved the local movie theater for a private viewing of Selma.
- Gala – An evening gala involves employee spouses and friends and is an elegant way to celebrate. This type of event requires special planning since there are so many tasks involved, from venue selection to decorating to photos. You also have to take special effort to motivate employees to attend an after hour event.
- Trivia – Hold a trivia contest with prizes for the participants.
- Drawings – Ask vendors to provide you with items that you can giveaway in company-wide drawings.
- Day of Service – Much like MLK Day, you can organize a day of service.
- Non-profit Fund Raising – Select a non-profit with a diverse population of clients that your company can work with to raise funds and/or donations. Often, the company will match the funds raised by employees.
- Southern Food – A Soul Food or Southern buffet can’t be beaten. Ask employees to bring in family favorites from greens to macaroni & cheese to fried chicken. Jessica Harris writes, “Whatever their lot, slaves did not simply cook for their own nourishment. They also cooked most, if not all, of the meals for the Big House, and their cooking in this arena resulted in the subtle but very real transformation of the tastes of the American South.”
Political and community leaders also look for ways to contribute to Black History Month. Don’t hesitate to ask someone to be your guest speaker or attend your event, or to request the media cover your celebration.
Black History Month provides an opportunity to recognize and appreciate your diverse workforce. Even more importantly, it is an opportunity to make or encourage societal change.
For tips on how to effectively organize, implement, and manage Black History Month events, visit 8 Tips for Recognizing Black History Month in the Workforce.
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About Tammy Cohen:
In 1989, Cohen founded InfoMart, a multi-million dollar pre-employment screening company that provides services to Fortune 500 companies nationwide. InfoMart has numerous “Best Place to Work” awards from various organizations. As a recognized expert in the employment screening industry, Cohen is often referred to as “The Queen of Screen” and was influential in the founding of the screening industry’s first trade association, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). Cohen is actively involved in a number of business and civic organizations and has received numerous personal honors, including a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record, the Entrepreneur of the Year award from YWCA of the USA, an Enterprising Woman of the Year Award from Enterprising Women, and the Phenomenal Women Award from the Siegel Institute.
InfoMart is an industry leader in background screening services, providing businesses the information they need to make well-informed hiring decisions. With more than 26 years in business, InfoMart is a pioneer in developing innovative technology and screening services, from criminal history searches to verifications of employment. Accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a designation earned by less than 10% of the industry, InfoMart has been recognized on Workforce Magazine’s Hot List of Background Screening Providers for 10 consecutive years. The company prides itself on its dedication to customers, innovation, and accurate reporting. For more information about InfoMart, please visit www.infomart-usa.com or call (770) 984-2727.
This article was originally posted https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/black-history-month-celebration-tammy-cohen-phr.