Navigating Black History Month: Best Practices and Pitfalls to Avoid FR

Navigating Black History Month 2024

As we immerse ourselves in the wealth of Black heritage throughout Canada this month, it’s crucial to approach the commemoration with a deliberate focus on mindfulness and authenticity.

Here is a guide outlining the dos and don’ts to navigate effectively during Black History Month.


Do revisit your DEI goals:

Use Black History Month as an opportune moment to reassess and prioritize your Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) goals. Ensure alignment between your decisions and objectives, involving your staff in generating ideas for improvement. Transparently evaluate past commitments and allocate necessary resources to make DEI an integral part of your overall strategy.

Do be an authentic ally:

It’s not just about words; it’s about actions. While it’s commendable to acknowledge Black History Month on social media or company websites, substantiate these proclamations with real internal and external actions. Walking the walk and talking the talk ensures your efforts are perceived as genuine and not mere lip service.

Do support Black-owned businesses:

Demonstrate your commitment by actively supporting Black-owned businesses during Black History Month. Whether it’s choosing Black-owned restaurants, authors, or décor for your events, these investments speak volumes about your values. Extend this support beyond the month, actively endorsing and championing Black professionals, businesses, and initiatives.


Now that you have a clear understanding of what you should be doing, here are three actions to avoid this month.

Don’t expect free training or speakers:

Acknowledge the value of speakers and trainers discussing Black history by investing in their expertise. Expecting these services for free, especially when budgets exist for speakers on other topics, sends the message that Black history is not deserving of proper investment. Prioritize payment for the time and invaluable wisdom shared. You should know the answer to the question: what’s the budget for that?

Don’t limit Black history to February- do treat it as part of a broader initiative:

While celebrating Black History Month with events like movie screenings and book discussions is commendable, it’s not enough to address long-standing racial inequities. Treating Black History Month as a standalone celebration neglects ongoing efforts required to address disparities and improve the overall experience for Black professionals. Organizations should view this time as an opportunity to address systemic gaps and commit to continuous efforts throughout the entire year.

By following these dos and avoiding these pitfalls, organizations can ensure a more meaningful and sustained impact during Black History Month and beyond.

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