Here at WorkTango, we believe that Black History Month is an important time to reflect on and celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Black individuals throughout history. We know that when people see themselves and their experiences reflected in the workplace, they feel more valued, heard, and supported. Celebrating Black History Month is a powerful way to demonstrate to Black employees that their contributions to the organization and to society are recognized and appreciated.
WorkTango stood behind our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEI&B) by scheduling a range of programming honoring Black History Month for February 2023. Whether you need ideas for your own DE&I programs, or are just curious about how WorkTango recognized Black History Month in 2023, here’s a rundown of what we did this year and its impact on our own organizational culture.
1. Black History Unsung Heroes Spotlight
Each week during Black History Month, we took the opportunity to educate our team members about Black individuals who may have gone largely unrecognized and unnoticed for their achievements and contributions to society. In other words: Unsung Heroes. We featured a few different Unsung Heroes every week and played a virtual Jeopardy-style game during our company All Hands to encourage folks to engage and learn.
(Presenter asks): Who was the inventor of the Super Soaker?
(Employee who raises hand first): Who is Lonnie Johnson?
Anyone who answered the question correctly received points within WorkTango’s Recognition & Rewards platform. We kept each presentation to 2-3 minutes in length to ensure we were getting maximum engagement by sharing short, digestible chunks of information.
2. Featured Organizations for Donating Points
Each featured Unsung Hero was accompanied by a featured organization that employees could donate Recognition points to within WorkTango’s Recognition & Rewards platform. During the month of February, WorkTango team members donated over 18,700 points to organizations including the Black Parent Initiative, the Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship Foundation, and the Black Mental Health Alliance.
3. Black History and Culture Music Playlist
During February, WorkTango co-created a Black History Month playlist with employees. The playlist featured a varied selection of music from Black artists throughout history, and was played during company meetings. Over four hours of music were added to the playlist during the course of the month.
4. Black Voices Panel feat. DE&I Expert and CHRO
The WorkTango Culture Committee organized and hosted a fireside chat conversation in honor of Black History Month featuring Deborah Thomas, the CHRO of Somos. Deborah shared her experiences regarding workplace discrimination during the meaningful discussion, as well as advice on how to overcome obstacles and avoid fear of failure.
Finally, as February drew to a close, WorkTango celebrated Black History Month by hosting a virtual Trivia game about the 16 Unsung Heroes featured during the last previous weeks. Employees competed for a prize while resurfacing the accomplishments of each of the Black individuals featured throughout the month.
This year’s Black History Month celebrations at WorkTango generated significant employee engagement, and helped us ensure our work environment is one where everyone feels like they belong.
Does your organization celebrate Black History Month? If so, how did you celebrate?