Thursday, February 14, 2013

Celebrate Black History Month In the Workplace - Yay or Nay?

There was a time when I would have thought that companies celebrating Black History Month were completely forward-thinking.

These days, I'm not so sure.

I think that most companies that do at least make an effort to promote diversity by celebrating ethnic and cultural events, whether it be Black History Month, Chinese New Year or Cinco De Mayo, really do start out with good intentions.

However, unless you are very careful with your planning, completely do your research (not relying on wikipedia and the internet entirely for information), and look to your employees within the particular ethnic group in the planning, these types of "celebrations" can often backfire.

It's great to have Black people in the company speak about their experiences and how they've climbed the ladder to VP or President of the Company, however, a lot of what is offered as "Black History" is watered-down, completely commercial and downright patronizing.

I know you can't please all the people all the time and while it's nice to be "considered," some things are better left to those who really know what they're doing when it comes to putting on diversity events in the workplace.

Another option might be to "practice what you preach" so to speak, 365 days a year, 12 months out of the year instead of a day or week in February.

I'm just saying.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Even "not so enlightening" Black History Month events serve a purpose - we can get a renewed awareness and appreciation for whatever accomplishments made as a result of the Civil Rights Movement. Black Folks were not always working in office buildings - except to clean them at night. So, I don't too much worry about "unpolished presentations". I think it's important that we "lest not forget"