Black history month is only once a year. Diversity, equity and inclusion are an everyday effort.

We are halfway through February and it is a great time to recognize the celebration of Black History Month.

Here are four ways to celebrate personally, professionally and in your local community — in this instance, Indianapolis.

Support Black Owned Businesses

There are many certified Minority Owned Enterprises (MBE), black-owned businesses in the area you could support.

I am moving in February, and while there are numerous moving companies in the area, I wanted to make sure I used a black-owned moving company. It is as simple as googling what you want to do, eat, visit or have serviced and putting “black owned” before the search. Another resource to take advantage of is your local Black Chamber of Commerce, which provides a directory of member businesses a ton of other great resources.

Craving a bite? Here are some of my favorite black-owned spots:

  • Maxine’s Chicken and Waffles
  • Eat to Live Café
  • Gordon’s Milkshake Bar

Organize a Black History Outing or Volunteer Event

Search for black history events in your city or research a location that is important to black history and culture.

Some online sources, like Eventbrite, have a Black History Month search filter on their site to share different events. Here are a few that stood out to me:

  • Black History Month Rhythm & Poetry Open Mic – February 23, 2023
  • Black History Month Art Show – February 25, 2023
  • Black History Month Bowling Fundraiser – February 26, 2023

Host an Employee Storytelling Event

It is important to hear the experiences of your black colleagues. Host an in-office event where your black colleagues are given the opportunity to tell their personal stories and raise awareness for the black community in the process.

This is a wonderful opportunity for people to learn by asking questions and allowing time to reflect. Incorporate time for Q&A where your employees can ask questions and educate in a safe environment.

Celebrate and Educate Year-round

Black history month is only once a year. Diversity, equity and inclusion are an everyday effort.

Here are some ways to continue the celebration and education year-round in your workplace:

  • Start (or continue) a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee to keep discussions going and educate throughout the year
  • Evaluate your vendors and consider adding additional black-owned businesses into the mix
  • Add a few learning materials to your personal development plan, such as a DEI podcast or a relevant blog

Most important of all—keep asking questions and supporting one another in the pursuit of continued growth.

Weekly Recipe

Suya-Spiced Short Ribs with Shito Honey