Black History Month began in 1915, almost half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. Historian Carter G. Woodson and minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), which was dedicated to researching and promoting the successes of Black Americans and those of African descent. Now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the organization sponsored the first national Negro History Week in 1926, marking the second week of February to align with the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976. Every subsequent President has designated February as Black History Month and endorsed a specific theme.
The Black History Month 2023 theme, “Black Resistance,” honors the history of resisting historical and ongoing oppression throughout US history. To survive, Black people have organized insurrections against their enslavers, created community by offering sanctuary during times of crisis, and developed cultural centers to support the intellectual development of communities when public support was unobtainable. This month is a call to everyone to study the history of Black history in the United States and to celebrate and create spaces where Black life can be sustained, fortified, and respected.
There are many virtual offerings this year to celebrate Black History Month and other ways to engage employees throughout the month:
Charitable donations to organizations promoting and advancing Black excellence is another option to show support throughout the month. Some organizations include:
Below, see what some DBP members are doing to celebrate and honor Black History Month in 2023.
Aramark’s LEAD (Leaders & Employees of African Descent) employee resource group (ERG) is celebrating BHM with employees in several ways. Employees from across the company will gather at Aramark global headquarters in Philadelphia from February 22 to February 24, for the third annual LEAD Summit. This year’s theme is Leading the Way: Fostering Dynamic Leaders That Are Connected, Protected, and Respected. Through a partnership with Temple University, this year’s Summit allows participants to engage with organizational leaders, enrich their professional journeys, and develop their leadership competencies. In alignment with the Summit theme, the ERG will host a variety of events throughout the month that focus on empowerment, culture, history, and intersectionality, including these:
Aramark is continuing the celebrating with some external events and partnerships as well, including these:
This year’s theme at Bristol Myers Squibb Black History Month Global Business Forum is “Be Educated. Be Empowered. Be BOLD!” It’s a call for shared responsibility to be educated and empowered so that the company can make bold decisions for patients and local communities, colleagues, and the business and industry:
During the month, BMS’s Black Organization for Leadership and Development (BOLD) People and Business Resource Group (BRG) will offer a variety of events and opportunities for colleagues to learn, celebrate, and act. The company started the celebration on MLK Jr. Day with a book drive and walk challenge. The official start of the Black History Month celebration begins with explaining the significance of the holiday, the theme above, support of the company’s community partners, and a discussion about BMS’s work in the Black community that goes beyond this month. Some events offered to employees include:
In support of the company’s commitment to expanding employee giving, the BMS Foundation is providing a 3 to 1 match for BMS employee donations to the following three organizations in honor of Black History Month:
Additionally, BMS is hosting a Book Drive to benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Employees can donate both new and used books. For new book donations, there is a curated list of books by Black authors sharing culturally impactful stories that has been shared with employees to consider.
Every Wednesday throughout February, BMS’s Innovators Podcast will be talking with the “Twin Doctors,” Drs. Jeremy and Jermaine Hogstrom, for a special series on inequities in health care.
Throughout Black History Month, EY will celebrate the contributions and achievements of Black Americans who’ve impacted not just their communities, but the country and the world. The EY Black Professional Network (BPN) and Americas DEI team will co-host a firm-wide webcast open to all employees with the theme “Mobilizing for Impact” as a call to action to get connected locally, to become the change we seek. Building on the long legacy of informal civic engagement in the Black community, “Mobilizing for Impact” expands the conversation around volunteerism and engagement within and for Black communities. EY will be celebrating in the following ways:
To celebrate Black History Month, Gallagher’s Global CHRO will be sending out an email message to all employees celebrating the month and outlining the company’s initiatives for the month. Additionally, the company will be spotlighting one Black-Owned Supplier Business to showcase our supplier diversity program efforts.
Gallagher will also curate resources about the Black and African American Community on the company’s intranet centered on Inclusion and Diversity, including a book featuring a Black author from the eLearn Library with supplemental discussion questions for divisions to leverage if they wish to host a discussion during the month.
Lastly, Gallagher will create a video to promote and educate employees about sponsorships and programs related to Black Heritage and History, specifically the company’s involvement as a Founding Year Sponsor of the Black Insurance Industry Collective.
On Gallagher’s social media platforms, the company will be curating a social media post celebrating the month and its importance as well as “My Company” posts on LinkedIn for colleagues to share on their own profiles. Gallagher also will be creating social media features recognizing three Black colleagues at different levels and from different regions in the company who have had a significant impact on Gallagher.
Efforts to celebrate Black History Month are being led by KPMG’s African Ancestry (AA) business resource group (BRG), which came up with this year’s theme: VIBES or Visioning Inclusion, Building Equitable Solutions. The sub-theme is “Building a workplace culture conducive to the future of work.” To kick off the month, a fireside chat with Black leaders in the company will be held, followed by these events:
KPMG will also have a video featuring BRG members and allies sharing what type of workplace culture gives them ”good VIBES” and several communications will be distributed, including a ”Read, Watch, Join” list of curated educational content.
For external impact, KPMG will provide several virtual volunteer opportunities throughout the month in collaboration with the Community Impact team. The sessions include:
The company’s training facility, KPMG Lakehouse, will host several campaigns, including:
KPMG’s CEO, Management Committee members, CDO, and other firm leaders will be publishing content in support of Black History Month. The company is also providing templates for employees to share to their social media platforms for celebration across the organization.
KPMG will also have several featured stories, including:
PNC’s Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) History and Heritage Thought Leadership series offers programming for employees, clients, prospects, and community partners to learn more about the different traditions, backgrounds, and cultures of their peers. D&I regularly hosts enterprise-wide events through the “PNC The Thread” series in recognition of various History and Heritage Months, including Black History Month. Introduced in 2022, PNC The Thread is a focused event available internally and externally for employees, clients, and partners. These events feature a renowned external speaker and help to further PNC’s commitment to fostering a culture of inclusion.
This year’s event, “Understanding Black Identity in America,” takes place on February 9 and features award-winning journalist and founding director of The Race Card Project, Michele Norris, for a candid conversation about race, culture, and the modern civil rights movement in America. Employees are encouraged not only to register and attend the event but also to host in-person watch parties with their teams, employee business resource groups (EBRGs), and colleagues. These in-person watch parties promote engagement among employees and often lead to groups having more inclusive conversations with their peers. The following African American EBRG chapters will be hosting watch parties:
In addition to attending the “PNC The Thread” event, several EBRGs and markets are planning and hosting local events to commemorate Black History Month:
“PNC The Thread” events are open for clients, prospects, and community partners to attend, and often employees who regularly engage with these external groups will invite them to the event, where external stakeholders can learn more about PNC’s overall commitment to D&I.
PNC is also proud to partner with the DuSable Museum of African American History to curate stories of our past and build a better future. For more than 10 years, PNC and the DuSable Museum have collaborated on numerous efforts, including Black History Month, Financial Education, and PNC Grow Up Great®, the organization’s early childhood education initiative.
PNC will also be sharing two online videos featuring highlights on Azie Taylor Morton and Madam C.J. Walker via PNC’s social media platforms. PNC’s Social Media team will also release Print, Facebook, and Instagram ads, including banner highlights of partnerships and the impact of Morton and Walker. Learn more at PNC’s webpage dedicated to Black History Month here.
Zimmer Biomet’s team members reflect the global communities the company serves. During the month of February 2023, members of the African and Black Leadership for Excellence (ABLE) ERG will take part in a CEO roundtable to hear Bryan Hanson’s thoughts on engagement efforts, investments, and expansion of ABLE-driven initiatives. The ABLE leadership team will share the 2023 ABLE Business Plan. During the roundtable discussion leaders will outline what ABLE needs to make our Employee Resource Group successful for 2023 and beyond. The ABLE ERG will also host an external speaker who will travel to corporate HQ to discuss authenticity. Attendees will take part in a catered lunch with a menu that has been specially created for the event.
ABLE plays an instrumental role with several community partnerships, including:
ABLE members will be featured throughout the month in team member spotlight posts in posts on LinkedIn. At the end of February, plans include a photo collage of how Zimmer Biomet team members highlighted and celebrated. The hashtags to be used in 2023 social media platforms are: #ThrivingatZB, #ZimmerBiomet
Beginning in 2023, it is the aim of ABLE to highlight the manners with which our team members celebrate heritage, culture, and their commitments throughout the entire year. ABLE leadership is adopting a Black 365 mentality aimed at ensuring team members are developed and feel connected. The ERG leaders are intentional in how the ABLE strategy we are driving help to deliver against the company’s strategic pillars.