Five steps for authentic communications during Black History Month

Authentic communication requires empathy and respect during Black History Month and beyond.

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February 1 ushers in a barrage of well-intended, yet often unconnected posts and sentiments around Black History Month. While many communications are well-meant, if they are not delivered with intention and authenticity, these posts of celebration can be seen as performative activism to the Black community.

The celebration, founded by historian Carter G. Woodson, was created to celebrate Black achievements, and uplift Black voices in 1926, originally as week-long celebration, and was expanded to a month in 1976.

Today’s complicated comms world demands a holistic approach to DE&I—not one that’s dedicated to a single month.

It involves a long-term commitment to creating a more inclusive culture within the industry, starting with an acknowledgment of the barriers that have prevented marginalized groups from entering and advancing within various industries.

1. Recruit diverse staff

Bettina Byrd-Giles, an expert in intercultural communication with The Bird’s Nest, calls out the importance of having diverse and different perspectives within an organization.

She shared an example of a young staff member who had suggested a “Love and Basketball” event ahead of Valentine’s Day.

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