How to Celebrate Black History Month at Work in 2024

Ten Thousand Coffees Team -
February 6, 2024

As organizations gear up to celebrate Black History Month in 2024, it’s time to set the stage for year-round impact. Beyond supportive slack messages or office shindigs, it’s vital to establish a genuine and lasting dedication to elevating diversity initiatives. 

“Black History Month presents a natural inflection point in the calendar each year to evaluate progress, reinforce our commitments, and make commitments to further advance progress.” Austin Walters, Senior Director of Inclusive Client Strategy at CIBC 

Organizations owe it to their employees to no longer take a surface-level approach to diversity initiatives, and instead commit to year-round allyship that genuinely uplifts the experiences of Black professionals. This could involve efforts like dedicated mentorship solutions integrated into DEI strategy. 

Why is this so critical? While most Black employees express support for enhancing DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) in the workplace, a significant portion rates their employer poorly in these aspects. And sadly, approximately 41% of Black workers report encountering discrimination or unfair treatment by employers in hiring, pay, or promotions based on their race or ethnicity.

While boosting employee wellbeing, enhancing strategic DEI initiatives also brings substantial advantages to business practices: 

  • Diversity in executive teams increases profitability by up to 36%, according to McKinsey research. 
  • Organizations see 47% increased probability that employees will stay with the company if it’s inclusive. 
  • A sense of employee belonging correlates with a 50% decrease in turnover risk, a 56% boost in job performance, and a remarkable 167% increase in employer net promoter score.

Without further ado, it’s time to celebrate Black History Month at work as a springboard for year-long inclusive action. Buckle up – we're about to deep-dive into it all.

Jump to a section in this article:

Discover how 10KC’s mentorship platform can boost DEI impact while driving employee engagement & rentention. Book a demo.

What is Black History Month?

Since 1976, U.S. presidents have officially designated February as Black History Month, recognizing and celebrating the significant contributions and historical impact of Black individuals and communities.

This deliberate recognition serves as a platform to illuminate the often underestimated roles that Black people have played across diverse fields, including science, literature, politics, sports, and the arts. Beyond acknowledgment, it serves as a catalyst for addressing issues of racial injustice and fostering awareness of the ongoing challenges and successes within the Black community.

Celebrations during this month might involve curated events, thought-provoking lectures, exhibitions, and engaging activities, all designed to honor the rich heritage and monumental contributions of the Black community. Events can educate, inspire, and foster a deeper understanding for diverse narratives. 

DOWNLOAD EBOOK: Create an Inclusive Work Environment During Black History Month and Beyond

Black History Month facts 

How did Black History Month begin? Its roots can be traced back to 1915, a half-century after the abolition of slavery through the Thirteenth Amendment in the United States. Here are some facts about Black History Month’s origins: 

  • Over time, Black History Month has developed to become a period for recognition, contemplation, celebration, and motivation leading to ongoing actions throughout the entire year.

The importance of Black History Month in the workplace

With a growing focus on inclusivity to explore a wide range of Black experiences, Black History Month is of continued importance and now an internationally recognized occasion. Educational institutions, organizations, and communities use this time to discuss history, culture, and social issues. 

If you’re building an inclusive organization that aims to develop, engage, and retain your diverse employees, you can’t leave your Black employees behind. In recent years, companies have increasingly focused on hiring more Black talent, especially during reflective periods like Black History Month. However, it’s critical to actively support and uplift the experiences of Black professionals once they are within your organization. 

“You're seeing significant investments being made in historically Black colleges and universities here in the US, as well as programs for Black talent around the world, and that's incredible. However, we don't want to neglect the Black talent that's already at our company. So, where we can focus on helping these individuals achieve their career aspirations provides an opportunity to amplify their experience?” - Jarvis Sam, Former CDO of Nike

56% of Black adults perceive racial and ethnic bias as a significant issue in workplace performance evaluations. And Black workers typically earn lower incomes compared to the overall U.S. workforce, even among those holding bachelor’s or advanced degrees. Needless to say, the continued disparity is alarming. 

Beyond celebrations of progress, Black History Month is an important reminder that there’s still much work to be done to ensure equitable career advancement, mentorship, and development for our Black employees. 

READ MORE: Make Black History Month a Catalyst for Year-Long Inclusive Action

Discover how 10KC’s mentorship platform can boost DEI impact while driving employee engagement & rentention. Book a demo.

7 ways to celebrate Black History Month at work

It’s clear that Black History Month provides a significant opportunity to not only celebrate your Black employees but also to reinforce your commitment to progress. Wondering where to start? Consider these ideas: 

1. Seek employee input

Engaging employees early and throughout the Black History Month promotes participation and ensures all voices are heard. With more perspectives included, the celebrations and programs can best reflect what employees want. 

Allow your initiatives to authentically reflect the needs and desires of employees, rather than being solely driven by leadership. This bottom-up approach can lead to more diverse and personalized activities and shows a genuine company-wide commitment to honoring the month. 

2. Celebrate diverse cultures

Cultivating a genuine connection with the diverse cultures in your organization can be immensely rewarding. Make the celebration inclusive by hosting optional and engaging events during work hours, including formats for virtual attendees. 

Consider hosting: 

  • Culinary Journeys: Showcase dishes from Black cultures worldwide, led by enthusiastic employee volunteers or featuring local black-owned restaurants.
  • Create Black artist playlists: Feature music by Black artists and create a joint playlist for employees to contribute to and share their favorite tracks.
  • Book Club: Explore works by Black authors and poets, such as:
  • Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D
  • Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
  • How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
  • All About Love by Bell Hooks
  • Literary works of poet, social activist, novelist, and playwright Langston Hughes
  • Inspirational Speakers: Bring in voices with stories that inspire and perspectives that spark conversations on intersectionality.

3 . Have tough conversations

In addition to joyful celebrations, it’s key to address systemic issues for Black employees within the workplace.

Often, it’s the structural elements of company culture that are to blame for lack of accountability, like who's valued within the company versus who’s not, access to leadership and networks, or biased rhetoric. 

“By identifying the systemic problems, you inevitably position yourself to create effective systemic solutions to work. And out of that systemic solution comes accountability.” - Jarvis Sam, former CDO of Nike

Natalie Royer, a Belonging Consultant who helps organizations create safe spaces for BIPOC employees, explains why this acknowledgment is so important. “I get feedback that Black employees do not see themselves as being seen, valued, or acknowledged,” Royer says. “It is my belief that this sub-human belief system is the legacy of slavery. Black employees are seen as both property and labor.”

Black employees often feel the weight of proving themselves more than their non-Black colleagues due to implicit biases. It's time for companies to recognize this disparity and act on it by supporting Black employees.

Leaders can begin to directly address the Black experience at work by: 

  • Hosting an open forum / listening session where leaders can receive feedback about workplace challenges
  • Analyzing surveys from Black employees about their work experiences, and letting the data speak the truth.
  • Digging into statistics on hiring and promotion of Black and diverse employees. 

READ MORE: How to Conduct a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Audit at the Enterprise Level

4. Launch or elevate mentorship programs within your DEI strategy

One proven way to show ongoing support for your Black and diverse talent, beyond just celebrating Black History Month? Mentorship.

Why? Representation of equity-seeking groups at management level increases by up to 24% with a mentoring program. Mentoring creates opportunities for employees to gain knowledge and advice from leadership, improve professional skills, build networks, and feel connected. Structured initiatives can help advance employees from underrepresented backgrounds while creating the connections and network they need to ensure belonging. 

"My question is always: why isn't your leadership program generating Black leaders and why aren't you looking at solving that? Mentorship is not democratized within organizations. It's usually information and access that is held by very few people. It's almost a secret in terms of who gets tapped on the shoulder.”  - Diavin Miller, Head of Partner Success at Black Professionals in Tech Network (BPTN)

Michelle Rojas, Associate Director of DEI at Spring Health, hosted listening sessions for Black and Hispanic or Latino team members and found that mentorship top of mind for them. Her efforts to launch and scale mentorship initiatives have resulted in slicing attrition in half for this priority talent group. 

Need more convincing? For Fortune 500 organizations, those with mentoring programs have experienced profits 18% higher than the average, whereas companies without mentorship saw profits decline by 45% below the average. 

READ MORE: How to Improve Your Corporate Mentorship Program: Strategies for Lasting Impact

10KC DEI Solution. Learn how 10KC helps you build and scale DEI programs through inclusive mentoring and networking. Download now.

5. Take mentorship a step further with sponsorship

Think of a mentor as the trusted guide offering wisdom to navigate the professional world. On the other hand, a sponsor is the powerhouse advocate championing their sponsee, propelling them toward new opportunities and greater visibility.

Sponsorship holds immense value for everyone, but it's especially crucial for diverse talent that may lack the visibility and network compared to more privileged colleagues. Having a sponsor increases the likelihood of a Black manager advancing to the next level by 65%

When it comes to tangible outcomes that improve DEI, sponsorship can be a primary driver. 

“Having spent a ton of time working in a number of different organizations, most recently as the Global Chief DEI Officer at Nike, as the first Head of DEI for Snapchat, and then some time at Google and Deloitte in various DEI roles, people often ask me, ‘what is the most important principled approach when building effective diversity programs?’ The answer is undoubtedly sponsorship.” Jarvis Sam, former CDO of Nike 
Ebook. Unlock the full potential of workplace sponsorship. Download now.

6. Support ERGs for Black professionals

Black History Month is a great time to promote internal employee resource groups (ERGs) that support Black professionals, along with external professional organizations, like the Black Professionals in Tech Network.

“At Accenture, we not only have employee resource groups (ERGs), but we make sure they have the support they need to be able to thrive, and the right access to leadership.” - Anissa Thompson, Managing Director of Software and Platforms at Accenture

ERGs help Black employees form connections across different departments and levels of an organization while fostering a sense of belonging. Meanwhile, memberships to professional organizations offer exposure to broader networks. By allocating funds and resources for employees to obtain memberships or create ERGs, companies can meaningfully support their Black employees’ career development.

WATCH NOW: How B/ERG Leaders Build and Scale Inclusive Mentoring Programs

7. Extend support beyond your organization

Demonstrate meaningful support for the broader community during Black History Month, beyond your employees. 

  • Back Black-owned businesses: Invest in or purchase goods and services from Black-owned businesses and share ideas with the team. 
  • Form volunteer groups: Provide suggestions for employees to volunteer towards organizations benefiting the Black community. Roll up your sleeves, get hands-on, and make a real impact.
  • Connect with BIPOC students: Bridge the gap by creating accessible avenues for employees to connect with students and offer professional services such as resume reviews or career advice. Uplift the next generation!

Keep the spirit of Black History Month going all year

The celebration of Black History Month is a vital time for reflection and recognition, but it should be a starting point rather than an isolated event. An impactful approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) extends beyond a single month and is a year-round commitment. 

By embedding initiatives like mentorship and sponsorship into the fabric of your DEI strategy, you can create a workplace environment where Black employees thrive everyday. Leveraging 10KC’s software to facilitate DEI mentorship programs can greatly enhance these initiatives, simplifying deployment while driving employee engagement, development, and retention. 

“For many orgs, they obsess this idea of diversity recruitment upfront [...] However, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 2 years in, you start to see this vicious cycle of a rotating door because not only does the talent not feel invested in from a career management standpoint, the organization also tends to not be set up culturally to be able to support and sustain the cultural identities of these communities.” - Jarvis Sam, former CDO of Nike. 

True diversity and inclusion require more than just hiring diverse talent; it demands nurturing an environment where diverse identities and backgrounds are supported. And as you strive to keep the spirit of Black History Month alive all year round, remember that DEI is an ongoing journey, not a destination. 

Discover how 10KC’s mentorship platform can boost DEI impact while driving employee engagement & rentention. Book a demo.

Examples of companies celebrating Black History Month (and beyond)

Curious how other organizations celebrate and support Black employees year-round? 

Jarvis Sam, former CDO of Nike, emphasizes the importance of supporting Black employees by focusing on development in the form of mentorship or sponsorship: “This is not the same age old business case for diversity, equity, and inclusion. This is a business case for retention and promotability within your organization.” 

“The various modules that are built into the [10KC] platform are super helpful. We can't just think of this program as separate and distinct from all of the other equity work that we do. In fact, it has to be directly integrated.” – Jarvis Sam, former CDO of Nike

During his tenure at Nike, Jarvis also shared several notable initiatives for Black employees, including:

  • Collaboration with Serena Williams to create training programs aimed at increasing access for people of color in the design space.
  • Implementation of comprehensive educational programs for employees, enhancing understanding of diverse cultural histories and fostering impactful work.

WATCH NOW: Sponsorship 101 with Jarvis Sam, former CDO of Nike

James Grate, Head of DEI at Thoughtworks, discusses transforming the 'invisible work' of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) into a tangible, measurable aspect of organizational strategy. This approach, aided by the 10KC platform, ensures ERGs and learning and development initiatives have a measurable impact. The “Black at Thoughtworks ERG”, for instance, is now an integral part of Thoughtworks' overall talent strategy.

WATCH NOW: How B/ERG Leaders Build and Scale Inclusive Mentoring Programs

Seeking more inspiration? 

Take a cue from the giants, like Google or Meta (Facebook), to get ideas from what they’ve done for Black History Month. Additionally, as you craft your DEI programs and celebrate Black History Month, consider their adaptability to other groups. For example, a mentorship program launched during Black History Month could be also modified for Women's History Month, and so on. Explore how you can expand initiatives throughout your organization. 

“Allyship is a verb, not a noun. Being allies is not a destination; it's a continuous effort requiring real vulnerability and active participation.” - Diavin Miller, Head of Partner Success at Black Professionals in Tech Network (BPTN)

At 10KC, we recognize the invaluable role of mentorship and networking in driving constant DEI impact. Our inclusive mentoring and networking platform ensures scalability, access, and impact for programs, embodying our commitment to meaningful support for DEI efforts

Discover how 10KC’s mentorship platform can boost DEI impact while driving employee engagement & rentention. Book a demo.
Webinar

How to Celebrate Black History Month at Work in 2024

Discover how 10KC’s mentorship platform can boost DEI impact while driving employee engagement & rentention. Book a demo.

What is Black History Month?

Since 1976, U.S. presidents have officially designated February as Black History Month, recognizing and celebrating the significant contributions and historical impact of Black individuals and communities.

This deliberate recognition serves as a platform to illuminate the often underestimated roles that Black people have played across diverse fields, including science, literature, politics, sports, and the arts. Beyond acknowledgment, it serves as a catalyst for addressing issues of racial injustice and fostering awareness of the ongoing challenges and successes within the Black community.

Celebrations during this month might involve curated events, thought-provoking lectures, exhibitions, and engaging activities, all designed to honor the rich heritage and monumental contributions of the Black community. Events can educate, inspire, and foster a deeper understanding for diverse narratives. 

DOWNLOAD EBOOK: Create an Inclusive Work Environment During Black History Month and Beyond

Black History Month facts 

How did Black History Month begin? Its roots can be traced back to 1915, a half-century after the abolition of slavery through the Thirteenth Amendment in the United States. Here are some facts about Black History Month’s origins: 

  • Over time, Black History Month has developed to become a period for recognition, contemplation, celebration, and motivation leading to ongoing actions throughout the entire year.

The importance of Black History Month in the workplace

With a growing focus on inclusivity to explore a wide range of Black experiences, Black History Month is of continued importance and now an internationally recognized occasion. Educational institutions, organizations, and communities use this time to discuss history, culture, and social issues. 

If you’re building an inclusive organization that aims to develop, engage, and retain your diverse employees, you can’t leave your Black employees behind. In recent years, companies have increasingly focused on hiring more Black talent, especially during reflective periods like Black History Month. However, it’s critical to actively support and uplift the experiences of Black professionals once they are within your organization. 

“You're seeing significant investments being made in historically Black colleges and universities here in the US, as well as programs for Black talent around the world, and that's incredible. However, we don't want to neglect the Black talent that's already at our company. So, where we can focus on helping these individuals achieve their career aspirations provides an opportunity to amplify their experience?” - Jarvis Sam, Former CDO of Nike

56% of Black adults perceive racial and ethnic bias as a significant issue in workplace performance evaluations. And Black workers typically earn lower incomes compared to the overall U.S. workforce, even among those holding bachelor’s or advanced degrees. Needless to say, the continued disparity is alarming. 

Beyond celebrations of progress, Black History Month is an important reminder that there’s still much work to be done to ensure equitable career advancement, mentorship, and development for our Black employees. 

READ MORE: Make Black History Month a Catalyst for Year-Long Inclusive Action

Discover how 10KC’s mentorship platform can boost DEI impact while driving employee engagement & rentention. Book a demo.

7 ways to celebrate Black History Month at work

It’s clear that Black History Month provides a significant opportunity to not only celebrate your Black employees but also to reinforce your commitment to progress. Wondering where to start? Consider these ideas: 

1. Seek employee input

Engaging employees early and throughout the Black History Month promotes participation and ensures all voices are heard. With more perspectives included, the celebrations and programs can best reflect what employees want. 

Allow your initiatives to authentically reflect the needs and desires of employees, rather than being solely driven by leadership. This bottom-up approach can lead to more diverse and personalized activities and shows a genuine company-wide commitment to honoring the month. 

2. Celebrate diverse cultures

Cultivating a genuine connection with the diverse cultures in your organization can be immensely rewarding. Make the celebration inclusive by hosting optional and engaging events during work hours, including formats for virtual attendees. 

Consider hosting: 

  • Culinary Journeys: Showcase dishes from Black cultures worldwide, led by enthusiastic employee volunteers or featuring local black-owned restaurants.
  • Create Black artist playlists: Feature music by Black artists and create a joint playlist for employees to contribute to and share their favorite tracks.
  • Book Club: Explore works by Black authors and poets, such as:
  • Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D
  • Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
  • How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
  • All About Love by Bell Hooks
  • Literary works of poet, social activist, novelist, and playwright Langston Hughes
  • Inspirational Speakers: Bring in voices with stories that inspire and perspectives that spark conversations on intersectionality.

3 . Have tough conversations

In addition to joyful celebrations, it’s key to address systemic issues for Black employees within the workplace.

Often, it’s the structural elements of company culture that are to blame for lack of accountability, like who's valued within the company versus who’s not, access to leadership and networks, or biased rhetoric. 

“By identifying the systemic problems, you inevitably position yourself to create effective systemic solutions to work. And out of that systemic solution comes accountability.” - Jarvis Sam, former CDO of Nike

Natalie Royer, a Belonging Consultant who helps organizations create safe spaces for BIPOC employees, explains why this acknowledgment is so important. “I get feedback that Black employees do not see themselves as being seen, valued, or acknowledged,” Royer says. “It is my belief that this sub-human belief system is the legacy of slavery. Black employees are seen as both property and labor.”

Black employees often feel the weight of proving themselves more than their non-Black colleagues due to implicit biases. It's time for companies to recognize this disparity and act on it by supporting Black employees.

Leaders can begin to directly address the Black experience at work by: 

  • Hosting an open forum / listening session where leaders can receive feedback about workplace challenges
  • Analyzing surveys from Black employees about their work experiences, and letting the data speak the truth.
  • Digging into statistics on hiring and promotion of Black and diverse employees. 

READ MORE: How to Conduct a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Audit at the Enterprise Level

4. Launch or elevate mentorship programs within your DEI strategy

One proven way to show ongoing support for your Black and diverse talent, beyond just celebrating Black History Month? Mentorship.

Why? Representation of equity-seeking groups at management level increases by up to 24% with a mentoring program. Mentoring creates opportunities for employees to gain knowledge and advice from leadership, improve professional skills, build networks, and feel connected. Structured initiatives can help advance employees from underrepresented backgrounds while creating the connections and network they need to ensure belonging. 

"My question is always: why isn't your leadership program generating Black leaders and why aren't you looking at solving that? Mentorship is not democratized within organizations. It's usually information and access that is held by very few people. It's almost a secret in terms of who gets tapped on the shoulder.”  - Diavin Miller, Head of Partner Success at Black Professionals in Tech Network (BPTN)

Michelle Rojas, Associate Director of DEI at Spring Health, hosted listening sessions for Black and Hispanic or Latino team members and found that mentorship top of mind for them. Her efforts to launch and scale mentorship initiatives have resulted in slicing attrition in half for this priority talent group. 

Need more convincing? For Fortune 500 organizations, those with mentoring programs have experienced profits 18% higher than the average, whereas companies without mentorship saw profits decline by 45% below the average. 

READ MORE: How to Improve Your Corporate Mentorship Program: Strategies for Lasting Impact

10KC DEI Solution. Learn how 10KC helps you build and scale DEI programs through inclusive mentoring and networking. Download now.

5. Take mentorship a step further with sponsorship

Think of a mentor as the trusted guide offering wisdom to navigate the professional world. On the other hand, a sponsor is the powerhouse advocate championing their sponsee, propelling them toward new opportunities and greater visibility.

Sponsorship holds immense value for everyone, but it's especially crucial for diverse talent that may lack the visibility and network compared to more privileged colleagues. Having a sponsor increases the likelihood of a Black manager advancing to the next level by 65%

When it comes to tangible outcomes that improve DEI, sponsorship can be a primary driver. 

“Having spent a ton of time working in a number of different organizations, most recently as the Global Chief DEI Officer at Nike, as the first Head of DEI for Snapchat, and then some time at Google and Deloitte in various DEI roles, people often ask me, ‘what is the most important principled approach when building effective diversity programs?’ The answer is undoubtedly sponsorship.” Jarvis Sam, former CDO of Nike 
Ebook. Unlock the full potential of workplace sponsorship. Download now.

6. Support ERGs for Black professionals

Black History Month is a great time to promote internal employee resource groups (ERGs) that support Black professionals, along with external professional organizations, like the Black Professionals in Tech Network.

“At Accenture, we not only have employee resource groups (ERGs), but we make sure they have the support they need to be able to thrive, and the right access to leadership.” - Anissa Thompson, Managing Director of Software and Platforms at Accenture

ERGs help Black employees form connections across different departments and levels of an organization while fostering a sense of belonging. Meanwhile, memberships to professional organizations offer exposure to broader networks. By allocating funds and resources for employees to obtain memberships or create ERGs, companies can meaningfully support their Black employees’ career development.

WATCH NOW: How B/ERG Leaders Build and Scale Inclusive Mentoring Programs

7. Extend support beyond your organization

Demonstrate meaningful support for the broader community during Black History Month, beyond your employees. 

  • Back Black-owned businesses: Invest in or purchase goods and services from Black-owned businesses and share ideas with the team. 
  • Form volunteer groups: Provide suggestions for employees to volunteer towards organizations benefiting the Black community. Roll up your sleeves, get hands-on, and make a real impact.
  • Connect with BIPOC students: Bridge the gap by creating accessible avenues for employees to connect with students and offer professional services such as resume reviews or career advice. Uplift the next generation!

Keep the spirit of Black History Month going all year

The celebration of Black History Month is a vital time for reflection and recognition, but it should be a starting point rather than an isolated event. An impactful approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) extends beyond a single month and is a year-round commitment. 

By embedding initiatives like mentorship and sponsorship into the fabric of your DEI strategy, you can create a workplace environment where Black employees thrive everyday. Leveraging 10KC’s software to facilitate DEI mentorship programs can greatly enhance these initiatives, simplifying deployment while driving employee engagement, development, and retention. 

“For many orgs, they obsess this idea of diversity recruitment upfront [...] However, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 2 years in, you start to see this vicious cycle of a rotating door because not only does the talent not feel invested in from a career management standpoint, the organization also tends to not be set up culturally to be able to support and sustain the cultural identities of these communities.” - Jarvis Sam, former CDO of Nike. 

True diversity and inclusion require more than just hiring diverse talent; it demands nurturing an environment where diverse identities and backgrounds are supported. And as you strive to keep the spirit of Black History Month alive all year round, remember that DEI is an ongoing journey, not a destination. 

Discover how 10KC’s mentorship platform can boost DEI impact while driving employee engagement & rentention. Book a demo.

Examples of companies celebrating Black History Month (and beyond)

Curious how other organizations celebrate and support Black employees year-round? 

Jarvis Sam, former CDO of Nike, emphasizes the importance of supporting Black employees by focusing on development in the form of mentorship or sponsorship: “This is not the same age old business case for diversity, equity, and inclusion. This is a business case for retention and promotability within your organization.” 

“The various modules that are built into the [10KC] platform are super helpful. We can't just think of this program as separate and distinct from all of the other equity work that we do. In fact, it has to be directly integrated.” – Jarvis Sam, former CDO of Nike

During his tenure at Nike, Jarvis also shared several notable initiatives for Black employees, including:

  • Collaboration with Serena Williams to create training programs aimed at increasing access for people of color in the design space.
  • Implementation of comprehensive educational programs for employees, enhancing understanding of diverse cultural histories and fostering impactful work.

WATCH NOW: Sponsorship 101 with Jarvis Sam, former CDO of Nike

James Grate, Head of DEI at Thoughtworks, discusses transforming the 'invisible work' of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) into a tangible, measurable aspect of organizational strategy. This approach, aided by the 10KC platform, ensures ERGs and learning and development initiatives have a measurable impact. The “Black at Thoughtworks ERG”, for instance, is now an integral part of Thoughtworks' overall talent strategy.

WATCH NOW: How B/ERG Leaders Build and Scale Inclusive Mentoring Programs

Seeking more inspiration? 

Take a cue from the giants, like Google or Meta (Facebook), to get ideas from what they’ve done for Black History Month. Additionally, as you craft your DEI programs and celebrate Black History Month, consider their adaptability to other groups. For example, a mentorship program launched during Black History Month could be also modified for Women's History Month, and so on. Explore how you can expand initiatives throughout your organization. 

“Allyship is a verb, not a noun. Being allies is not a destination; it's a continuous effort requiring real vulnerability and active participation.” - Diavin Miller, Head of Partner Success at Black Professionals in Tech Network (BPTN)

At 10KC, we recognize the invaluable role of mentorship and networking in driving constant DEI impact. Our inclusive mentoring and networking platform ensures scalability, access, and impact for programs, embodying our commitment to meaningful support for DEI efforts

Discover how 10KC’s mentorship platform can boost DEI impact while driving employee engagement & rentention. Book a demo.

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