By Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP
Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate and educate your way to being a “Best Place to Work.” We usually see companies recognize BHM with sales and promotions, instead of celebrating and recognizing rich African American History. Companies often do not recognize Black History Month as much as they promote and exploit the opportunity for retail sales.
Organizations are missing out on an opportunity to engage employees, shape their corporate culture, and “brand stand.”
For over 10 years, InfoMart has sponsored activities and events for Black History Month. We engage our employees by entertaining and educating our workforce. Additionally, we use the opportunity to include our community and clients. “No other business in our community celebrates Black History like InfoMart,” says Deane Bonner, President of the Cobb NAACP.
Celebrate verses Educate. Our events have spanned the spectrum from grilling hamburgers to holding an evening gala. I have observed that the best BHM events strike a balance between celebration and education.
Through the years, InfoMart has recognized BHM with several activities:
• Luncheon – This is the best way to include the entire workforce and to entertain and educate. There are a number of activities and themes you can use.
• Showtime at the Apollo – Have your employees share their talents in dance, free speech, or music. Including the local elementary children’s choir or dance team makes for joyful entertainment.
• Guest speakers – InfoMart has previously featured local radio and television personalities, political leaders like Alisha Morgan, Georgia House Representative, and inspirational speakers.
• Field Trip – This year, we had a buffet lunch of southern food and reserved the local movie theater for a private viewing of Selma.
• Gala – An evening gala with spouses and friends and is an elegant way to celebrate. This type of event requires special planning from venue selection to decorating to photos.
• Trivia – Hold a trivia contest with prizes for the participants.
• Drawings – Ask vendors to provide you with items that you can giveaway in company-wide drawings.
• Day of Service – Much like MLK Day, you can organize a day of service.
• Non-profit Fundraising – Select a non-profit with a diverse population of clients that your company can work with to raise funds and/or donations. Often, the company will match the funds raised by employees.
Political and community leaders also look for ways to contribute to Black History Month. Don’t hesitate to ask someone to be your guest speaker or attend your event, or to request the media cover your celebration. Black History Month provides an opportunity to recognize and appreciate your diverse workforce. Even more importantly, it is an opportunity to make or encourage societal change.
Looking for more? For tips on how to effectively organize, implement, and manage Black History Month events, visit 8 Tips for Observing Black History Month in the Workforce.
About Tammy Cohen
Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart over 28 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record. To learn more about Tammy, visit www.tammycohen.com.
InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for over 28 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners, and they have achieved NAPBS accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 40 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit www.infomart-usa.com, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.