For the past 25 years in Canada, every February has been recognized as Black History Month. This is a time to celebrate the many achievements and significant contributions of Black Canadians and their communities.
As leaders look for meaningful ways to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion principles in the workplace, we invite you to not only reflect on Black history and how it has shaped our country’s identity, but to also consider how you and your organization can be a part of ensuring a bright future for Black Canadians.
Most Canadian adults lacked substantial education on Black history and its impact in their formative years. However, it is not too late to “do the work”. By gaining a richer understanding of the past, we are better able to inform the journey towards a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive future.
To support you in your journey, we’ve curated several articles and resources:
Black History Month “The Future is Now” – As a call to action for us all to build on the legacy of those who came before us and to recognize the transformative work that Black Canadians and their communities are doing now, the Government of Canada has provided helpful links and resources.
Black Canadian Heroes Who Have Paved the Way for Future Generations – Gain insight into the stories of black Canadians who have had a significant hand in shaping the country’s past, present, and future.
The Story of Slavery in Canadian History – The Canadian Museum for Human Rights sheds light on the legacy of enslavement in Canada.
This is What White Privilege Looks Like at Your Workplace – A thoughtful perspective on how well-intentioned diversity efforts will fail to retain people of color unless cultural biases towards white supremacy are eliminated.
Included is a link to The New Way We Work podcast, which challenges us to reconsider the definition of “professionalism”, and the implications of the use of the word, and the personal work required of non-black colleagues to advance EDI goals without burdening black colleagues.
Five Ways You Can Celebrate Black History Virtually – This month offers many virtual options to celebrate, from the Toronto Black Film Festival to Bridge for Change, an initiative to fund the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora Endowment fund at York University.
Equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace is more than simply creating diverse teams. It requires fostering a company culture that makes all employees feel safe, supported, and empowered. Leaders can start by reconsidering their own perspectives, the lived experience that has informed their point of view, and acknowledging their own bias.
For talent strategies to help your organization reflect on its own journey and set a path to change the future, contact Amorell Saunders N'Daw, Partner and EDI Lead with KBRS at firstname.lastname@example.org.