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How to Make Black History Month Celebrations a Meaningful Way to Create Lasting Change

By I&D Engagement Committee Chair Shanta Eaden, Weatherford

Black History Month was created by noted historian Carter G. Woodson, who pushed for national recognition and celebration of black history because he believed equality was possible with the acknowledgement and understanding of the contributions Blacks make to society. More than a century later, we still have work to do to achieve equality and equity.

Celebrating Black History Month provides opportunities to re-commit ourselves and our organizations by fostering cultures that value inclusion and diversity. Here are a few actions you can take this month to meaningfully celebrate Black history, this month and beyond:

  • Create a diversity, equity and inclusion statement. If your company already has one, review it to make sure it clearly articulates how you embrace and encourage inclusion and diversity.
  • Establish an inclusion and diversity moment to trigger discussion. Potential topics could include resources from Deloitte’s six signature traits of inclusive leadership, or Accenture’s Inclusion Starts with I video.
  • Encourage individuals within your company to become allies in building a culture that values inclusion and diversity.
  • Participate in the Council’s OFS Diversity Survey to help create an understanding of the workforce landscape and be part of the conversation to drive inclusion and diversity within your organization and the industry. To sign up, contact Council COO Molly Determan.
  • Register for the Council’s Inclusion & Diversity Business Champion Program, which includes education on the topic of racial equality.
  • Review the recommendations of the Council’s Racial Equality Task Force and identify areas where you and your company can get involved.
  • Support the Council’s African American and Black Employee Resource Group by encouraging employees to sign up and participate — a working group is finalizing details to open participation soon. 

Establishing a culture that fosters inclusion and diversity is ongoing work that will evolve over time. The Council is ready to help members get educated and commit to actions that promote equality. Your peers on the Inclusion & Diversity Engagement Committee and Council staff are ready to offer guidance and support as you take the necessary steps to drive change and progress.

Join us, as we work to transform our industry and advance into the energy future. For more information, contact Council COO Molly Determan.