Celebrate Black History Month 2023 with these virtual Black History Month ideas for work. These team-building activities will engage, educate, and inspire your employees and teams – in February and year-round.
This list includes delicious treats, interactive history lessons, fun activities, ideas for social activism projects, and more. As a result, this guide to Black History Month virtual team-building events has something for everyone.
Read on – and remember to carry the spirit of learning and inclusion around Black History Month throughout 2023 and beyond.
Virtual Black History Month Ideas for Work in 2023:
- Host an interactive team building event
- Create a Black History Month playlist
- Buy employees lunch from a Black-owned restaurant
- Volunteer with a Black-led nonprofit
- Amplify Black voices on social media
- Become a corporate member of your local NAACP
In this list, you’ll find:
- Black History Month team building ideas for virtual teams
- Events that promote diversity and equity for corporate teams
- Free creative and fun Black History Month activities
- Companies that provide great Black History Month corporate events
- COVID-safe Black History Month celebrations
- Black History Month corporate ideas
- Team building activities for Black History Month 2023
- Ways to celebrate the theme of Black History Month 2023: Black Resistance
Find more Black History Month ideas for work in the short video below!
Black History Month Ideas for Work
1. Get Your Team Engaged in a Fun and Inspiring Black History Month Experience
This popular Black History Month Virtual Team Building is our top choice for companies looking to honor this important heritage month. The Black History Month experience has been enjoyed by companies like Google, Sodexo, IBM, and much more, and it’s received rave reviews from all. The reason? It integrates history, trivia, plus LIVE tours to iconic Black meccas like the Shaw neighborhood in Washington DC and the Sweet Auburn neighborhood in Atlanta.
You’ll enjoy seeing Dr. King’s birth home and learn from passionate BIPOC guides. And, make it an even better experience with a Treat Box shipped to your team filled with goodies and snacks from Black-owned businesses.
This program will include activities and historical information related to the 2023 Black History Month theme of Black Resistance. Participants will get a live look at the office where John Lewis and Dr. King worked out of for the majority of their resistance efforts. Also, your team will hear about famous resistors and participate in trivia related to the theme.
Sign up for a Black History Month Virtual Team Building experience!
2. Honor Black Musicians and Performers in the Music Evolution Event
Cultural appropriation is a hot topic that is often misunderstood. That’s why the Music Evolution Team Building Experience breaks down cultural appropriation in a fun and creative way.
The event transforms Zoom into “Kazoom” with groups competing against each other in musical challenges. Additionally, your team will learn all about the influence of Black artists on the history of American music. Your team will also thoughtfully engage in the story of how American music is Black music, with a live visit to Nashville, Tennessee – Music City, USA! Make it extra fun with a Treat Box jam packed with musical treats from Black owned businesses.
Learn more and book your Music Evolution Team Building experience.
3. Create a Black History Month Playlist – FREE Black History Month Ideas for Work
Beyoncé, Chuck Berry, Lauryn Hill, Jimi Hendrix, Louis Armstrong – these are just a few of the many Black musicians who created some of America’s greatest sounds. Many genres of music we listen to today were shaped by Black artists and influences. To celebrate Black History Month 2023 with your team, create a Black History Month playlist for your team.
First, ask each person to share a favorite song by an African American artist. Then, create and share your Black History Month playlist using a service like Spotify. When you’re done, your team will be grooving to their favorite Black musical groundbreakers throughout the month and year-round!
Need some inspiration for this Black History Month virtual idea? Check out Spotify’s Black History is Now Hub.
4. Learn from a Local Black Historian or Speaker
Maybe your company’s budget doesn’t allow you to hire a renowned author like Ibram X. Kendi to speak to your team. But, your company could hire a local historian to talk about how African Americans have impacted the history and culture of your surroundings. Similarly, you could virtually host a Black author to speak about their work.
Be sure to plan enough time for a Q&A session and even an internal debrief so your team has an opportunity to start a dialogue and learn more.
To get started, search Penguin Random House’s directory of Black History Month Speakers.
5. Explore Your Local Black History Museum
Give your team the nostalgic feeling of a social studies or history field trip – with a virtual visit to a museum!
The AAAM (Association of African American Museums) maintains a directory of museums devoted to African American history throughout the U.S. Find one near you and explore their virtual tours and lectures with your team. You’ll learn something new while taking a fun virtual field trip together.
Explore the Association of African American Museums directory for more ideas.
6. Support a Black-Owned Food Delivery Company For Your Employees
For teams in Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit, and Philadelphia, try out Black and Mobile, the first Black-owned food delivery service in the country to exclusively deliver for Black-owned restaurants.
You can order food for your employees directly, or give them a gift card so they can enjoy a delicious meal during their down time. For Black History Month virtual ideas like this one, start an email or Slack thread for everyone to share which restaurant and dish they chose!
7. Treat Employees to Lunch from a Black-Owned Restaurant
Reward your employees for their hard work while also supporting a local Black-owned restaurant. As a bonus, you may just introduce your team to their new favorite lunch spot. If your team is working remotely or spread across geographic areas, you can order delivery to each person’s home or offer a gift card.
Alternatively, you could host a physically distant lunch pick-up at the office. Or, you could even plan a company picnic for everyone to enjoy their food together outdoors. Visit eatblackowned.com to find a restaurant near you.
Or, order a gift box featuring Black-owned businesses to support many different Black establishments at once.
8. Plan a Virtual Watch Party with Your Team – FREE Black History Month Ideas for Work
Virtual watch parties are easier than ever to plan. One popular Black History Month option is 13th on Netflix, an Oscar nominated 2016 film from Ava DuVernay that won Best Documentary at the Emmys, BAFTAs, and NAACP Image Awards.
Your team could also watch the hour long recorded Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr from this past year. Alternatively, tune into the Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s Black History Month Virtual Festival with live, scheduled events throughout February 2023.
Get up to speed with Wired’s guide to easily hosting a virtual watch party.
9. Become a Corporate Member of Your Local NAACP
The NAACP is the “oldest and boldest” civil rights organization in the U.S. By joining as a Corporate Member, you’ll support their work and take a stand for equality.
To help gather a more diverse pool of applicants for open jobs, consider also posting your company’s opportunities on the NAACP Job Finder.
Learn more and become a Corporate Member of your local NAACP here!
10. Volunteer With a Black-Led Nonprofit – FREE Black History Month Ideas for Work
Volunteering with your team is a great way to boost employee engagement while supporting a worthy cause. And, it’s easier than you might think to find a Black-led nonprofit that aligns with your employees’ interests.
For instance, organizations like Black Girls Code and 100 Black Men of America engage volunteers and mentors across the United States through in-person and virtual service.
To gain company wide buy-in from your employees, ask them to share their favorite Black-led or social justice nonprofits. Then, encourage your employees to spend a designated amount of work time volunteering with one of these causes during Black History Month. Moreover, you can plan a group volunteer day to turn this into a team building activity.
Check out this guide with 24 Black-led nonprofit organizations to get started.
11. Share Black History Moments & Milestones – FREE Black History Month Ideas for Work
African American leaders, thinkers, and inventors have made incredible impacts on all of our personal lives. As a result, there are no shortage of Black historical figures to learn about and celebrate during Black History Month.
This year, ask your employees to take turns sharing one important Black history moment each day during the month of February on Slack or via email. For sports fans, that might be Hank Aaron becoming the all-time home run king. On the other hand, a tech junkie might choose to share about Philip Emeagwali’s invention of the world’s first supercomputer. This is a great Black History Month corporate idea because it gets everyone engaged in a simple way.
Learn more from The Oprah Magazine’s list of 14 influential African American inventors to remember this Black History Month and beyond.
12. Play Black History Month Trivia – FREE Black History Month Ideas for Work
With this activity, you can help your team learn more about Black history in a fun, exciting way. To play, prepare your list of Black History Month trivia questions and answers. To keep everyone engaged, include questions on a variety of topics. For example: technology, sports, literature, film, music, art, comic books, and more.
Be sure to pause your game along the way for further discussion and learning. Remember, the goal is to connect and grow together, not fly through all the questions quickly. To add more fun, consider awarding the winners with a gift card to a local Black-owned business.
Get inspiration from this list of 20 Black History Month trivia questions.
13. Amplify Black Voices – FREE Black History Month Ideas for Work
Use your company’s social media channels, e-newsletter, and other communications to promote the words and ideas of Black thinkers. This can be as simple as searching for, following, and sharing (with credit!) the social media posts of Black experts in your industry.
While you’re at it, take a look at which accounts you’re following on your own personal social media feed. Remember to make an effort to diversify your own news feed as well. Consider following accounts that represent a variety of races, sexual orientations, gender identities, ages, abilities, and walks of life.
14. Sponsor a Local Black-Led Festival in Your City
Sponsoring a local Black-led event is a win-win. That’s because your company will likely receive publicity in your community while also supporting a worthy cause.
Take a look at your town’s 2023 events calendar for events like Taste of Soul in Atlanta, the American Black Film Festival in Miami Beach, and the Black Arts Festival in Milwaukee.
Start by searching for your city on Soul of America’s National Calendar of Events. While 2023 dates are forthcoming at the time of publication, keep an eye on this calendar for updates!
15. Support Black Employees’ Energy, Boundaries, and Privacy
During Black History Month, some workplaces want to do something special to recognize or support their Black employees. For example, you may see companies highlighting the work and achievements of Black employees in social media posts or other materials. However, this can create a situation where employees feel singled out or tokenized.
Instead, respect employees’ privacy by focusing on the collective learning and impact your entire team can make, rather than singling out individuals based on their race.
Additionally, if you are forming a diversity committee or Black History Month Committee, make sure that participation is by choice and that time spent on these activities are on-the-clock. In other words, avoid asking employees to contribute unpaid time and energy toward equity focused initiatives.
16. Begin a Virtual Book Club
Book clubs are notorious for fizzling out after the initial excitement has worn off – but when done right, they can provide an enriching, meaningful, and fun experience for your employees.
Consider skipping the ongoing commitment and instead host a one-time Virtual Book Club for Black History Month. For Black History Month virtual ideas like this, employees who are interested can gather virtually to chat about their takeaways, learn from each other, and relax with favorite snacks or libations.
Get started with this list of 19 books to read for Black History Month and beyond.
17. Celebrate Black Resistance
Each year, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) designates a theme for Black History Month. In 2023, the theme will be “Black Resistance.”
ASALH shares, “This is a call to everyone, inside and outside the academy, to study the history of Black Americans’ responses to establish safe spaces, where Black life can be sustained, fortified, and respected.”
Delve into the theme of Black Resistance with your team by learning about Black Resistance movements throughout the past and present.
Learn more about Black Resistance and find ideas here.
18. Listen to the 1619 Podcast – FREE Black History Month Idea for Work
Created by The New York Times, “1619” is an audio series that explores “how slavery has transformed America, connecting past and present through the oldest form of storytelling.
If a book club (idea #16 above) feels too time consuming for your team, try a podcast club instead! Since many people enjoy listening to a podcast while multitasking, this can help allow more employees to participate in your DEI activities.
Listen to the The New York Times’ 1619 Podcast here.
19. Pay Dues for African-American Professional Organizations
There are Black and African American affiliation groups for just about every industry. For example, there’s the American Association of Blacks in Energy, Blacks in Technology, ColorComm (for women of color in Communications), National Association of Black Accountants, and many others.
This Black History Month, consider allocating funds toward your employees’ dues in these and other professional associations and sharing the news with your team. Investing in your people is a tangible way to show your commitment to your team. Plus, you’ll be investing in worthwhile organizations that help employees learn and grow while cultivating the next generation of talent.
Explore a list of African American professional organizations from Monster.com.
20. Share About Black History Month on Social Media – FREE Black History Month Idea for Work
As you take meaningful action to honor Black History Month, this is also a great time to share about the occasion on your company’s external communications. You can utilize your business’s e-newsletters, social media posts, website, and other materials to celebrate important occasions like Black History Month.
What to share on social media about Black History Month:
- Post Black History Month quotes from inspirational leaders (see idea #27 below)
- Promote Black-owned businesses and restaurants you’ve enjoyed purchasing from
- Educate audiences with Black History Month facts and trivia
- Inform followers about Black-led nonprofits your company supports
- Share what internal actions your company is taking to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion
21. Learn About Local Black History – FREE Black History Month Idea for Work
This Black History Month, spend time learning about Black history in your company’s area. For instance, are there any Black leaders in the Civil Rights movement who grew up in your area? Does your community have a history of redlining to disenfranchise Black voters? Are there Historically Black Colleges & Universities in your area that your company could become involved with or recruit from?
If your team is spread across the globe, turn this into a collaborative activity by asking everyone to share what they learned about their own geographic area.
It’s important to note that delving into this history can be a sobering and even triggering experience. Consider bringing in an external expert or DEI consultant to help guide the conversation (see idea #30 below).
22. Host a Virtual Lunch & Learn Series
Each week during Black History Month, consider hosting a Lunch & Learn session for your employees to delve deeper into Black History. You can choose a discussion topic for each week ahead of time and ask everyone to come prepared with one or two facts to share with the group.
Some Black History Month lunch & learn topics could include:
- Black history in outer space exploration
- How Southern American food was shaped by Black history
- The art and culture of The Harlem Renaissance
- Record-breaking Black athletes in history
- Black inventors and ingenuity
23. Host a Virtual Poetry Reading Featuring Work from Black Authors – FREE Black History Month Ideas for Work
Set aside some time for a thought-provoking and engaging session with your team: a poetry reading. Even employees who claim they don’t like poetry can be moved by powerful words read aloud by their colleagues. This activity is a great way to connect and start a dialogue.
A few of our favorite well-known Black poets to start with include Audre Lorde, Amanda Gorman, and Maya Angelou. But, there are so many amazing African American poets to choose from that your team will have no shortage of material to choose from.
Browse Black Excellence’s guide to 25 Black Poets for Your Soul.
24. Celebrate Black Athletes – FREE Black History Month Idea for Work
Does your team include sports fanatics or fitness enthusiasts? If so, use this as a time to celebrate Black athletes’ excellence and endurance, especially in the face of adversity.
Throughout the month, ask team members to each deliver a 5-minute presentation on a Black athlete of their choice. Employees can share a brief YouTube clip showcasing their performance, read a summary of the athlete’s autobiography, share a verbal retelling of their accomplishments and a favorite quote, etc. Encourage your team to get creative!
From Simone Biles to Michael Jordan, Serena and Venus Williams to Jackie Robinson, and so many other countless sports legends – Black athletes have been changing the game even in spite of racist barriers and policies throughout history.
Browse Essence’s guide to 40 Top African American Athletes.
25. Participate in a Blood Drive
Throughout the pandemic and beyond, there has been an increased need for blood donations of all types. What does this have to do with Black History Month? According to The Red Cross, about half of the African American population has type O+ blood.
Due to high demand, this is often one of the first types of blood to run out during shortages. As a result, O+ donors (and donors of all blood types!) are especially needed to make donations. To help ensure equitable access to blood transfusions, consider participating in or hosting a blood drive with your employees.
Learn more about participating in or hosting a blood drive through The Red Cross.
26. Support Black Makers & Artists when Gifting Employees
One easy way to celebrate Black History Month? Purchase employee gifts from Black-owned businesses! Whether you’re celebrating an employee’s birthday, baby or wedding shower, retirement, work anniversary, or another milestone – this is a great way to diversify your vendor list.
Just about any item you might gift an employee, can be found from a Black or BIPOC-owned business! From monogrammed business card holders or tablet cases to candles, coffee mugs, and desk decor.
Browse Black-owned shops on Etsy.
27. Share Black History Month Quotes – FREE Black History Month Idea for Work
Inspire employees with quotes from Black authors, inventors, activists, and more. Sharing quotes is a great way to get people thinking and considering new ideas.
You can share Black History Month quotes in your company’s staff newsletter or a designated Slack channel. Encourage everyone to share their favorite quotes with the team throughout the month.
Moreover, you can use your company’s external communications and social media accounts to share Black History Month quotes. See idea #20 above for inspiration and actionable ideas.
For inspiration, browse Unexpected Virtual Tours’ blog post with Black History Month quotes for work.
28. Recognize Self-Care as Part of Activism – FREE Black History Month Ideas for Work
When fighting for racial equality and justice, it’s important to also take time for self-care. As a result, Black History Month is a great opportunity to examine your company’s policies around wellness, mental health, and rest.
For example, this Bustle article shares some advice and insights around the connection between social activism and burnout. Furthermore, if you’re part of a leadership team, begin a dialogue about how to ensure your company’s employees feel supported, rested, and healthy.
For iPhone users, explore “The Safe Place,” a free mental health app created with the Black community in mind.
29. Work with a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Consultant
Not sure where to start when it comes to amping up your DEI strategy? Or, maybe you’ve tried to create a robust DEI strategy and it’s fizzled out – or been met with hostility or backlash.
If that’s the case, your next step may be to bring in a qualified expert who can help guide your company’s efforts. A DEI consultant can help your team review internal processes and bias, advise on DEI activities and ideas, and transform confusion into connection.
30. Celebrate Black Cinema
Plan a virtual movie night with your team! Grab some popcorn and kick back on a video call with your team using a shared streaming service. Choose a film that features a Black director and/or cast. To get ideas, ask your team members for recommendations – or send out a survey with some movie options.
During your movie night, your team can use the video call’s chat box to share commentary and reactions to the film. If needed, you can split this activity into mulptiple sessions – or opt for a shorter film to keep everyone engaged.
Explore Black History Month movie suggestions with Complex’s list of The Best Black Movies of the Last 30 Years.
31. Continue Internal DEI Efforts Year-Round
Over the last few years, there has been a lot of conversation around how to focus more on diversity, inclusion, and racial justice throughout the year. It’s important to remember that this work doesn’t end on February 28. Carter Woodson – the Father of Black History Month – specifically said that he wanted Black History Month to be a stepping stone to year-long emphasis on Black history and Black achievement.
If you haven’t already, take the time with your executive team to evaluate your company’s hiring practices, dress code, culture, and operations to ensure that you’re fostering a culture of inclusion.
On the positive side, you don’t have to do it all yourself or know everything. In fact, an external consultant can, and often should, help with this work (see idea #30 below for more information).
Get started with GoodHire’s tips for diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
32. Plan Team Building Activities for the Rest of the Year
It’s worth noting that February is the shortest month of the year. While it’s important to have a time to honor and celebrate Black History, diversity and inclusion are critical year-round.
February is a great time to look ahead to the rest of the year and plan DEI activities for your team ahead of time. Throughout the year, there are many important DEI holidays and milestones to honor. For instance: Juneteenth (June 19), Pride Month (June), Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15), and many others.
Looking for a turkey DEI experience your team will love? Browse Unexpected Virtual Tours’ #1 rated virtual team building experiences. With unique DEI programs created by historians and led by engaging guides, these are DEI activities your team will actually look forward to.
Frequently Asked Questions About Black History Month
What is Black History Month?
Black History Month is an annual time to honor the achievements and history of Black people while acknowledging the progress toward equality that has yet to be made. As a result, this is the perfect time to demonstrate your company’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Whether you choose a fun team-building activity, a thought-provoking dialogue, or a hands-on social justice project, Black History Month can be a time of connection and learning for your team.
When is Black History Month 2023?
Black History Month will take place in February 2023 in the United States and Canada. Additionally, some people in Ireland and the United Kingdom honor Black History Month during October.
What is the theme of Black History Month 2023?
Each year, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) designates a theme for Black History Month. In 2023, the theme will be “Black Resistance.”
Where is Black History Month observed?
Black History Month has been officially recognized by the governments of the United States and Canada for the month of February each year. Additionally, Black History Month has been recently observed in October by people in Ireland as well as the United Kingdom.
When Did Black History Month Begin?
Black History Month officially began in 1976, when President Gerald Ford recognized the occasion during the celebration of the U.S. Bicentennial. However, the movement to honor Black History Month began much earlier.
In fact, the precursor to Black History Month began in 1926 and was called “Negro History Week,” held during the second week of February. This week was declared by historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. Celebrating it in February was a nod to both Abraham Lincoln (whose was born on February 12) and Frederick Douglass (who was born on February 14). Negro History Week became more popular during the following decades, and Black History Month officially began in 1976.
Who started Black History Month?
Black educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University proposed the idea of Black History Month in February 1969. Before long, the idea took hold on college campuses and community centers.
When President Ford proclaimed Black History Month in 1976, he urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
However you choose to celebrate Black History Month 2023, we hope this is a time of learning, growth, reflection, and meaning for your team!
Visit our Black History Month webpage for information about our virtual programming to honor this occasion at work.