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Diversity and Equity Virtual Team Building

22+ Virtual Black History Month Ideas for Work 2022

By November 8, 2021December 20th, 2021No Comments
Black History Month 2022

Celebrate Black History Month 2022 with these 22+ virtual Black History Month ideas for work. These virtual and COVID-safe team-building activities will engage, educate, and inspire your employees and teams.

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. So read on – and remember to carry the spirit of learning and inclusion around Black History Month throughout 2022 and beyond.

Virtual Black History Month Ideas for Work:

  • 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 virtual team building ideas
  • 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 2022
  • Ways to celebrate the theme of Black History Month 2022: Black Health and Wellness

Black History Month Virtual Team-Building 2021

1. Get an Overview of Black History Month in an Interactive Team Building Event 

The history of Black History Month is nuanced, emotional, and celebratory. And, Unexpected Virtual Tours provides an incredible view of the month with a focus on why diversity and equity education matters.

Your team will get an educational, interactive overview of the history of Black History Month. This session includes a live hosted experience and an on-site guide at one of America’s most important neighborhoods for Black history. The Black History Month Virtual Team Building experience is one that your team won’t forget — seriously, it’s a DEI event everyone will actually want to attend.  And, in line with the 2022 theme of Black Health and Wellness, this experience highlights the stories of Drs. Kenneth Clark and Mamie Clark, the Black psychologists who conducted the “doll studies” that led to desegregation in schools.

Sign up for a Black History Month Virtual Team Building in a Box event!

2. Create a Black History Month Playlist – FREE Black History Month Idea 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 2022 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 and NPR’s Black History Month Tiny Desk Concerts.

Music Evolution Team Building Virtual Black History Month Idea for Work

3. Understand Cultural Appropriation with the Fun Music Evolution Team Building Event

Cultural appropriation is a hot topic that is often misunderstood. That’s why Unexpected Virtual Tours’ Music Evolution Team Building in a Box breaks down cultural appropriation and re-appropriation in a fun and creative way with our Music Evolution experience.

The event transforms Zoom into “Kazoom” with groups competing against each other in musical challenges, plus learning the history of American music. Your team will also be thoughtfully engaging in the story of how American music is Black music, with a live visit to Nashville, Tennessee.

Book a Music Evolution Teambuilding in a Box event here.

Smoke Ring Black Owned Restaurants

4. 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. To make this activity COVID-safe, you can order delivery to each person’s home.

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, which will support many different Black establishments.

5. 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.

Black Girls Code Black-Led Nonprofits

6. Volunteer With a Black-Led Nonprofit – FREE Black History Month Idea for Work

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 Charity Navigator’s list of Black-Founded nonprofits.

7. Book a Virtual Tour with Your Local Black History 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.

Or, take a look at the virtual programming offered by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture.

Explore the Association of African American Museums directory for more ideas.

Amplify Black Voices Diversify Your Feed

8. Amplify Black Voices – FREE Black History Month Idea 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.

Start with FindSpark’s list of 30+ Black Creative, Business, and Tech Social Media Influencers.

9. 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!

Buy a Black and Mobile gift card here.

10. 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 2022 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.

Black History Month Virtual Book Club

11. Begin a Virtual Book Club – FREE Black History Month Idea for Work

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.

12. Plan a Virtual Watch Party with Your Team – FREE Black History Month Idea 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 35th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 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 the month.

Get up to speed with Wired’s guide to easily hosting a virtual watch party.

African American Professional Organizations Affiliations

13. 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.

Explore a list of African American professional organizations.

14. 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. Consider also posting your company’s job opportunities with NAACP Job Finder.

Learn more and become a Corporate Member of your local NAACP here!

15. Share Black History Moments & Milestones – FREE Black History Month Idea 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.

Black History Month 2022 Lunch and Learn

16. 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.

For instance, some 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

17. Play Black History Month Trivia – FREE Black History Month Idea 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 PBS’s Black History & Culture online quizzes.

18. 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.

Additionally, if you are forming a diversity committee or Black History Month Committee, make sure that participation is voluntary and on-the-clock. In other words, avoid asking employees to contribute unpaid time and energy toward equity-focused initiatives.

Black History Month 2022 Blood Drive

19. Participate in a Blood Drive

Throughout the pandemic, 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.

20. Celebrate Black Health & Wellness

Each year, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History designates a theme for the year’s Black History Month. For 2022, the theme is Black Health and Wellness.

You can use this theme to host a fun recreational activity, such as a yoga session or a virtual group run. Or, explore themes of inequality and discriminatory practices in health-related history.

Learn more about the ASALH’s annual Black History Month themes here.

Activism Burnout Self-Care Rest

21. Recognize Self-Care as Part of Activism – FREE Black History Month Idea 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.

22. Continue Black History Month Team Building 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 done so, 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.

Get started with GoodHire’s tips for diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

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 2022?

Black History Month will take place in February 2022 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 2022?

Black History Month 2022 focuses on Black Health and Wellness. While this is an opportunity to celebrate iconic doctors and physicians, the theme also acknowledges other wellness practitioners across the African diaspora, such as midwives and herbalists. It is also also a year to recognize inequities surrounding healthcare in Black communities, especially with the disproportionate effect of COVID-19.

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. 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 2022, we hope this is a time of learning, growth, reflection, and meaning for your team!