Celebrating Black History Month

February is Black History Month, where we honor and shine light on the contributions and accomplishments of Black individuals throughout history. Black history month is an opportunity for us to learn about the rich heritage and culture of the Black community, as well as to reflect on the ongoing struggle for equality and justice. This year’s theme, set by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), is “Black Resistance”. This topic explores the resistance of historic and ongoing oppression in all forms, especially racial terrorism which includes lynching, racial massacres, and police brutality affecting African Americans and individuals in the Black community disproportionately since the nation’s earliest days. As we celebrate Black History Month, let us also take time to educate ourselves and others about the ongoing impact of racism and discrimination, and commit to taking action to promote equity and inclusion in our workplace and community. Below are a few tools to help you learn from this meaningful history and how you can be an advocate and ally in the present.

Join AAAWM’s Media Club in reading We Are Not Yet Equal by Carol Anderson

The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan has a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Media Club for our staff. The DEI Media Club consumes and discusses different types of media each month related to a specific DEI topic. This month, we are reading We Are Not Yet Equal by Carol Anderson which examines five moments in history and how they were met with racist legal and political maneuvering meant to limit Black equality  This can be found at bookstores, on audiobook platforms, and in some libraries near you.

For Healthcare Professionals, or Those Who Want to Learn How Health Can Be Impacted by Race

The Grand Rapids African American Health Institute is a leading national organization devoted to achieving healthcare parity for African Americans. Their recent Health Education and Equity series includes seven panel discussions on different topics related to health education and equity.  Watch “Addressing Racism as a Heart Disease” here.  If you would like to view the full series, you can click the link below.

Education – GRAAHI

Support Black-Owned Businesses

Supporting Black-owned businesses is important because it helps to promote economic empowerment, representation, and visibility in the marketplace, community development, and cultural preservation. If you are unsure about which businesses around you are Black-owned, your local Chamber of Commerce likely has an idea. We recommend reaching out to them or doing some research of your own.  We would love to hear how you are diversifying your spending.