Celebrating Black History Month
How can we best celebrate Black History Month 2021? It’s been a year of momentous developments in our understanding of the experiences of Black people in America and promises to change the trajectory of Black history in our nation. And so, Black History Month 2021 is an opportune time for us to move from intention to action in our promises and efforts to become personally and institutionally antiracist. Below, organized by areas of focus, is a set of daily questions we can ask as we embark on this important work. For deeper engagement, we’ve selected some outstanding thought leadership.
Antiracist Action CalendarVector Solutions Black History Month Reflection Calendar
Download your own reflection calendar here.
Week 1: Acknowledgement
- Monday 2/1: Have we acknowledged that racism exists?
- Tuesday 2/2: Do we know what it means to be antiracist—can we define antiracism?
- Wednesday 2/3: Have we made public our decision to be an antiracist institution?
- Thursday 2/4: What will we need to change, sacrifice, and resource in order to become antiracist?
- Friday 2/5: How will those most affected by racism be included in planning and implementation?
- Podcast: Brown, B. (Host). (2020, June 3). Brené with Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be an Antiracist. In Unlocking Us with Brene Brown. Spotify Podcast.
- Book: Kendi, Ibram X. How to be an Antiracist. Random House Publishing Group, N.Y., 2019.
Week 2: Leadership & Accountability
- Monday 2/8: Have diversity, equity, and inclusion been established by our leadership as institution-wide priorities?
- Tuesday 2/9: How will we move from intention to action; from claims of “we are not racist” to “we are antiracist”?
- Wednesday 2/10: Will our plan be transparent, regularly monitored, evaluated, and reported on? By whom?
- Thursday 2/11: Will the work to become antiracist be the work of the entire institution including leadership?
- Friday 2/12: What about accountability—Have our current initiatives resulted in any substantive and sustainable change for people of color?
- Online Course: Diversity and Inclusion Courses by DiversityEdu | Safe Schools
- Book: Damon A. Williams, Katrina C. Wade-Golden, et al., The Chief Diversity Officer: Strategy, Structure, and Change Management. Stylus Publishing. VA. 2013.
Week 3: Action
- Monday 2/15: Have we conducted a diversity climate assessment to gage the views, attitudes, and daily experiences of our community members?
- Tuesday 2/16: Have we conducted a critical analysis of the entry-through-exit experience of people of color in comparison to others?
- Wednesday 2/17: Do we have a high quality, research-based, diversity and inclusion learning program in which all members of our institution participate?
- Thursday 2/18: Is diversity and inclusion learning valued, promoted, and supported by leadership, and throughout the institution?
- Friday 2/19: What is our process for reporting racism, microaggressions, and inequitable treatment? Is it effective, safe, and supportive?
- Webinar: Developing Proactive Strategies to Improve School and Campus Climates
- Book: Myron R. Anderson and Kathryn S. Young, Fix Your Climate: A Practical Guide to Reducing Microaggressions, Microbullying, and Bullying in the Academic Workplace, Academic Impressions, CO., 2020.
Week 4: Reflection
- Monday 2/22: What do I know about institutional racism and antiracism? Do I know where I can find out more?
- Tuesday 2/23: Have I received benefits from my institution that members of other racial groups have not?
- Wednesday 2/24: Do I know someone who has been the target of unfair treatment because of their race or identity?
- Thursday 2/25: Have we provided opportunities for engagement in conversations about racial equity?
- Friday 2/26: Have I applied the principles and practices learned from the institution’s D & I learning programs?
- Video: Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.
- Book: Ty-Ron M.O. Douglas, Kmt Shockley, Ivory Toldson, Shaun Harper, Jerlando Jackson, Campus Uprisings: How Student Activists and Collegiate Leaders Resist Racism and Create Hope, Teacher College Press, N.Y., 2020.