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February is Black History Month, an annual celebration of achievements by Black Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. History. Since 1976 every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.

At GHC-SCW, we understand the importance of celebrating and embracing diverse communities. Whether we’re addressing health care inequities, strengthening the path to health care for the most vulnerable in our community, or through our work internally with bias training or our employee resource groups. As an organization, we take these initiatives seriously and make a point to focus on them not just in February but all year round.

Are you looking to celebrate Black History Month but unsure what to do? Here are some ideas to help get you started.

  1. Have Critical Conversations.
    Black History Month is the perfect time to begin having critical conversations around race in and out of the workplace. Whether you’re sitting down with your team, your peers or maybe even your family. It’s important to have tough conversations centered around unconscious bias and privilege. Often, the most challenging discussions bring the biggest breakthroughs.
  2. Read books from Black authors.
    From science fiction to memoirs to historical fiction, there’s a book from Black authors for everyone, perfect for reading throughout February and any time of the year. Visit the Innocence Project for a list of powerful books from talented Black authors.
  3. Support local Black-Owned Businesses.
    Madison is a hub for diversity! No matter where you are, east, west, or right down on the isthmus, there are many Black-owned businesses in your backyard. Still, trying to figure out where to start? Head to the Madison Black Chamber of Commerce for a list of fantastic local Black-owned businesses ranging from retail shops, coffee bars, and even restaurants.
  4. Attend Black History Month events.
    Many significant events are going on in and around south-central Wisconsin to help honor the role of Black Americans throughout history and today. Whether you head to Loud n’ Unchained Black QTDisabled Showcase + Mini Artists Market with Madison Public Library or you taking a day trip to Milwaukee for Milwaukee Films Black History Month showcase. Visit Madison365 or your local library for a more extensive list of events.

We’d love to hear how you celebrate Black History Month in February. Let us know in the comments below!