Black History Month is a special time of the year when we focus on the impressive contributions and achievements of African Americans. Understanding the strength and tenacity my ancestors displayed through adversity reminds me to always set my goals high. It is also time to not only celebrate the past, but be intentional about creating a better future. In order to continue the upward growth of the community, we must stand together to support the Black community now. Below are a few small actions you can take to make big impacts in the Black community year-round:
1. Donate your time and/or money to local or national organizations.
We all have skills, strengths, and passions that we can use to support any group to help them move forward with their mission. Below are some organizations' details and mission statements.
- National Urban League - The Urban League, represented in 36 states, promotes economic empowerment through program areas that include education and job training, housing and community development, entrepreneurship, health and quality of life.
- Common Ground Foundation - They use holistic-style mentoring programs to encourage youth to find their purpose, achieve academic excellence, realize their dreams and be the change they want to see in the world.
- Black Women for Wellness - This organization is committed to the health and well-being of Black women and girls through health education, empowerment, and advocacy.
- MBK Alliance - Focused on building strong communities for boys and young men of color while creating opportunities for them to grow.
- Historically Black Colleges and Universities - There are currently 103 active HBCUs. You can hire graduates and interns from these institutions, go to games, watch shows, donate money, and volunteer.
2. Buy from Black-owned businesses and restaurants.
- Support Black-Owned and Eat Black-Owned are online directories that allow you to search for a Black-owned business by state, city, globally, and/or keyword.
- Get more people involved by asking your co-workers, family members, friends, and neighbors about their favorite places. Then, invite them to go!
- The Black Shopping Network supports local, Black-owned, independent businesses and creates a unique experience for shoppers.
3. Support Black authors and podcasts.
- MyCurlsSpeak with Key - Supporting women on learning self-worth and creating healthy boundaries.
- Short Stories of Black History - Short stories of Black history that history teachers won’t tell you.
- EncourageYourself365 - Learn tips and strategies for success to help you navigate life with intention.
- Alice Walker - The first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
- Mateo Askaripour - Best known for his book Black Buck
- Paul Beatty - The first writer from the United States to be awarded the Man Booker Prize.
4. Practice Awareness and Self-Care
When taking a deep dive into Black history and the Black community now, there are plenty of things like social media and the news that can drain your energy. Be sure to take moments to feed your soul. Indulge in something you love and get out into nature. Be mindful of the things that may be draining you and make conscious efforts to not indulge or let them affect you too much. Check on your mental health, speak to someone, and know you aren't alone. And finally, don't feel bad if you can't pour into others every moment.
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