Picture of a diverse team

Tips for Year-Round Actions to Advance Equity

As Black History Month comes to an end, our hope is that the actions taken this month to celebrate Black Americans and Black history are incorporated into a broader Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Strategy for organizations. In fact, given recent attacks on Black History and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, in our eyes, it’s more important than ever that companies take actions and stay involved in social justice. This is a journey that isn’t accomplished in one month so keep reading for tips on what to do for the next 11 months.

There are many ways to celebrate Black Americans and Black culture while also dismantling internal and external systems and policies that create inequalities. Below are a few actions that we suggest year round.

Note: as this is Black History Month, we are focusing on anti-black racism. In no means do we suggest that organizations ONLY focus on anti-racism. Year-round focus should also be on education and strategies for anti-sexism, anti-ableism, anti-homophobia, etc.

Educate Employees About Black History and Anti-Black Racism

 We often hear from people who want to be inclusive, create equity, fight against racism, homophobia, sexism, ableism, etc., but they don’t know which actions to take. Your organization likely employs folks with the same challenge. Choosing to provide education is a good way to demonstrate your organization’s commitment to DEI. Provide guidance, resources, and expertise to ensure that your employees 1) build their awareness, and 2) identify actions they can personally and collectively implement after the workshops.

Be sure that your employees receive ample ongoing support so that they are confident in how to be allies and advocates. Consider a series of workshops and speakers on Black history that also build awareness on how to be anti-racist. To deepen the learning, provide educational resources such as books, documentaries, and podcasts about Black history and anti-black racism.

Create Safety and Community through Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

 According to research by McKinsey, the role of ERGs is expanding. ERGs can help to build inclusion for employees who identify as part of traditionally underrepresented groups, improve the attraction and retention of employees from these groups, and increase representation of diverse talent in line with the organization’s DEI strategy.


Fostering inclusion, which we define as the extent to which an organization’s systems and people promote a welcoming and fair environment for all employees. ERGs foster inclusion in a number of ways, including by helping employees feel that they belong and are part of a community, especially through connections that counter the feelings of being an “only” within an organization. Belonging to an ERG also helps employees feel that they can be authentic at work, and derive more meaning and purpose from the work that they do. Within the workplace, ERG systems and infrastructure strengthen acceptance, camaraderie, and fairness across groups and help members build allyship. ERGs also boost the visibility of underrepresented groups among larger groups in companies.

Read more here.

Support Black-Owned Businesses

Just as you’ve likely broadened your talent acquisition searches so that you could attract a more diverse candidate pool for key roles, we encourage you to do the same when you are hiring consultants, coaches, facilitators and external service providers. The talent is there! Companies can create equity by prioritizing the hiring/partnering with Black-owned service-based businesses and promoting and purchasing from Black-Owned product-based businesses. This not only supports Black entrepreneurs, but also promotes economic growth.


For additional insight into the importance, check out this article highlighting the vast inequities that exist for Black owned businesses.

The US Black Chamber of Commerce has a directory of Black-owned businesses. We also recommend expanding your network (LinkedIn, professional organizations, networking, etc.).
Time to do a little shopping? Here are some product-based Black owned businesses that we love:


Also, here’s this list of 20 Black-Owned (or Founded) Grooming and Skincare Lines for Black Men, a list of 101 Black-owned clothing brands, and a list of other Black-owned or Black-founded product lines.

Volunteer With and Donate to Black Organizations

Companies can volunteer their time and resources with Black organizations in their communities. This can include volunteering at local community centers, schools, or nonprofits that serve Black communities. It’s important to partner with the organizations that understand the needs and priorities of the Black community to provide the most effective support.

Take a Strategic Approach to Creating a Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive Workplace

Companies can create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace by intentionally evaluating the current organizational culture through a DEI lens and taking action to create needed change from a strategic perspective.

Begin with an evaluation of employee experiences and unwritten company practices. How inclusive is your culture REALLY? Do your practices align with your espoused values and commitment to DEI?

Here are a few warning signs that indicate a need for change:

  • A tendency to leverage the same universities or recruitment sources which happen to be predominantly white even though the organization wants to attract a more diverse candidate pool
  • Hiring Black employees who discover that they aren’t fully accepted so they code switch in order to “fit in”
  • Different promotion practices for Black employees such as having to “prove” themselves first by taking on the duties of the higher level position while still being paid at their current lower level for a period of time with no real commitment to actually being promoted
  • Lack of diversity the higher up you go within the organization
  • Pay inequities exists that haven’t been rectified
  • Turnover amongst your Black employees is higher when compared to non-Black employees
  • Black employees are not participating in meetings as much as they used to or as much as others
  • Downplaying comments or jokes that are offensive by insisting that some people are “too sensitive”

If you could use a hand implementing a strong Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategy in your company, send an email to jackie@kindallevolve.com and we’ll chat about how we can best help.

The Value of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

We’re passionate about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and its power to help teams and organizations meet and even exceed their goals. Over the next few months, we’ll be spotlighting some of the specific reasons why we believe DEI is so valuable.

To begin with, DEI is invaluable to a strong team culture. When employees feel valued, respected, and included, they are more likely to be engaged, productive, and committed to the success of the organization. A positive workplace culture can also reduce turnover rates and improve employee morale.


DEI can also help organizations attract and retain a diverse pool of talented employees. A diverse workforce can bring a range of perspectives, experiences, and skills to the table, which can lead to better problem-solving, creativity, and innovation. Additionally, employees are more likely to stay with an organization that values and supports their diverse backgrounds and experiences.
It’s a Win-Win!
As our society and political systems continue to be fraught with conflict and tension, it’s up to us to exercise our civic duties and to influence and change that which is within our power. This is why we focused this newsletter on corporate responsibilities and opportunities to enact change from within. Companies have a unique opportunity to address systemic racism- and all the other “isms” that continues to plague our country.


I have personally struggled with much of what has been happening in our country, whether it be the banning of books and education on Black history, eliminating or defunding diversity, equity and inclusion programs across college campuses, the rise of hate crimes, violence and murder, the growing xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia….there is a LOT to contend with. At times is can be overwhelming and defeating.
AND I know that I must continue to advocate and make a difference. If I can make a difference for one leader, one team and one organization at time, then so be it.


As a leader, you have the ability to create an organization or a team that is a safe place for EVERYONE. It starts with each and every one of us.
My mama always said you can’t control anyone’s behavior but your own. So, start with yourself.


  • What changes will you make so that you can better support someone else?
  • Who can you influence to take the actions we suggested above (or other actions), if you do not have the positional power to make the changes yourself?
  • What are you willing to take a stand for or speak out against?
Let’s not lose sight of why we made the commitment to DE&I and why it’s important. We must continue!


Until next time,

Jackie Kindall 

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