Kwanzaa is most commonly known as a time of learning, family, celebration, and tradition. During the week of Kwanzaa, both families and communities unite to partake in a feast, honor and affirm their ancestors, and celebrate different aspects of Black culture. Each day, community members light a candle that represents the principle of that day; they then breathe life into the principles by partaking in activities such as reciting poetry and stories, drumming, and sharing African cuisine. Homes are decorated during this time with the essential symbols of Kwanzaa, such as the kinara (candle holder), mkeka (mat), muhindi (corn), mazao (fruit), and zawadi (gifts). The home may also be decorated with the colors of the African diaspora – red, black, and green.
Juneteenth may be the nation’s newest federal holiday – but it has been celebrated in Black communities since the 1800’s. Observed on June 19th, the holiday commemorates the date the last slaves were freed in Texas – which wouldn’t be until two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Known to some as the country’s “second Independence Day”, Juneteenth is a celebration of hope and freedom for the Black community.
To most of the population, Kwanzaa is commonly known as a week-long wintertime celebration of African culture. While this is true, Kwanzaa exists in many forms besides the traditional sense – the principles and ideologies of Kwanzaa are more akin to a mindset. Kwanzaa is based off of seven distinct principles – kuumba (creativity), imani (faith), umoja (unity), kujichagulia (self-determination), ujima (collective work & responsibility), ujamaa (cooperative economics), and nia (purpose). In honor of the seven principles of Kwanzaa, here are seven quotes that I feel best represent the spirit of the holiday.
While the workforce is growing more diverse than it has been in past years, corporate America still suffers from a lack of diversity and inclusion training in the workplace. Executive professionals are now realizing the importance of ramping up inclusivity efforts in their hiring, training, and management styles. Many companies are coming to the realization that having a strong diversity and inclusion program is both good for their employees and good for their brand reputation and sales as well. Without further ado, here are some of the top companies who are paving the way with their diversity and inclusion programs.
The conversation around diversity and inclusion is broad and ever-changing. Due to this, there is a need for common vocabulary to avoid any misunderstandings or potential miscommunication. The overall purpose of this glossary is to foster a dialogue around diversity, equity, and inclusion. By no means is this glossary exhaustive; the point of this glossary is to provide a reference point and a framework around the conversation of diversity and inclusion.
In the year 2021, DEI programs are a vital asset to any company or organization. Both corporations and their executive staff members have a special obligation to create safe and inclusive spaces where everyone in the workplace can feel secure and confident. I have compiled a list of the top online DEI programs and resources that will be useful for employees, employers, and leaders alike. The courses listed below can be audited for free, and many offer a certificate of completion as well.
The podcast space has definitely become a more diverse landscape over the past couple of years. Across the digital world, Black voices are creating innovative and original platforms to be heard regarding a variety of different topics and disciplines. From pop culture to politics and everything in between, here are 5 of my favorite Black-hosted podcasts: