Black History Month in Montana

February 15, 2024 / Comments Off on Black History Month in Montana

Blog DEI Featured

February is Black History Month – what does that mean for nonprofits in Montana? Maybe you’ve found your own way to honor and acknowledge Black History in Montana or within your mission area. If so, we’d love to hear about it!

Or maybe you’re less clear about what is authentic and what is performative. Like us at MNA, you might be unsure of your role in honoring Black History Month. How does this month intersect with our mission, how do we not take up unnecessary space, how do we use this as an opportunity for learning and growth?

In the past we’ve spotlit members on different monthly celebrations, or reshared other organization’s information. This year, after a bit of a late start in planning, we wanted to share a few resources that can help you, your leadership team, your board, and your community identify the intersection between your mission, Montana, and Black History month.

Read about Black History in Montana

Here are some suggestions if you and your team are curious about the history of African American communities in Montana.

  1. Do a staff reading of Anthony Wood’s Black Montana, summarized here by the Bozeman Chronicle.
  2. Explore Delia Hagen’s writings on the history of Montana.
  3. Check out another historical timeline, curated by your fellow nonprofit, Montana Historical Society.

Learn How to Take Deeper Action

Perhaps you are more interested in understanding how your organization can operate in an anti-racist manner, serving as an inclusive space for your staff, board, and community members. In that case, here are some suggestions:

  1.  Talk about this article by Sean Thomas-Brietfield exploring the complicated nature of building power in organizations.
  2. Read Nonprofit Quarterly’s article, What it Looks Like to Build a Pro-Black Organization and prioritize action in the areas suggested.
  3. Conduct a racial equity assessment to understand opportunities and barriers within your organization.

Celebrate Local Black Community

The above suggestions are great for internal team learning, but it’s also important to share Your support of Black History Month publicly. Here are some great ways to do that:

  1. Make a post sharing what you’ve learned while doing the above suggestions (or other DEI work your organization is taking on)
  2. Uplift the missions of Black-led organizations serving a mission similar to yours
  3. Share posts about Black History Month celebrations in your community.

However you choose to acknowledge Black History Month this year, we invite you to lead with curiosity and follow with action.