The Future Is Now: Celebrating Black History Month

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Black History Month is about honouring the immense contributions that Black people have made, and continue to make, in all areas of society. It is also about celebrating resilience, innovation, and determination to work towards a more inclusive and diverse Canada. A Canada in which everyone has every opportunity to flourish.  

The 2021 theme for Black History Month is: “The Future is Now”. At Redstone, we are committed to standing up against racism, intolerance, and oppression. With the help of our Education Committee, we are continuing to educate ourselves, both individually and as a company, on the impacts of systemic racism and the concrete steps we can take to eliminate barriers and create more inclusive and diverse communities.   

Striking a Committee

Some organizations have made a commitment to DEI year-round by developing a committee dedicated to DEI. These committees are offering programming such as anti-racism training workshops in the coming months. Others have pushed the focus to social media, highlighting Black members and their incredible accomplishments. And others have worked with special interest groups to promote their programming throughout the month of February.  

Enhancing Volunteer Recruitment 

Many organizations are putting a renewed focus on ensuring their boards, committees, and volunteers are representative of their membership and communities. This includes working with key stakeholders and partners to develop statements of principles around DEI, participating in DEI training collectively as a board/committee, and reviewing bylaws and committee terms of reference to identify any systemic barriers.  

Education and Competencies at Leadership Level

This requires association leaders not only to continue to educate themselves on matters of individual and systemic racism but also to ask themselves the right questions to understand their organization‚Äôs awareness of racial equity and how it impacts their association. Articulating the organization‚Äôs desired outcome in each area of DEI is critical when it comes to determining the actions that will ensue from any statement or goals that are set.  

Redstone team members have participated in several educational webinars on anti-black racism and inclusion in the not-for-profit sector to help support our clients with their efforts. Next steps for Redstone‚Äôs Education Committee will include continuing education workshops on racism, promotion about various historically important days/months of the year for diverse communities, and supporting our clients through the work that they‚Äôre doing on DEI.  

As Black History Month ends, we want to continue to celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians. Throughout history, they have done so much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate, and prosperous nation it is today. To learn more about Black History Month in Canada, visit the Government of Canada website

If Redstone can help your organization with any of the initiatives in this post, please reach out to Maddy Marchildon.

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Maddy is the Director of Association Management & Consulting Services at Redstone Agency. Maddy has worked with dozens of national and international not-for-profit organizations and is focused on ensuring her clients always receive advice based on best practices and brings a wealth of knowledge in membership engagement, systems and processes management and change management.

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