African American nurse standing in front of a building and smiling.

8 Ways to Honor Black History Month at Your Healthcare Facility

February 16, 2022

Every February in the United States and Canada, we celebrate Black History Month. It is a time when we honor the achievements of the Black community. Many communities, schools, and businesses participate in Black history month activities, history lessons, and other special events. Celebrating Black History Month is important to help educate and learn from Black healthcare leaders. Below, we will offer you some ways to honor Black history month at your facility.  

At Advantis Medical, we emphasize racial equality and have an employee resource group, or ERG, known as the Diversity Council. The council focusses on valuing everyone’s unique differences and fostering an inclusive culture. Additionally, we offer training to our recruiters to overcome hiring bias and ensure fair hiring practices.

How Black History Month Started

In 1917, Carter G. Woodson started "Negro History Week”. He is now known as the father of Black history and he believed that the only way we could all be equal was through acknowledging and understanding the history of a race.  

In 1976, Gerald Ford made the celebration a national event. So, here are a few Black History Month activities that your healthcare facility can use to help acknowledge and honor Black history and to help us eradicate discrimination.  

Ethnic and racial distribution of health care workers infographic.
There is a low percentage of minority health care workers in the industry. Taking the time to plan and honor cultural celebrations helps improve cultural representation in healthcare.

Black History Celebration Ideas for the Workplace

1. Share Memories

If you are in a long-term care facility, bring your residents together to share memories from their past. This will be a great way to open the door to discuss Black history. Try to encourage them to talk about some major historical events, such as the 1963 march on Washington and Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech.  

This will help you learn about their life experiences and how the events impacted their lives.  

2. Share Quotes

Decorate your facility with new African-American quotes each day, encourage patients and caregivers to read them, and discuss their meaning and importance. Remember to share the Black History Month activities on social media to help spread awareness and educate others outside your facility.

After discussing the quote, talk about who said it and how they impacted history.  

3. Read/Discuss Historical Events  

If you want to learn more about Black history, discuss some of the major events. After learning about these events, talk to your patients about them. Ask them questions, such as "Where were you when this happened?" or "How did this affect your own life?"  

Some events to include in your discussions include:  

  • Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • Malcolm X Assassination  
  • Harlem Renaissance  
  • “I Have a Dream” speech
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965  
  • Brown v. Board of Education  
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Assassination  
  • Birmingham Church Bombing
  • First African American Astronaut in space  

4. Sing Songs  

Teach lyrics to songs that came out during the Civil Rights Movement. If there is anyone- staff or patient- who can play an instrument, ask them to play while the others sing. If not, you can play the song on your sound system and have everyone sing along. After singing, talk about the lyrics and what they mean to patients and staff. This is an effective way to honor Black History Month and promote Black music.

Some of the popular songs include:  

  • This Little Light of Mine  
  • A Change is Gonna Come
  • We Shall Not be Moved
  • Lift Every Voice and Sing  
  • The Times They Are A-Changin’
  • Freedom Highway
  • 95 South
  • People Get Ready  

5. Play a Trivia Game  

This is a fun Black History Month activity to acknowledge and learn more about history. Read off a few facts or a short bio about famous African Americans Nurses and try to see if patients and caregivers can guess who you’re talking about.  

Once someone gets the answer right, spend some time discussing that historical figure, their achievements, and how they impacted history.  

6. Play Mancala  

Learn to play mancala and then teach your patients and staff to play. This is a fun African game played using a board with 14 bins and 48 stones. If you don’t have the boards, you can use pebbles and egg cartons. To make it even more impactful, have a tournament and compete against each other until only one person is left.  

7. Have a Poster Contest  

A fun Black History Month activity is a poster contest where patients and staff decorate their posters and then hang them up in your facility. Find a few judges to look over the posters and choose a winner. This is a great way to get your patients to exercise their creativity and learn more about Black history.  

8. Hold a Dinner  

Meet with dining services to plan a Black History Month dinner. To make it more personal, you can have your patients share some of their favorite recipes and then serve those at your dinner.

How Advantis Medical Supports Racial Equality

At Advantis Medical, we value every person’s unique representation and opinions. We focus on creating long-term relationships with travel healthcare professionals. Regardless of your race, gender, sexual orientation, or hobbies, we’re here to help connect you to travel nurse and allied health jobs in our AdvantisConnect job portal.  

For healthcare facilities, you can let us handle the staffing for you. You can trust our recruiters have your facility and the nursing communities' best interests in mind. We staff without discrimination and only provide talented and certified candidates.  

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