Mike Paul, The Rep Doc, on 5 Things to Stop Doing During Black History Month

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Mike Paul, President, Reputation Doctor® LLC

1) Stop highlighting the same few Black people. Black History in every category goes way beyond the same few highlighted year after year. We have made history in many ways with many people. Do your research and highlight many other Black achievers in America.

2) Stop asking Black leaders to speak before your group or company for FREE. One of the main points about equality and justice for Black people is to actually treat us equally. If you pay white speakers for other events, then also pay Black speakers for all your events too.

3) Black History needs to be highlighted every day and not just one Month a year. We neglect the most important point if we don’t. Black history is American and global history, not just a month long observance.

4)  Stop defining Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) as an exercise starting from the bottom, among interns, scholarships and entry level positions. We all know true power begins at the top. Immediately hire your board , c-suite and senior executives within your organizations to meet the best practices approach of gaining 50% of all leaders of color in every leadership category, especially Black leaders, the biggest crisis category of all.

5)  Stop talking and start walking your support for Voting Rights. You can’t stand for Black History, if you also don’t proactively invest in, protest for, and publicly communicate your fight for the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act. In 2021, 52 restrictive voter laws were passed in various states across the country, limiting options to vote and undermining local elections officials’ ability to mind elections. Georgia’s law, SB 202, criminalized handing out water to voters standing in long lines. Texas’ SB.1 would have election officials face prosecution for regulating poll watchers’ inappropriate behavior in the polling place. You can’t celebrate Black History without being proactive in the fight for voting rights for ALL Americans.