Ways to Support Black History Beyond the Time-Honored Month of February

By Veronica Calderon, Chief Inclusion, Belonging, and Equity Officer, DeVry University


February 21, 2024 – February 1st marks the start of national recognition of Black History Month. However, we must remember there is no celebration without education. We as a collective, including organizations, businesses, and society, cannot just create awareness during Black History Month and then go on with our lives without continuous understanding and appreciation for the contributions that Black Americans have made to our society's past, present, and future. It's important to create safe spaces for uncomfortable conversations to enable continuous learning.


The positive impact of inclusion at work and in school remains clear and strong. In fact, a Kincentric's study on inclusive culture found 91% of employees intend to stay when working in a highly inclusive environment while it noted that 73% of employees experienced some type of exclusion in the workplace.   


At DeVry, we are fortunate to be able to lean into our business resource groups (BRGs), including the Association of Black Colleagues (ABC) which was created to elevate the voices of our colleagues to go deeper into discussions and make meaningful connections. As a result, we can enhance our cultural competence and sense of belonging which ultimately impacts our work environment, our students, and the communities we serve.  


Celebrating Black History Month serves as an opportunity to honor the contributions, achievements, and culture of Black Americans and their communities; however, these efforts should be applied year-round.   




Black History Month is a time to take education to the next level. Learn about Black American history, culture, communities, and the contributions of Black individuals, including key historical figures such as Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Marcus Garvey, and many more.


Exploring circumstances and events that made key figures and movements significant to their time and history, in general, can be overwhelming and astonishing. However, examining and connecting with the perseverance of barrier-breakers can also inspire us to find a deeper appreciation for the present and commit to championing a more inclusive future.




Ensuring that colleagues and students feel seen, heard and understood involves amplifying their voices. While Black History Month focuses on elevating voices within the Black community, this really should be a daily practice to make certain that we use our voices and privilege to amplify their messages and raise awareness of issues that are impacting the Black community.


At DeVry, colleagues focus on elevating one another by sharing stories and highlighting what is important to them. Additionally, our BRGs have done great work that is mindful of the presence and significance of intersectionality in Black society and history as well. Through collaboration between our BRGs focused on Women, Afro-Latinos, and the LBGTQIA+ community, we make it possible to include diverse perspectives during Black History Month and beyond.




Focusing on engagement opportunities is key to building awareness, understanding, and appreciation for Black history.


There are ways to foster engagement opportunities such as building safe spaces for courageous discussions about ongoing struggles regarding racial and educational equity and ways to make a difference or supporting causes employees feel connected to.  


Ultimately, the goal should not only be limited to celebrating and educating ourselves in February. It is an ongoing and intentional effort to ensure we don't lose sight of what got us here today and the work we still need to do to build belonging. 

Contact Us

Hessy Fernandez

Director, Public Relations

Michaela Feldmann

Media Relations Specialist

Alicia McClendon

External Media & Content Specialist

About DeVry University 

DeVry University strives to close society’s opportunity gap and address emerging talent needs by preparing learners to thrive in careers shaped by continuous technological change. Founded in 1931, the university offers undergraduate and graduate programs onsite and online in Business, Healthcare and Technology. DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC, www.hlcommission.org/). The university’s Keller Graduate School of Management is included in this accreditation. To learn more, visit devry.edu.