Honoring Black History Month as a Financial Institution

Black History Month is an opportunity for financial institutions everywhere to recognize and honor the incredible contributions African Americans have made to strengthen the communities and industries in which we serve.

In honor of Black History Month, OnCourse Learning is highlighting resources that financial institutions can use to celebrate this important month, raise awareness, and act on their Diversity Equity and Inclusion workplace initiatives.

Black History Resources for Financial Institutions Feature Image

Act on Your Website

An important way to honor Black History Month is through education. Education for not only your employees, but also your customers and members. Some of the largest banks in the U.S. have added dedicated pages on their websites to help raise awareness of the meaning and importance of Black History Month.

  • U.S. Bank created a page that acknowledges the month’s observance and invites visitors to be part of the legacy.
  • PNC added a dedicated page on their website titled “Black History & Heritage.” This page not only highlights their commitment to diversity and inclusion, but also highlights historical stories and a community spotlight in banking.
  • Several financial institutions including Seattle Credit Union have taken Black History Month as an opportunity to share their voices in a blog on their website. You could share Black history or you could highlight key happenings in your own community that honor the month.

Look in Your Own Community

Financial institutions across the country have many amazing Black-owned and operated businesses or non-profits in their own communities. Take the month of February as a time when you can highlight these leaders on your social media, on your website, and within your building.

Empower Your Own Employees

Barclays Black Professionals Resource Group asked colleagues across the bank to talk about the influence of role models and what Black History Month means to them. They compiled their responses in a blog shared internally and externally.

Black History Month gives us the chance to reflect on some of the phenomenal achievements that people have made to Black culture and to society as a whole. But just as key to me is that people who don’t necessarily identify with Black culture get the opportunity to feel connected, to learn about and also celebrate our community and our culture.”

 Raphael Dowokpor-James, Head of Foreign Nationals UK, Private Bank, Barclays

Do you have Black leaders within your organization that you can look to for lessons and reflections? Round up their insight into a blog post or article, include their photos, and share it with your internal and external audiences.

Education & Literature

Historically, history classes often focus on the victories of white men – but that’s only part of the story. Give some thought about how you can better educate your staff on unsung heroes in Black history. The History Makers offers a video on “Blacks in Finance: A Rich History” that can be helpful when pulling together content. This could be in the format of lunch and learns, or an internal email campaign. Get creative and drive engagement by making free Kahoot quizzes that accompany the lessons.

Another way to celebrate Black History Month in your financial institution is through literature. Hold a book or podcast study during February where you focus on a Black author. Our article “How to Jump Start a Diversity and Inclusion Initiative in the Workplace” has a list of suggested books and podcasts.


Strive to be more purposeful in attracting, engaging, and growing more diverse talent at your institution. Embrace the value and strength of differences to foster an inclusive workplace. Through self-assessments and organizational commitment, you can better understand your current organization’s cultural profile – and adjust both your hiring and training program to exhibit the importance of diversity and inclusion across the organization.

Look to Outside Resources to Better Educate Yourself and Your Team

You don’t have to have all the answers to honor Black History Month. Sometimes it’s better to look to others for insight, education, and accurate facts.

One great resource, McKinsey & Company published an insightful article on the lack of financial inclusion for Black Americans. The article provides information to further understand the sources of exclusion.

No matter how you plan to honor Black History Month, the important part is to join the conversation. As an organization, OnCourse Learning hopes that this resource will help your institution engage in meaningful conversations not only during February, but for the months to come.

By |2024-02-01T06:55:16-06:00February 1st, 2024|Bank, Business, Credit Union, Financial Services, Mortgage, Resources|0 Comments

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