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Black History Month 2023: Cultivating Black Joy

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As we know, Black History is American History, and it is interwoven into our identity. This year, Burrell’s Black History Month theme is Cultivating Black Joy. Our Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion believes while Black History Month consistently celebrates the infinite contributions and achievements by African Americans, it is imperative that we recognize that Black History also includes Black Joy. This organizational theme connects to the national theme “Black Resistance: Building Bridges and Navigating Barriers”, because we know that celebrating joy allows us to navigate resistance and barriers.

Black history embodies inventions, traditions, values, and resilience that runs deep and resonates in so many aspects of our world. While we recognize the many injustices and realities that Black history includes, we also know that Black history is deserving of celebration, elevation, and the intentional decision to center JOY.

Cultivating Black Joy encompasses intentional action of centering Black History, the Black Community, Black people and Black experiences. Cultivating Black Joy may include, but is certainly not limited to, engaging in human connections, self-reflecting and learning about the many facets of this beautiful history and culture.

We welcome and encourage you to journey with us - to cultivate Black Joy not only this month, but all year long. This month, we look forward to exploring, learning, and connecting with topics related to Black History and Black Joy. Click HERE to take advantage of the many resources that our Office of DEI has put together. These resources can be used to support local Black owned businesses, to form meaningful connections, support our ability to learn, grow, and share in perspective-taking.

Self-Reflection questions for consideration:

  • How have you/how would you like to intentionally invest in understanding Black History?
  • How do you personally invest in understanding the Black experience and in becoming anti-racist?
  • How do we take a perspective to better understand how to welcome and support Black colleagues and community members?


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