Culture of CARE & Black History Month – AGC of Washington is looking forward to a new year of supporting Culture of CARE programs for the construction industry! 2023 is a chance to continue our commitment to providing diversity & inclusion resources. Each month you can expect cultural observance month digests to help you celebrate the diversity that is making your company stronger and healthier.
February is Black History Month: Beginning in 1926, our nation began a month-long celebration in 1976. Black History Month is an opportunity to reflect on the legacy of African Americans and people of African heritage in the construction industry, and to highlight the skill and innovation Black people and Black-owned businesses contribute to construction projects across the nation.
Ideas for Celebrating Black History Month in the Construction Workplace
- Conduct a jobsite Toolbox Talk
- Distribute a statement from your leadership
- Share Black history and accomplishments from the construction industry
- Celebrate your Black-owned, Black-led partnering organizations by highlighting their accomplishments
- Order lunch for your crew from a local Black-owned restaurateur – Find on Yelp or Intentionalist
- Commit to interviewing NEW Black-owned trade partners for inclusion on your next project – links for finding new firms:
- Search AGC’s Certified Firm list or contact
- Urban League Black Business Directory
- NW Minority Builders Alliance (NWMBA)
- National Association of Minority Contractors – Washington (NAMC-WA )
- Don’t limit yourself or your company to February! African American/Black History is important every day.
- Review your celebration plan: Mistakes Companies Make When Celebrating Black History Month
- Improving hiring practices: Top 20 HR Best Practices for Diversity
- Toolbox talk addressing racism: How to Speak Up
- Explore inclusion training: Respect, Inclusion, Safety and Equity in the Construction Trades – jobsite training
Community Events for Black History Month:
- MOHAI Exhibit: From the Ground Up: Black Architects and Designers Feb 4-Apr 30, 2023
- Black History Month Events in Seattle
- Check out your city for upcoming events!
Notable Black History in Construction
- 1905: Oldest minority-owned architecture and construction firm founded by the grandchildren of Moses McKissack, originally from West Africa, enslaved and brought to the United States who was a brick layer
- 1969: Tyree Scott leads the first minority contractors association – CCA
- 1970: United Construction Workers Association was founded in Seattle to open union membership to African American construction workers.
Celebrating the Past and Future
- 5th generation McKissack & McKissack is now the oldest minority-owned, female-led architecture and construction company in the US.
- The 40-Year legacy of Len Can – The longest tenure Black-owned firm in the region
- Launched in 2020, Black Women in Project Management began to empower women of color to receive the education and coaching they need to compete, along with powerful networking and mentorship opportunities to take their careers to the next level.
Going the Extra Mile – Black History Month Book Selections