B@ND Practice: Celebrating Black History Month at Nextdoor

Written by Reggie Montilus

Nextdoor’s purpose is to create a kinder world where everyone has a neighborhood they can rely on. To fulfill our purpose, we must welcome communities from all walks of life and ensure they feel a strong sense of belonging at our company and on our platform. With that in mind, Black employees came together to form an Employee Resource Group called Black at Nextdoor (B@ND) to create a place for us to be our most authentic selves and promote a more diverse and inclusive community.

Since its founding, B@ND has strived to create an environment for Black employees to celebrate joyous times as well as support each other in trying times. As we celebrate our two year anniversary of B@ND (or the creation of B@ND), we are reminded of how what was once an idea has blossomed into an impactful, inspiring community that has inspired other employees with shared affinities at Nextdoor to come together in a real and impactful way. Year round, we have weekly meetings and virtual hang-outs with our goals of creating a collaborative environment for Black employees to thrive and contribute to the success of the company. 

Our biggest events of the year take place during Black History Month. It’s the time we come together and celebrate history, culture, food, and our employees. Since we were unable to be together in-person, we thought of a number of unique ways to educate and inspire employees from their own homes. Here are some of the things we did this year:

  • During our weekly company wide meeting (All-Hands), we had members of B@ND host and specifically highlight important figures as well as moments in history. It has been amazing to educate employees and celebrate the victories of the Black community.
  • We created a “Cooking with B@ND” series where a member walks the company through cooking a traditional dish from their culture. Not only do these events make everyone’s mouth water, but it has been great to learn the history behind dishes like Poulet DG and Dry Rub St. Louis Ribs.
  • We have also had the opportunity to host guest speakers from notable members of the black community to speak about their experiences and journeys — navigating both professional and personal challenges. Our company Slack channel goes crazy with emojis, commentary, and questions for our speakers. 

Although this year has been challenging and isolating at times, we have enjoyed the opportunity to come together in ways that feel genuine as we celebrate Black History Month. There is so much more to be learned from Black history, but we are proud to have our team rally together to celebrate each other and our cultures in a remote environment. Moreover, we are reminded of how our employees came together as the catalyst for an ERG for Black employees. This is a concrete example of our commitment to creating inclusive, welcoming neighborhoods that strive to improve human connection from within the walls of our company to the broader communities that exist on Nextdoor.

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