9 Ways I Honor Black History Month in the Alcohol Free Space

business coach diversity sober Feb 26, 2024

I am sharing a few examples of how to honor Black History Month.

I try to do many of these things year-round. Black History Month serves as a nice reminder to evaluate my efforts and add to them as well. I hope you can implement and add to these ideas. 

Consider the source here. I am a white woman who grew up in a small white town in Wisconsin. I went to a mostly white college in Wisconsin, too. Growing up, I could count the number of black friends I had on three fingers. My black friends were all adopted by white families. I can't change this fact, and I am not an expert on this matter. I do care to broaden my world, so I try to mostly listen when it comes to this topic.

After college, I moved to Chicago. I currently live on a street that you could compare to Sesame Street. No family is the same when it comes to race, religion, ethnicity, abilities, sexual orientation, age, and more. My children are growing up with much more diversity, and we are all benefiting from it. As a sober coach, honestly, most of my clients are white women like me. I get super excited and honored when someone of a different race chooses to work with me. 

Understanding the viewpoint of black women is something I strive for but will never know firsthand. As a white woman who values action and equality, I have found a few things that I can do in addition to my vote. 

1. Follow black sober coaches

Did you know that you can support any small business for free just by following them on social media? Added bonus if you can like, comment, and share (in that order).  There are so many more coaches and businesses to follow, but I want to highlight just two of my favorites here.

Shari Hampton

Kiola Raines

Here's Kiola and I at a recent Sober in the City event.


2. Buy alcohol-free drinks from black-owned businesses

A few that I love are: 

Mocktail Club- delicious and elevated drinks in a can with fun flavors like Manhattan Berry, Havana Twist, Capri Spritz, and Bombay Fire. 

 my photo from Chicago NA Day 2023


AVEC drinks- real juice and botanicals make up these low sugar drinks you can drink alone or mixed with alcohol free spirits.


Hella Cocktail and Co. bitters, sodas, and mixers are the perfect ingredients for any drink recipe. As seen in Goop, Real Simple, and Ditched the Drink’s own zero proof cocktail cart. 


3. Read books by black authors


A recovery book I enjoyed in the past was Stash: My Life in Hiding by Laura Cathcart Robbins.

my poolside photo taken last summer 

This month I finished Viola Davis’s memoir, Finding Me, and started Michelle Obama’s The Light We Carry. I highly recommend both.


I read All Along You Were Blooming by Morgan Harper Nichols in my Insider Member Group call last week. I use this as a springtime coffee table book too.  


These books, drinks, and more can be found at my Ditched the Drink Amazon Store.


4. Add diversity to events


I have made it a personal policy to not participate in events without diversity. Sometimes this means inviting a black friend to join the panel, and sometimes it means turning down an opportunity that doesn’t include diversity. I feel strongly that I can use my place of privilege to create diversity, inclusion, and opportunity for all. I believe we all benefit from diversity. I am committed to doing my part to create this type of space for myself and others.  


5. Consider DEI


As a SheRecovers Designated Coach, I abide by the SheRecovers Guiding Principles, and part of that is their DEI statement, which includes... “DEI must go far beyond being anti-discriminatory. We believe being anti-discriminatory is an imperative aspect of everyday living that every human should practice; at SHE RECOVERS, we strive to create a culture of inclusivity. We promote empathy, respect, understanding, and fostering a sense of belonging and connection amongst our community.”


6. Learn Black History


This is one of the most important things I can do. I make it a point to seek out opportunities to learn more. This year I had the opportunity to go to the National Museum of African History and Culture in Washington, DC, and it was my favorite museum. Heartbreaking, powerful, and celebratory in one. There are many ways to learn black history, many of which you can do right from your couch. 


7. Volunteer 


I have offered my skills as a faculty member to a brand new college in Sierra Leone called Koinadugu College. I visited the college in 2019 when it was still under construction, and I know many of the students personally. My participation is still in the works, but this is a priority this year for me. Call me Professor Heather. I will be teaching entrepreneurship to harness the indigenous knowledge that already exists within the students. Watch a short video of my visit

me and my dynamo friend Mariama in Africa 2019


8. Have a conversation


Trust me, I am terrified of saying the wrong thing or offending anyone. I use whatever language I can, I am willing to be wrong, willing to learn, and seeking to understand, advocate for, and educate myself and others. 


9. Representation


As a content curator, course designer, writer, creator, and more, I have the opportunity to use whatever images I want in my offerings. I make a point to use photos from a diverse range of people to represent. It’s a little thing, but it makes a difference if someone can see themselves in presentations. The world is diverse, and I believe that should be reflected in my creations as well. 

“Won’t it be wonderful when Black history and Native American history and Jewish history and all of U.S. history is taught from one book. Just U.S. history.” —Maya Angelou


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