We are so glad you are here. The Cookout is Swarm Strategy's Black History Month programming lineup and features 4 customized workshop options [also available as keynote topics] for you to choose from based on the needs of your organization.
Why The Cookout?
Cookouts are pillars of community for Black people in the United States, and are a place where everyday Black history is made and told. Stories are passed down between generations through oral histories of migration, triumph, and reimagining Black dreams. Most importantly cookouts represent Black joy in the purest form, they are one of the few spaces where Black people are free to be themselves. At Swarm we aim to bring this spirit of grassroots Black history, freedom and liberation to the forefront this February to root in the stories of all Black people, because all Black people embody, live, and define,Black history everyday.
Read Full Descriptions of Program Offerings Below – and Schedule Your FREE consultation using the booking inquiry button below – to learn how we can support you in centering Black voices this Black History Month and beyond.
Cookout Offerings: Workshop and Speaking Engagement Options
Serving You Unique, Customized & Fresh Dishes for Black History Month – from Making Lemons from Lemonade, to Passing the Mac on Allyship and Breaking Bread with Baldwin to Celebrate Black LGBTQ+ Lives! Here is what we have in store for you:
Lemonade//“I was served Lemons, But I made Lemonade” Black Resistance and Persistence In the Face of Anti-Blackness
This offering will spotlight groundbreakers in the Black community who persisted, provide tangible strategies for Black people to show up and honor themselves in the workplace, and discuss tools that organizations can implement on the structural level to address common barriers to equity. We will dissect White Supremacy Culture characteristics, define Anti-Blackness, share what equity in practice looks like, define structural racism, provide examples of policies that aim to address anti-Blackness head on, and share best practices for fostering a workplace culture of belonging.
Breaking Bread With Baldwin// Black LGBTQ+ Stories in Focus
‘Breaking Bread with Baldwin: Black LGBTQ+ Stories in Focus’ hones in on James Baldwins legacy of taking action outside the box, and shares what lessons we can learn from his life and the lasting impact that his work has made on the landscape of LGBTQ+/Black lives today. This presentation also uplifts the stories of other esteemed Black LGBTQ+ pioneers such as Marsha P. Johnson, Miss Major, Pauli Murray and more to take an intentional look at the intersection that is Black x LGBTQ+ identity. Bryce pulls on his expertise in LGBTQ+, and Black history, his 13 years of experience working in the LGBTQ+ rights movement – on the national, state and local level – along with weaving in his own personal narrative navigating life as Black/queer/trans person to shine the spotlight on the importance of Black LGBTQ+ people, an often times overlooked group when it comes to mainstream Black History remembrances.
Pass the Mac//Cultivating Authentic Allyship x Connection In The Workplace
The act of passing the mac n’ cheese to the person next to you creates a small moment of connection during a cookout. With the landscape of organizational culture continuing to shift at a rapid pace, due to the changes in “how we work” since 2020 and external factors including continued attacks on DEI initiatives, 2024 is going to require companies and leaders to get back to the basics of connection in order to drive and sustain change. Everyday connections requires a commitment to everyday allyship – and ultimately an understanding of what allyship is and how to move from being an ally to being an advocate. This offering will dive into this with definitions, historical context, discussion, hands on activities, action steps and resources for participants to continue their learning.
Southern Fried// Black History – How the Black South has Shaped America, From Reconstruction to 2024
Southern Fried//Black History – How the Black South Has Shaped America, From Reconstruction to 2024 focuses on the arc of Black liberation, community building and joy in the United States from the 1800's through 2023. Learn how communities of the African diaspora have always found ways to thrive, build culture and forge new paths in the face of systemic oppression x injustice. This session will include a historical overview, connections from the Civil Rights Movement to the current movement for racial equity x justice, along action steps that you can take to center the humanity of Black people in your work and organizational culture.
the cookout itself is a staple of Black History.
Black American cuisine, and culture, is often associated with Southern comfort food because of Colonial slavery and the Antebellum Era. And the Cookout is dependent on these traditions and history that feed it so that it survives. In turn, it creates a powerful environment that is unanimous for all Black folks. Attending the Cookout for Black folks is a rite of passage; it comes in many forms like family reunions and barbeques because it is a sacred event. It promotes kinship, recognizes our history, and celebrates life and years beyond our assembly. It's an opportunity to reconnect with families near and far, a practice that is commonplace for Black Americans in the South — its roots run deep. The cuisine and customs are derivative of enslaved conditions in the Antebellum South. It's a gathering to celebrate familial traditions, customs, and good fortune in the community. When we're all together, everything is alright because we have each other.
a space to give, not take: learn, grow and engage
Being “invited to the cookout” by a Black person is an honor, as it is an invitation into a designated safe space that is anchored in a shared understanding of fellowship.The #1 rule of coming to the cookout is that you don’t show up empty-handed because the cookout is about giving, not taking more from Black spaces and Black people. So when you show-up to The Cookout ask yourself “What am I bringing with me to share with others?” Here are some of our favorite side dishes we encourage you to bring with you:
An authentic approach to learning that pushes you to challenge your preconceived notions of Black people, history & culture.
A commitment to centering Black voices.
A genuine sense of curiosity and humility.
What else can you bring to the table, and what value does your side dish add to the space & community?