Black History Month 2022
Every year, every October, we celebrate Black History Month across the University and across the UK. First celebrated in the UK in 1987, Black History Month gives everyone the opportunity to share, celebrate and understand the impact of black heritage and culture ─ how those with African and Caribbean heritage have for centuries played a fundamental role in British history. Remember what they have contributed, what they have achieved. Reflect on whether their contributions are recognised, valued, or are they ignored, forgotten?
A Time for Change - Action Not Words
"In a fair world we would not need a Black History Month. We would not need a special celebration of black history, heritage and culture because they would be constantly celebrated. But while much has changed in the 35 years since Black History Month was initiated as an annual event in the UK, racial inequality persists. Despite the best efforts of activists and their allies, Black achievements are still misrepresented, under-valued and overlooked. The purpose of Black History Month is to challenge and change this situation. Through talks, exhibitions, panel discussions and other activities, we aim to raise awareness of Black successes, to acknowledge Black lives well lived, and to promote recognition of Black history as everyone’s history: we have all shaped and been shaped by it"
Professor Abigail Woods SLT Race Equality Champion
Throughout the month, everyone is welcome to engage and participate in our Black history events. Everyone is invited to remember our Black history ─ not just in October, but always. We can all learn more by considering our past. We can learn about our triumphs. We can learn about our failures. We can all learn more about racism and its impact on individuals and on communities. We can all learn how to challenge our negative stereotypes.
“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again”
Maya Angelou (Writer, poet, and civil rights activist)
Throughout this month there will be a Black British History timeline on display in Minerva. Please take a moment to have a look through, celebrate, reflect, and learn about some key moments in Black British History.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
"Black History Month presents an opportunity to celebrate and highlight current and historical achievements of Black people that is untold or not promoted. It provides the opportunity to learn about historical events and individuals that have paved the way for Black Excellence today!"
Ben Anim (Director of Inclusive Practice, EGI)
"Celebrating where we have come from, celebrating where we are and celebrating where we can go. To me it is about celebrating and embracing who I am fully. It is also understanding the history and acknowledging that we still have a long way to go"
Rhianne Sterling-Morris (Researcher, EGI)
"An opportunity for the community to be seen and heard. A time for us to be educated beyond stories of slavery and spotlight Black achievement"
Curtis Reid (London Stakeholder Manager, Communications, Development & Marketing)
These are just some of our thoughts on what BHM means to us. We invite you to share what it means to you! (This is open to everyone!)
People of Colour Staff Network
The People of Colour staff network would like to welcome everyone to celebrate Black History Month. This is a month for celebration, education, reflection and inspiration which is open to everyone no matter your background.
The People of Colours staff network is for staff who identifies as a person of colour whether that be from a Black, Asian, mixed heritage or any other minority ethnic background. This is a network that offers safer spaces for colleagues to interact socially, intellectually and to raise our voices, introduce innovative ideas and collectively advance race equality within the institution.
If you are interested in joining the POC Staff Network, or would like more information, please contact any of the three co-chairs:
Launching The Anti-racism Alliance
The university is launching an Anti-racism alliance network. This is a network that is open to all staff and students who are wanting to promote and advocate for anti-racism. As this network is just getting off the ground, please contact Rhianne Sterling-Morris to register your interest.