Brookes supports Black History Month this October

Monday, 01 October 2018

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Oxford Brookes University is supporting Black History Month throughout October with a programme of events and activities for students, staff and the local community.

2018 marks a series of significant anniversaries which provide context for many of the University’s Black History Month events including the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush, the 70th anniversary of the NHS and the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Race Relations Act.

Professor Anne-Marie Kilday, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student and Staff Experience) and Chair of the Race Equality Steering Group at Oxford Brookes University said: “At Oxford Brookes we are proud of our diverse staff and student communities and as we celebrate Black History Month, we aim to raise awareness of the past, present and future contribution of Black communities to our social, economic, political, cultural and intellectual life in the UK.

“It gives a focus to our work throughout the year to recognise the achievements of BME individuals and communities, inspire the next generation and support the University’s commitment to maximising the potential of all our students and staff."

At Oxford Brookes we are proud of our diverse staff and student communities and as we celebrate Black History Month, we aim to raise awareness of the past, present and future contribution of Black communities to our social, economic, political, cultural and intellectual life in the UK.

Professor Anne-Marie Kilday, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student and Staff Experience) and Chair of the Race Equality Steering Group, Oxford Brookes University

Among the highlights of this year’s programme is a discussion event on Wednesday 17 October with writer and broadcaster Afua Hirsch. Based on her Sunday Times bestseller Brit(ish) On Race Identity and Belonging, the event will explore what we mean by being British, the everyday racism in British society and our relationship with our history.

On Tuesday 23 October, Cecilia Anim CBE will share her experiences as the first BME President of the Royal College of Nursing. In the event My journey from Ghana to RCN President, Cecilia will talk about her inspiration throughout 40 years in the NHS and the challenges and opportunities facing a new generation of nursing staff.

Dr David Ellis, Interim Pro Vice-Chancellor, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Oxford Brookes University will lead an event on Monday 29 October exploring the sentiments and experiences of Caribbean migrants popularly known as the Windrush generation. The session, titled Welcome Home: Narratives of Arrival from the Windrush generation, will describe the reactions they encountered from Britain’s white population and their own troubled sense of belonging to a nation that they had not previously encountered.

On Wednesday 31 October, hosted by Brookes Poetry Centre, writer, artist, film-programmer and activist Jay Bernard, will perform their award-winning poetry piece Surge. Surge is an evolving multimedia project about the 1981 New Cross fire which killed 13 young black people at a birthday party in south London. The live show of Surge, produced by Speaking Volumes Live Literature Productions, won the 2017 Ted Hughes Prize for New Work in Poetry where judges described the work as: “startling and fresh and unique... a moving and powerful struggle for validation in the Black British community, and the poet’s own clarification of identity.”

More details about the Black History Month programme of events at Oxford Brookes University and other events around Oxford can be found on the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion webpages.