Black History Month (BHM) is an important time for focus, reflection and deepening understanding and solidarity. The relevance of this for us all in 2020 is clearly heightened by the disproportionate impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and its ongoing consequences for Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. The murder of George Floyd and global actions for anti-racism linked to the Black Lives Matter movements have further mobilised and challenged individuals and organisations to stand together and demonstrate more meaningful progress.
We are pleased to share with you a dynamic, stimulating and challenging programme of events hosted by the University during October. The programme will be delivered online and while this changes the experience of coming together, it also enables many more students, staff, friends and community members to join us - locally, nationally and internationally.
Professor Anne-Marie Kilday, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Staff and Student Experience, and Chair of the Race Equality Steering welcomes and invites students to take part:
"This year’s programme has been developed and organised by our BAME Staff Network. The University is hugely appreciative and grateful for the voluntary commitment, creativity, energy and personal connections which have enabled the speakers, events and activities to be brought together."
"Recent events have shone a spotlight on the oppression that is experienced by Black communities across the world. Black History Month encourages all of us to reflect on our continuing efforts to promote inclusion and advance racial equality," says Lydiah Igweh, Director of Enterprise Support and Chair of the BAME Staff Network. "I hope it inspires new ways of thinking, fosters inclusive behaviours, and celebrates past and present remarkable achievements of African and African Caribbean communities and the rich heritage that they bring to British society. Britain wouldn't be the place it is today without the contribution of these communities, which is reflected across sport, health, defence, tech, and in politics to name a few. BHM allows us to focus on what we teach all generations of all races about past and present inspiring people and events that some may have little awareness about. The eclectic programme is carefully curated to offer something to everyone."
The programme Kick of Celebration is on Friday 2 October with an artistic and cultural performance in collaboration with Kuumbia Nia Arts, Unlock the chains collective and Euton Daley MBE featuring comedian Urban Comedy Awards nominee Eddie Kadi.
Back by popular demand is the Be Ambitious and Model Excellence event - Profiling Black Excellence and Redefining ‘BAME’ with internationally renowned entrepreneur Kanya King CBE MBE, founder and visionary of the MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Awards. Kanya will be joined by Beverley De-Gale OBE, CEO and founder of the African and Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT), Trevor Robinson OBE, CEO and founder of Quiet Storm, and Euton Daley MBE, CEO of Pegasus Theatre, Oxford.
Events over the following weeks include a Black History Month Quiz, ‘Beyond Black History Month’ panel event where staff, students and senior leaders engage in a Conversation on Race, a Showcase of Brookes’ Research, Projects and Initiatives, an Energetic Afro-fusion Dance Class introducing west-african dance from a modern perspective.
The full programme is available on the Black History Month webpage and we encourage you to join and share widely with your own contacts, family, community and networks. Everyone is welcome!
More activities led by Brookes Union, student societies and campaigns are in development and details will be added to the webpage and shared in future announcements, along with details of other local and community events.
More information on events across the country can be found on the national Black History Month website.