We were there…
This October we celebrate the 33rd Anniversary of Black History Month's appearance in the UK. Having been privileged to work with the original instigators of BHM in the UK, Ansel Wong and Linda Bellos, the primary aim was to celebrate the written, aural and visual history which Black individuals have been contributing to the UK, but which are frequently ignored or forgotten by history.
This year it is particularly relevant, as the Black Lives Matter movement once again thrust the importance of this into the limelight, in response to the killing of George Floyd.
If you have not been able to plan a celebration this year, do not worry, there is plenty of time to celebrate contributions. In fact, there are 365 days every year to recognise, acknowledge, and raise awareness of our rich history. Discovering stories of forgotten contributors of the past, and shining a spotlight on future stars.
What’s happening at the University?
The Black History Month Planning Group has been working in collaboration with many different departments, the Student Union, and the equality and diversity team. Year round activities are being planned by lots of departments from the Sports Training Village to Widening Participation. Below is just a flavour of the events you will hear about over the next month, so please join in!
1) The University of Bath – Black Experience. Look out on the University of Bath Instagram page for students sharing their experiences and offering their tips on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing.
2) Black Students Network. A peer to peer support group for black students. We are providing a safe space for students to discuss the issues affecting them with particular focus on supporting students’ wellbeing and mental health. This is open to all University of Bath students who identify as being Black (African, Caribbean or Dual Heritage). Please contact Imroze Sahota (Wellbeing Advisor) at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information or to be added to the attendance list.
3) Black Student Blogs. Written by students focusing on raising awareness of the issues impacting black students and looking at initiatives we can put in place to make improvements. These can be accessed via the University of Bath Instagram page and the Student Services web pages.
Bright Network is a unique learning and skill-development platform that provides personalised support to students and young professionals throughout their graduate career journeys. Their mission is to connect the next generation with the opportunities, insights and tailored advice to succeed as the workforce of tomorrow. They launched in 2013 and have helped over 10,000 members secure top roles. Around 40% of students they support are BAME.
The University of Bath has partnered with Bright Network to deliver two workshops in October to support Black students as well as other under represented groups.
14th October 1.30 – 2.30pm Networking and Taking Advantage of Opportunities You can register here.
21st October 2.00-3.00pm How to Boost Your Commercial Awareness You can register here.
School of Management
A panel made up of individuals from GlaxoSmithKline plc, and PricewaterhouseCoopers, is being brought together by the School of Management to discuss diversity and inclusion from Uni-Work. Topics will include personal experiences and challenges faced in education and beyond university, how to develop your skills, applying for work, and wider diversity and inclusion in the work environment. This event will be hosted online on 21st October from 13:15 – 14:05. Details on how to register will be shared soon, but contact Molly on email@example.com for more info.
Over the last few years the library has been compiling a strong reading list of works by Black authors. This list has been added to again to help celebrate Black history. You can find the latest list here. Library also invites you to vote on which e-books should be added to our Black History and Culture collection, please vote on various options or recommend any other book titles here.
The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
ED&I team will be hosting a series of Q&A discussions with influencers and gatekeepers of race relations. These will consist of 1-2 min online chats throughout October. You can continue with your self-reflection and education about becoming anti-racist through our resource page and learn more about becoming a white ally. In addition, we have a group of individuals that we are working with on the development of a Bath Staff of Colour Network. If you would like to know more then please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Student Union
SU is also planning a number of activities, including a celebration wall sharing Black student stories from 1st October. There will also be Black poetry live streamed on the 26th October at 7pm from the SU Facebook page and website. More can be found out on the SU BHM webpage.
HSS Faculty Placement Office
Guest speaker Bukola Adisa will deliver a talk on “Challenging intersectionality in the finance and banking sector”. Bukola brings a wealth of experience from her successful career in finance, and as Founder & CEO of Career Masterclass, a social enterprise which supports the progression of BAME professionals in the workplace. She will talk about the multi-layered issues of equality, diversity and inclusion in the finance sector and practical approaches to building a career in your chosen field. You can book your free ticket here.
What’s happening outside of Bath?
There is so much going on in the region and nationally. The majority is now online which means we can all join in and enjoy this beautiful celebration of talent and influence.
In addition, please find two online events that UWE has invited students and staff across the country to join: The Legacy of UK Race Relations on 14th October and Black Lives Matter and call to action on 21st October.
It is important to recognise that Black history month activities are not just for those with Black heritage. They are for everyone. It is important that we all know about Black history and the contributions made by underrepresented groups. It is this cognitive diversity that provides us with such rich contributions.
Why not join our BHM Planning Group on Teams to help support year round activities and initiatives, with an even bigger celebration in October 2021. Email us to find out more: email@example.com