Black History Month – October 2022
Celebrating black heritage and culture
This month, we celebrate Black History Month in the UK, and colleagues will have the opportunity to recognise and appreciate our Black history at numerous events taking place across the University.
Banji Adewumi, Director of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, said: “Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate the value and contribution that people from African and Caribbean backgrounds have made to British society.
“There are various events taking place across the University with a variety of speakers giving different perspectives. I would encourage colleagues to take a look and attend where they can, so we can all come together and learn, share, celebrate and further the dialogue around equality, diversity and inclusion.”
About Black History Month
Black History month is an annual celebration of the achievements made by Black people. In the United Kingdom Black History month is celebrated in the month of October. It is used as a time to give appreciation and recognition of the positive contributions that Black people have made to British Society and Internationally. It also provides an opportunity to celebrate accomplishments, share learning, and allows us time to reflect on the past, whilst being proud of our culture and identity.
BAME Network Co-Chairs, Loraine Mckoy and Laverne Condappa-ward said: “The Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Network actively strives to raise the voices, visibility and representation of its network members, their experiences, and achievements all year round.
“Whilst we strongly believe we are all part of the shared history of Britain, Black History Month and this event in particular, allows us to centre the focus sharply on structural inequalities, in particular health inequalities for Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities, which were so stark over the course of the pandemic.”
Black History Month, and what it means for Teaching and Learning
In the contexts of teaching and learning, Black History Month is a time to reflect upon the longstanding issues with black academic representation, while also celebrating steps forwards in overcoming the barriers present. Black representation in academia is vital both ethically and in regards to student outcomes – with a plethora of research showing how important it is for student populations to feel represented, or able to see people they can identify with in academic posts. At the University of Manchester, we still feel a discrepancy between our population numbers: 7.5% of Academic staff are Black in comparison to making up 28.1% of Professional Services. Similarly, BAME academics are currently underrepresented in higher posts within the University when compared to ‘early career’ roles. While these numbers have been steadily improving over the years, it remains a key area of focus for those within Teaching and Learning, as well as Equality and Diversity.
“100 Black Woman Professors Now!”
One particular mode of improvement for the above, is the ‘100 Black Woman Professors Now!’ accelerator programme, aimed at providing a fully funded pathway into academia for black women. Applications are open for the tracks for Early and Mid-Career academics and researchers (Grade 6-7) and PhD students, and if you would like more information, please check out the relevant staffnet article, as applications will be closing on Wednesday the 12th of October!
The programme of activity kicks off with a live performance from Testament, an acclaimed playwright, musician and performer, at our very own Martin Harris Centre on Wednesday 5 October.
Professor David Olusoga OBE then takes to the stage at the Whitworth Art Gallery on Monday 10 October to host a lecture exploring what it means to be Black and British and the role of Black History today. He will then be attending the Manchester Literature Festival on Saturday 15 October for a special ‘in conversation’ session hosted by Ellah P Wakatama.
The University BAME staff network is holding an event with special guest Dame Elizabeth Anionwu on Tuesday 25 October. Dame Elizabeth is a celebrated nurse and health care activist. The co-founder of the first ever Centre for Sickle Cell Anaemia sufferers in the UK, she successfully co-led the campaign to erect a statue of Mary Seacole in London 2016.
The University’s Ahmed Iqbal Ullah RACE Centre & Education Trust, with support from ESRC Festival of Social Sciences, and Manchester Libraries are hosting a series of events during October focusing on the theme of ‘Carnival’, exploring how carnivals have become festivals and celebrations tied to freedom and emancipation from slavery. The main event – a ‘We are Carnival! Party’ – will take place on Thursday 27 October.
This month will also see the launch of a report into Racial Bias and the Judiciary by Eithne Quinn and colleagues in the School of Arts, Languages and Culture (SALC).
- BAME Staff Network
- Uncovering Black histories – round up of research projects in the Faculty of Humanities
- Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: Your Role in Shaping a Fairer World Course Unit Code: UCIL22302
If you are hosting an event for Black History Month that you would like us to add to this list please email email@example.com