In the month of October and throughout the academic year beyond, the University of Westminster is hosting events and holding space to explore Black history, casting an eye on where the past has taken Black realities in the current day.
Dr Peter Bonfield, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Westminster, said: “Inclusion, equality and diversity are so important to us and for the last few years I have been educated and challenged by the events hosted by my fellow colleagues and students over Black History Month. This year, following the death of George Floyd and the commitments we have made as a University, it is more important than ever.
"We begin this focus on Black History aware of our duty as a community to centre the voices of our Black colleagues and student body. Not only is this an opportunity for us to learn about the history, influence and experiences of Black people globally but it is also a time for us to reflect on the part we play in creating an environment where all of our students and colleagues are respected, heard and valued. This work may be uncomfortable at times, but we recognise that it is necessary to bring us closer as a community.”
The BHM 2020 Steering Group, a collective of our BME colleagues and allies, and the Students’ Union, said: "Recognising and celebrating Black histories is at the heart of this work and is made more visible with the launch of this year’s Black History Month. There will be opportunities for us all to engage with Black colleagues’ and students’ histories by reflecting on times past using our amazing archival collection while responding to the present with case studies that reflect extraordinary achievements – some while under very challenging circumstances.
"This year we are going further. The BHM 2020 Steering Group is working towards ensuring that the recognition of Black histories continues beyond a single month for the first focused Black History Year. These colleagues are putting together a programme of talks, events and creating a blog that will span the academic year, building a sound platform for recognising Black histories in the years to come. The theme is narratives and counter-narratives of race, and will feature events on creativity, social activism, and gender and sexuality in Black people as examples.
"This honours our commitment to be a progressive, compassionate and responsible university that values the input and output of our students and colleagues while recognising that some groups have been denied opportunities that have contributed to making their experiences less visible.
We urge you to engage with our 2020 Black History Month and Black History Year platforms where we will all learn something about our diverse community as we negotiate a period in our living history that is like nothing we have ever experienced."
Black History Month stories
- School of Humanities launches PhD studentship for BME applicants
- Former student Avril Nanton sets up tour guide company and tour of London’s black statues
- Documentary Photography and Photojournalism MA student receives prestigious Martin Parr Foundation bursary
- Athletes of our pride: Remembering Westminster’s historic Black Olympians
- Professor Shirley Thompson OBE is Consultant and Featured Artist in landmark BBC documentary celebrating the significant contribution to classical music by composers of Caribbean and African Heritage
- Creative Enterprise Centre launches Westminster Entrepreneurship Pioneers Programme
- Music Business Management MA student Isatta Cesay organises Black history bus tour for young people across London
- Professor Shirley Thompson OBE nominated for two awards in Black British Theatre Awards
- University of Westminster and its partners to launch free legal advice service for victims of the Windrush scandal
- Decolonising the Curriculum Toolkit launched by students and colleagues
- Democratic Education Network create informative video about Black History Month
- Diversity and Inclusion research community hosts ‘Language, Diversity and Inclusion’ event
- Westminster White allyship group “balancing aspiration, honesty and action"
- Fine Art Mixed Media graduate on front cover of the prestigious ArtReview magazine
- “I want everyone to have the opportunity to work in the creative industry, and to be inspired” says Radio alumna Kaylee Golding
Black History Month events
- Language, diversity and inclusion - Wednesday 7 October
- The Windrush Justice Clinic launch event - Tuesday 20 October
- Dr Miranda Kaufmann and the 'Black Tudors' - Wednesday 11 November
This list will be added to throughout Black History Month.