October is Black History Month.
If the last couple of years have taught us anything, it is that we have had to acknowledge that racism still very much exists in our society. The scale and impact of institutionalised racism have been brought to the forefront in the media on more than one occasion.
Many of us are aware that we haven’t been taught a great deal about black history, aside from slavery and the US civil rights movement at schools. Yet, people from Africa have made significant contributions to our lives, many we are not even aware. In the UK and US, it was thought that black history was not recognised or acknowledged. In response to these concerns, Black History Month was established for the first time in 1987 to learn, celebrate and provide insight into the wonderful achievements of Black, Asian and Minority ethnic groups.
Black people are often given the double burden of experiencing racism and discrimination, and then being expected to fix it. Hopefully, by making the theme of this year’s Black History Time for Change: Action Not Words’ we can come together to make a change for the better.
Changing social care: an inclusive approach.
We should look to Black History Month as an opportunity for people to educate themselves and learn about the effects of racism and how we can challenge the negative stereotypes out there as a society. Whether we admit it or not, many of us carry a certain level of bias, unconscious or otherwise. The first step to overcoming any bias towards other social groups, whether regarding ethnic groups, age or otherwise, is to recognise that it exists.
“In Black History Month, while we celebrate the achievements of BAME people, we should also reflect on workplace discrimination social care and commit to change this injustice” Dr. Godfred Boahen , Co-chair BAME Staff Network
As an employer, we recognise the importance of diversity in the workplace. In our field, we ensure our workforce remains diverse, just as our clients are equally diverse. In addition, we want to make sure minority groups are better represented amongst our staff team and at all levels across the business.
We have chosen to celebrate Black History Month within our workforce just as we would any other international event such as pride or mental health awareness week. We have done this to encourage a dialogue around race amongst our staff, encourage them to take part in the national celebrations, share those experiences, and honour the unheralded accomplishments of Black Britons throughout history.
We’re continuing to listen & learn from our Black colleagues to inform the work we do & help create an inclusive workplace where everyone can be themselves & belong. For many minority groups in our society, Black History Month provides an opportunity to reimagine what future lies ahead for different cultural groups to improve diversity in all areas of our lives. We hope you’ll join us in learning something new about Black History this month.