Getting ready for Black History Month 2022
At the University of Brighton, recognising and celebrating Black history is a year-round commitment. In October, however, Black History Month provides an extra boost for minority ethnic voices and the chance to question the status quo.
Black History Month 2022 events
Simply join the BHM Teams group to take part in any of the following events, open to both staff and students.
11am, Wednesday 5 October – Staff network launch
Speaker: Graciano Soares, Chair of the University of Brighton’s Anti-Racist Network, discussing the launch of the University’s Anti-Racist Network
11am, Monday 10 October – Compassion starts with the Self
Speaker: Dr Barbara Howard-Hunt, Senior Lecturer at Birmingham City University, speaking on how compassion starts with the self.
11am, Wednesday 12 October – Racial differences between White and Black Digital Athletes in Sports-Videogames
Speaker: Dr Paul Ian Campbell, Director of the University of Leicester Institute for Inclusivity in Higher Education, speaking on racial differences between White and Black digital athletes.
11am, Wednesday 19 October – Emerging Stronger: Leadership Lessons on Mental Health, Wellbeing, and the Future of Work
Speaker: Dr Henry Majed, Co-Founder and CEO of MyMynd, discussing emerging stronger: leadership lessons on mental health, wellbeing and the future of work.
11am, Monday 24 October Challenging the Status Quo
Speaker: Salmena Carvalho, Lecturer at the Edinburgh College of Art, speaking about challenging the status quo.
11am, Wednesday 26 October – Exploring Culture, Health and Wellbeing Through Lived Experience
Speakers: Aysha Rahman and Aline Giordano, discussing exploring culture, health and wellbeing through lived experience: introduction to the Gestalt SOS Model.
11am, Thursday 27 October – Black identities: White Therapies
Speaker: Dr Dwight Turner, course leader at the University of Brighton, an activist, writer, and psychotherapist and supervisor in provate practice.
2pm, Thursday 27 October – A lifetime of inspiration to claiming a proud Black identity
Speaker: Dr Yaa Asare, Senior Lecturer at the University of Brighton, speaking about a lifetime of inspiration to claiming a proud Black identity.
11am, Monday 31 October – Historicity of business and legal relations between West Africa, Portugal and Britain – (Lagos 1472-1960)
Speaker: Dr Adaeze Okoye, Principal Lecturer at the University of Brighton, speaking about historicity of business and legal relations between West Africa, Portugal and Britain (Lagos 1472 – 1960).
Brighton’s commitment to race equality
Since 1987, the national celebration has centred around community activism and challenging racism in British society. The University reflects this society, and as such it is committed to understand, challenge and dismantle racism and inequality.
This commitment permeates all we do. Professor Rusi Jaspal, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Knowledge Exchange) and Race Equalities Champion, commented: “Inclusivity is one of our core values at the University of Brighton. We want everyone to feel that they belong to our community. We want to challenge inequalities where they exist. Our Race Equality Charter Award recognises our drive to challenge racial inequalities experienced by colleagues and students from a minority ethnic background and our clear and decisive plan for achieving inclusivity through lasting change.”
For Black History Month, the University will be holding online events throughout October covering subjects ranging from racism in video games and protecting wellbeing to the launch of its Anti-Racist Network. The events will give our staff and students from any background and with any protective characteristic an opportunity to continue their learning journey by hearing from a fascinating series of speakers who will share their lived experiences and offer fresh insights.
Everyone is welcome, and colleagues and students are also invited to host their own sessions. We always seek to empower Black voices, learn from one another and share knowledge. If you’d like to host a session, please contact Bill Acharjee and Ramy Badrie who will assist you in arranging this.
The University is proud of its diverse community, who continue to listen and learn from one another. However, being an ally involves taking action and lifelong learning about marginalised communities and intersectional issues. This is why everyone is encouraged to get involved in Black History Month, both through the core events and through their own private practice and department-level activity.
Bill Acharjee, Equality and Diversity Officer, said: “Last year the University made a pledge to be actively anti-racist, to bring conversations about race to the forefront at key institutional committees, to truly listen to our colleagues and students, and to put anti-racism into practice and not just words.”
Some of that work has already been put into practice. The Race Equality Charter Mark, for example, aims to improve the representation and career progression of minority ethnic staff and students. In 2019, the University achieved a Bronze Award and, since then, we have been making progress against the priorities outlined, as well as being proactive in addressing other emerging issues based on feedback from our colleagues and students as highlighted by our commitments.
You can read more about the University’s work on anti-racism here: We are an anti-racist university. Brighton has also launched an Anti-Racist Toolkit Padlet, where you can find more information on how to help and join the conversation.