Dr Jermaine Ravalier, Reader in Work and Wellbeing (Psychology), writes about this year's Black History (and Black Futures) celebrations at Bath Spa University.
To me, Black History Month should be a celebration. We should celebrate work that is happening across the Black community (and, actually, all communities more widely). This includes in academia, public services, and wider community events and organisations. This year’s Black History Month won't focus solely on the ills of the past (much), rather, we're going to focus on the fantastic work that Black people in the UK are doing across many sectors.
In putting together BHM therefore, celebrating success and weaving in Black Lives Matter was at the forefront of my mind, as was working with colleagues from our GALA partnerships in the States. It's also important that we work together to show that Black Lives Matter and that we support everybody at Bath Spa University, irrespective of race or ethnicity.
Live and live-streamed talks
We're lucky enough to have talks which will be held live at our Newton Park Campus (and live streamed online) from:
- Science writer Angela Saini
- Award-winning actor Kelechi Okafor
- Director of the Black South West Network Sado Jirde.
In anticipation of Angela Saini’s talk, Dr Dawn Albertson is running a campus-wide book club, and the end of October will see a trans-national curriculum decolonisation event.
We also have a series of pre-recorded talks with Black people from across the UK who are making a real difference in society.
- This begins with Manoel Akure (the man atop the plinth of Colston’s Statue after it fell, in what is one of the most iconic pictures of the UK BLM movement), who discusses BLM and the toppling of monuments.
- Kai Phillip reflects on the role that the UK Skate Scene has had in supporting the Black community in London and more widely.
- Florence Nyasamo of Lives of Colour discusses BLM and actions we can undertake to support people of all ethnicities in the UK.
- Wayne Reid of the British Association of Social Work discusses his anti-racism work in social work and society more widely.
- The influence of Haile Sellassie in Bath is the expertise of Dr Shawn Sobers of UWE, too.
These are just a few of the events that we've organised for Black History Month this October – we have more or less one event per working day for the whole month. However, it doesn’t stop there. In February we'll work alongside our American GALA partners on a Black Futures Month to run alongside their Black History Month... more details to follow!
Dr Jermaine M Ravalier is a Reader in Work and Wellbeing (Psychology) at Bath Spa.
Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.
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