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Black History Month 2020 is more important than ever this year

Category: black history month

BHM

Black people have always made history and always will – but it’s equally important that Black people take the lead on how that history is discovered, explored, researched, recorded, archived, curated, exhibited and shared. That means supporting Black-led heritage organisations and professionals; making national and local institutions much more accessible and representative; and empowering communities to define and share what Black history means to them.

This month’s focus sits with the black women and men that need inclusion in the workplace to gather pace. For the talk to stop and the action to begin. For budgets within talent acquisition to 'do something different' from what they have always done, for 'white allys' to call it out, for pay equality, for promotion, for fairness and respect.

How did Black History Month first begin?

Black History Month has two months in the calendar year with the American version in February and the UK in October.

Black History Month grew out from its precursor, Negro History Week which was created in 1926 by historian Carter G. Woodson.

The second week in February was chosen for this event to coincide with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

In the UK, Black History Month was first celebrated in October 1987.

Black History Month UK was organised through the leadership of Ghanaian analyst Akyaaba Addai-Sebo who had served as a coordinator of special projects for the Greater London Council.

Its aim was for local communities to challenge racism and educate themselves and others about black history which was not taught in schools.

Some have argued it was founded partially as a response to the urban riots and racial tensions of the 1980s that’s why in the year of 2020 ever since the death of the unarmed black man George Floyd during an arrest sparking the recent protests and the Black Lives Matter Movement, the Windrush Scandal and racist incidents such as the death of Stephen Lawrence and Mark Duggan. Black History Month is a key point for Black culture historical, now and the future.

RACE at Work

Black History Month Stretches beyond celebrating and educating the importance of Black culture in society it aims to provide an education into RACE itself and how the work place can be part of the conversation.

 

In response to the killing of George Floyd and wider race equality at work issues. We recognise that having conversations about race can be difficult. Some people stay silent for fear of saying the wrong thing; others adopt a ‘colour blind approach’ – “I just don’t see race”! Today staying silent on race inclusion issues is no longer an option. We all have a responsibility to call out overt and subtle forms of racism in the workplace and in society at large.

 

Recently VERCIDA Consulting Director Dan Robertson spoke with Fiona Daniels, Co- Founder Black Leaders Network, and Flora Alphone, Senior Associate at VERCIDA Consulting to discuss The Issues of Racism the Modern Workplace. This discussion-based webinar covered:

  • What do we mean by modern-day racism and how does this play out at work
  • What are race based micro-inequities and how do these impact BAME communities at work?
  • What is White Privilege and how White allies are needed to tackle modern- day racism
  • To learn how to move from a ‘colour blind’ approach to race inclusion to a ‘colour brave’ approach

WHITE ALLYSHIP

Non-white communities are the victims of everyday racism, but racism itself is not an issue which black communities can and should have to shoulder. To address the root causes of everyday racism, and issues of race equality in the workplace, organisations should engage their white colleagues as allies and agents of change.

What does being an ally really mean? How do allies think and act?

Allyship has four stages of effective: Apathetic, Aware, Active, Advocate, to be a Active listening and learning to challenge and speak up for others

Providing an overview of the concept of White Privilege and how this leads to advantage for some groups and disadvantage and discrimination for others.

 

You can watch the conversations about Race at work and White Allyship by visiting

 

https://www.vercidagroup.com/race-at-work

 

And to see the amazing work our partners and clients are doing for the Black communities as well as the very stories shared by the communities. You can view on our Knowledge centre.

 

https://www.vercida.com/uk/articles

 

At VERCIDA.com we have your back and will never stop promoting the path to inclusion.

#inclusion #diversity #blackhistorymonth #blackexcellence

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email info@vercida.com for more information.

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