News Diversity Committee Celebrates Black History Month 04.10.2022

On Monday 3 October our student Diversity Committee presented the first in their series of assemblies to mark Black History Month to an audience of Middle School students.

Antara, Year 11, began the assembly explaining that, ‘Black History Month celebrates the huge and remarkable contribution that members of the Black community have made to our society. It is a chance to celebrate Black achievement, from the inspirational civil rights activist and writer Maya Angelou to Dr Paul Stephenson who led the bus boycotts until the ‘colour ban’ was revoked, to Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, the founders of the Black Lives Matter Movement. Black History Month is also about recognising where institutionalised and societal racism persists and to give visibility to the people and organisations that are fighting to create change.’

Antara, Tatyana and Chloe then went on to detail key aspects and events in Black history including colonialism, the transatlantic slave trade, the civil rights movement, and important figures and influencers such as Martin Luther King and Black feminist groups. Tatyana explained the importance of understanding the historical context, ‘although the atrocities of colonialism may appear to be a tragedy of the past, they have irreparably altered future generations… In order to combat racism in its multiple and extensive ways, it is absolutely necessary that we look history in the eye.’

Stephanie then introduced her audience to a new club the Diversity Committee is setting up called the Big Conversation which will focus on different race issues and the nuances around race. Launching on Friday this week, Stephanie explained that the point of the club is to encourage conversation and debate about different topics ‘so we can grow together’.

This is an exciting initiative from the Diversity Committee which also hopes to run a series of events to enable other regular Clubs and Societies to get involved in Black History Month through thoughtful and impactful engagement.