Students have welcomed a bumper programme of events to celebrate Black History Month at Edge Hill University.
Staff, students and the community will come together to mark the month with music, food, exhibitions and performances throughout October.
By hosting free events which are open to all, the University will champion equality, diversity and inclusion, and demonstrate its determination to foster a sense of community and belonging for all students and staff at Edge Hill.
Bridget Amo, a volunteer on the University’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic student advisory panel, described Black History Month as an opportunity to “show people they belong”.
The nursing student from Ghana said: “By marking occasions like this the University is showing all staff and students they can say ‘this is my home, Edge Hill is my place, I matter’.
“It’s so important to enjoy different cultures and learn about them, and Black History Month is a great way to bring together people from lots of different cultures; to celebrate how similar we are while celebrating the differences.”
The programme to celebrate Black joy, culture and achievements includes:
- a launch event on Tuesday 3 October featuring authentic African food, performances from Katumba drumming group and the launch of two photography exhibitions;
- the HAIR exhibition honours the significance and power of Black hair throughout history;
- The Descendants by Ean Flanders features portraits of local influential figures – several are Edge Hill alumni or honorary doctors including educator and community leader Wally Brown CBE, who will officially open the event, Claire Beerjeraz, who will be performing a spoken word piece, and BBC Radio Merseyside presenter Ngunan Adamu.
- Ashleigh Nugent, named Liverpool City Region’s Artist of the Year 2022, will perform three chapters from his book LOCKS (Thursday 5 October, 6.30pm);
- activist Chantelle Lunt, founder of Merseyside Alliance for Racial Equality and a Liverpool town councillor, will lead an interactive ‘Fearless Futures’ workshop and discuss her personal story of campaigning for change (Thursday 12 October, 12pm);
- and sociologist and writer Jason Arday, the youngest Black person to become a professor at the University of Cambridge, will share the challenges he faced and how he overcame them (Wednesday 18 October, 5.30pm).
Staff and students will also compete in a sports day event to raise money for Show Racism the Red Card and a new multicultural network for staff will launch, providing a forum to share thoughts and discuss ideas to promote inclusivity and diversity at Edge Hill.
Pro Vice-Chancellor Liam Owens added: “I encourage students, staff and the community to be curious and join us in celebrating the joy, vibrancy and colour of Black culture; we are proud to honour the contribution the Black community has made to our University, the region and beyond.
“This month is also a powerful reminder of the continued need for all of us to identify and challenge racism, working together to create a more equitable community which respects our rich diversity.
“However, exploring these principles isn’t confined to just one month in October, we pledge to keep up the momentum and to continue championing inclusivity and diversity as part of our core values all year round.”
Find out more about Black History Month at Edge Hill, the University’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and the Edge Hill International Centre on Racism which is dedicated to researching racism in all its forms.